Food and the environment
The food sector plays a key part in our economy and farmers have a crucial role in managing the land. We all have a part to play to ensure that we use our resources sustainably, at a local level, regionally and internationally.
Through our commitments in the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP), government has made a commitment to identify how we can increase food production in ways that improve the environment. Defra is doing this through the Green Food Project. We are also looking at other areas in the food agenda that have an impact on our environment. Green Food Project
Rising global populations and increasing pressure on the natural environment pose a vast challenge if we are to feed everyone sustainably. The Green Food Project is a joint initiative between Government, industry and environmental partners to reconcile how we will achieve our goals of improving the environment and increasing food production. (More information is in the Natural Environment White Paper).
The initial conclusions of the Green Food Project were published on 10 July 2012:
Green Food Project - Conclusions plus reports from the Wheat, Dairy, Bread, Curry and Geographic Sub Groups and a summary of the online forum
Feeding the nation and enriching the environment (news release)
The conclusions address a range of topics, primarily: research and technology, knowledge exchange, our future workforce, investment, building effective structures, valuing ecosystem services, land management, consumption and waste.
Tackling food waste (both reducing waste and managing any that does arise sustainably) is key to achieving our aim of a 'zero waste economy'. We are working closely with the food industry via responsibility deals to drive down the waste created in industry and ensure consumers have well-designed products and clear information to help them avoid wasting good food. This helps us protect our environment and save people money.
There are several options for treating food waste that does arise - government is committed to reducing the amount going to landfill and increasing the amount treated by more sustainable means such as anaerobic digestion, which can provide renewable energy and valuable biofertiliser. However, government recognises that one size does not fit all and is working to encourage solutions that fit local contexts.
Click HERE for more information on Goverment waste policies.
Click HERE for more details of the Green Food Project.