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New Food Ethics Council report: Food distribution: an ethical agenda

Posted in Research by fedwards on October 9th, 2008

The information below was sourced from Tara Garnett at the Food Climate Research Network, Centre for Environmental Strategy University of Surrey, www.fcrn.org.uk. This is an excellent resource to receive updates on research and events on an international basis pertaining to sustainable food systems. To join the FCRN mailing list please email Tara at taragarnett @blueyonder.co.uk.

This report by the Food Ethics Council examines the impact of food distribution networks on our environment, economy, culture and communities, and their contribution to climate change. It offers ‘a sustainable vision for the future of food distribution, and provides a roadmap for government, business and civil society to help get us there.’ The elements of the report’s vision for food in 2022 are as follows:

· The biggest cuts in greenhouse gas emissions come from changing what we eat and how it is produced rather than from cutting food miles. That means less meat and dairy, and more fruit and veg.
· We still trade food internationally but shift away from highly perishable produce to products that gain ‘added value’ and long-shelf life from basic processing near the point of production – fair trade chocolate or sun-dried fruit are examples where this happens already.
· Local food and urban farming flourish as efficient distribution hubs give small producers access to thriving independent high streets in towns and cities. This has the added benefits of giving shoppers the opportunity to support their local economy and engage with the people who grow and make their food.
· The weekly car trip to the supermarket gets replaced by well-stocked community convenience shops with direct delivery for the basics.

The report recommendations make interesting reading – see pages 7, 8 and 9 – and are directed at Government, the food industry and civil society.

You can download the report here: http://www.foodethicscouncil.org/node/399 and read the press release here: http://www.foodethicscouncil.org/node/398

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