New research funded by Defra has assisted in the development of a new assessment framework to trace direct and indirect links between consumption in the UK and environmental impacts that occur due to production in other countries. The project analysed 12 commodities but the methodology can be extended to over 200 commodities, including agricultural products as well as many other products of non-agricultural systems, e.g. mining, forestry and fisheries.
This World Resources Institute Working Paper is the second instalment in a series that forms the foundation of the ‘World Resources Report 2013-14: Creating a Sustainable Food Future’. The document contains preliminary research, analysis, findings, and recommendations aimed at stimulating discussion and critical feedback to influence on-going debate on emerging issues. This study examines how approximately 24 per cent of all calories currently produced for human consumption are lost or wasted.
How can the world feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 in a manner that advances economic development and reduces pressure on the environment? This is the question addressed in the first instalment of the World Resources Institute’s blog series- ‘Creating a Sustainable Food Future’. The article describes how answering this question will require a ‘great balancing act’ of three needs—all of which must be met simultaneously. Firstly, the world needs to close the gap between the amount of food available today and the amount required in 2050.
Since 2007, the world has suffered three rounds of high food prices, caused by a variety of factors from extreme weather events to civil conflict. A recently-published study looked at policy responses to price crises in the United States, the European Union and 14 middle- and low-income countries throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa south of the Sahara, and indicated that poor policy decisions were also a significant contributing factor.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has produced a series of evidence plans for different policy areas which make significant use of formal evidence, including plans for water, waste and resources, sustainable economy, sustainable land and farming, and climate change. The evidence plans will be used to help ensure the link between evidence and policy development and implementation. The evidence plans set out evidence needs for a 5 year timeframe and will be updated roughly annually to reflect any major changes in evidence needs as a result of changing policy.