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Feeding Britain From The Ground Up

A report from the Sustainable Food Trust

A UK-wide transition to sustainable and regenerative farming practices, to tackle the climate, nature and public health crises, could produce enough food to maintain and potentially even improve current levels of self-sufficiency, provided we ate differently, ate less and cut food waste. These are the key conclusions of our report, Feeding Britain from the Ground Up.

A rapid transition to sustainable food and farming systems will only be achievable with support from government and society at all levels. Changes in agricultural policy would need to include the redirection of subsidies, the application of the polluter pays principle and regulatory interventions.

Support from the banking, financial and investment communities would also be required to match government and food industry measures, and to further accelerate the transition to sustainable farming.

Accommodating the increased diversity in farm enterprises and food outputs would require major investment in decentralised food processing and distribution infrastructure. Parallel investment would also be needed in people and skills.

To ensure public support for dietary change and reduction in food waste, investment in food and farming education will be key. This this will require publicly funded campaigns, aimed to harness the power of informed citizens and to promote understanding of the need to increase consumption of healthy and sustainable foods.

Food companies and retailers have a major role to play in ensuring producers are paid a fair price for their products, and that consumers are given full transparency about where and how the food they purchase has been produced.

Shifting to sustainable farming practices will likely increase food prices, as is already being experienced in the energy sector. To protect against food poverty and ensure access to high-quality food for lower income groups, government intervention will be essential.

Measuring the impacts of the agricultural transition from the farm up will also be essential, both for governments and banks providing financial support, and for consumers wishing to identify foods from sustainable production systems. To achieve this, we advocate the development of an internationally harmonised framework for measuring the impacts of farming, linked to food labelling schemes.

Feeding Britain From The Ground Up

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