Green Food Project urges sustainable food production in the U.K.

The Green Food Project, developed by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs together with food industry groups

Food and agriculture sectors in the United Kingdom can improve their energy and water efficiency, boost crop yields and develop sustainable food technologies, according to a new report on how the country can create an environmentally sustainable food industry.

The Green Food Project, developed by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs together with food industry groups – the National Farmers Union, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the World Wildlife Fund – U.K., the British Retail Consortium, and the Food and Drink Federation – urges farmers to adopt new production and consumption patterns in order to provide more diversified herbs and spices for the nation.

It says that increasing domestic production of crops as well as chickpeas for roti-bread flour will open up new markets in reduced food miles.

The world’s population is expected to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, while food production will need to raise output up by 70 percent, putting great pressure on the current global production models according to the Foresight report by Defra in 2011. The report studied the impact of environmental changes to the patterns of global human migration over the next 50 years.

«With our increasingly hungry world every country must play its part to produce more food and improve the environment,» said agriculture minister Jim Paice.

The report suggests the whole of the food industry should work on addressing sustainability challenges, which include improved information-sharing among the stakeholders within the sector; investment in research and development that will pave way for innovative «green» processing of food; formation of a «consumption forum» that will explore sustainable diets and consumption behaviors; and focus on Defra’s «ecosystem services» that will look into the potential of undervalued resources like clean soil and water that could impact on food production.

More efforts are needed to cut food’s environmental footprint once it is bought by the consumers, including projects that could minimize food wastes and encourage energy-efficient cooking, according to the report.

«It is a very small first step but what’s really important is the need to take action so we move towards a more equitable and sustainable food system, which addresses the twin global challenges of sustainability and hunger,» said Mark Driscoll, W.W.F.’s food team chief.

«We need to see a cross-departmental strategy on food, with clean commitments and a timetable to take action to look at the whole food system, from production, manufacturing and retail to food consumption.»

 EcoSeed Staff –


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