2007 Reports


Environmental Footprint & Sustainability of Horticulture is a DEFRA funded study that calculates the environmental footprint for various crops' growing systems, including assessment of seed, fertilisers, water, energy, pesticides and labour.

UK government funds FRICH (Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund) "to help increase the UK market for sustainably produced food from Africa." The main thrust is on "ethical and fair" trading. £200 million of fresh fruit and vegtables is exported from sub Sahara to UK annually. Is this sustainable? The debate is hotting up. Some say that further controls - especially regarding carbon footprints & air-freighting, jeopardises poor producers. IIED offer their Opinion about "Fair Miles" (pdf) and ODI suggest "Good for Development" label, We ask how is it sustainable to import 189 million cubic metre of African water in green beans which is enough to provide 10 million Kenyans with drinking water (Business Daily), - especially from an area where 170 million people (and rising) go undernourished (FAO pdf)? Are 'lost' crops the answer?


DEFRA "Public Understanding of Sustainable Consumption of Food" looks at various behaviours that would reduce the social and environmental impacts of food, and whether people are likley to consume more sustainably.

Soil Association - Lady Eve Balfour Lecture "What will we eat when the oil runs out?".

Business and Sustainability Conference Working paper on "Dilemma of Flower Miles (pdf)" examines the "Food Miles" debate, where moves to local sourcing may remove trade for international traders.

Sustainable Development Commision "$100 a Barrel of Oil" examines the impacts of high oil prices on the sustainability of food supply in the UK.

International Food & Agriculture Trade Policy Council "Sustainability in food & Agriculture". Top level speakers address the big issue - that world food demand will double by 2050, yet this push will run into environmental limits. Own Report

FCRN Livestock's contribution to UK GHG emissions

WRAP Food Waste campaign links with Love Food Hate Waste


Welsh Assembly "Quality of Food" wants everybody in Wales to have access to healthy and sustainable food by raising the quality of food from farm to fork.

WCRF/AICR Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective says that diet is a major contributor to increased cancer risk.

Soil Association consultation about air freight being included in organic standards. Their "Ethical Trade Standard - Chap 70" could be used by many.

DEFRA "Food Transport Indicator" shows nearly 1/3 rise in Food Air Miles in a year, and carbon dioxide emissions up 5% for all food miles.

Compassion in World Farming running campaign Climate Change & Farm Animal Welfare - as livestock production has more impact than transport on world GHGs.

National Consumer Council on how supermakets can make greener shopping easier (pdf)

New Statesmen supplement on the Future of the High Street, includes article "Shoppers want their ethics on a plate" summarising present state of debate.


Forum for the Future map out problems for retailers becoming more sustainable by 2020

FFRAF Report forecasting food rural and agri futures examines 4 scenarios - climate crisis, energy crisis, food crisis and cooperation with nature, for future of Europe.

ADAS survey of food businesses reveals a poor level of understanding of sustainability within the food sector.

'Grown under the Sun' logo will remind consumers that purchasing fresh Kenyan fruits, vegetables and flowers helps to sustain thousands of Kenyans. Fresh produce info(pdf)


ADAS Sustainability: are we steering the right path? (pdf) explores out how the UK food industry can explore more sustainable solutions in food production, processing, manufacturing and retailing.


Cornwall Food Programme shows "Fresh approach to hospital food" which sources locally, organically and reduces CO2 emissions.

Food Industry Sustainability Strategy produces Champions Group Reports including CSR, Energy & Climate Change, Ethical Trading, Transportation, Water, Waste


How to Pick a Supermarket Daily Telegraph

Advisory Committee of Releases to the Environment (Acre) recommends the adoption of a Comparative Sustainability Assessment (CSA) for novel crops and farming methods, similar to that for GM crops - where all impacts, direct or indirect, are considered.


Tomorrow's Climate, Today's Challenge is series of new fact sheets aimed at empowering farmers to manage the challenges and opportunities of climate change. The Sector-specific advice comes from a wide group of pertners including Forum for the Future, National Farmers Union, Country Landowners, and DEFRA.


Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Food Waste Report estimates that we discard 1/3 of the food we buy, equal to 6.7 mt of carbon (Food Waste pdf p4). If food waste was reduced to zero, there would be a saving of about 7% of all UK GHGs. (This put in "Internal" in subscription version of SFG).


Review of Manchester Business School Report 'Environmental Impacts of Food Production and Consumption' is "one of the most comprehensive studies of the environmental impacts of food consumption in the UK and it illustrates extremely well the complexity of the challenges that exist".

Chatham House Briefing focuses on the UK Food Supply up to 2020, when food systems will be shaped increasingly by massive movements of energy, food, water, money and people. "Actors across the sectors will be in competition for power and influence. Climate change will create more natural emergencies. Migration will lead to more sectarian and ethnic tensions."


Tesco launch a "revolution in green consumption" that will "search for a universally accepted and commonly understood measure of the carbon footprint of the products we sell". This will appear in "Energy" section

Marks & Spencer launch Plan A - 'there is no Plan B'; this 100-point plan means that by 2012 M&S will become carbon neutral, send no waste to landfill, extend sustainable sourcing, set new standards in ethical trading, help customers and employees live a healthier lifestyle. This will appear in SFGv3 Fish as "All of its fish will come from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or other independently certified sources by 2012".

Fuelling a Food Crisis, by Caroline Lucas MEP et al., spells out how dwindling oil stocks and EU trade and energy policies threaten food price hikes , and could cause the UK to be vulnerable to food shortages for the first time since the Second World War.

Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan recommends that "if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat."

Click here to close this window.

© 2008 EP@W Publishing Co Ltd