Memorandum submitted by Friends of the Earth (SFS 70)



Friends of the Earth welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry. Although levels of global food production are higher than ever before, the numbers of food insecure and hungry people reached 1 billion this year. We urge the Committee to address the challenge of how the UK can help build a more resilient and equitable global food system, as a focus simply on increasing production will fail to ensure UK or global food security.


This inquiry must also consider food and farming policy coherently, and not separate agricultural production from the food chain. It must also recognise that food security in the UK and abroad can only be achieved through a global sustainable food and farming system that takes into account the impact of UK food consumption and farming on global climate change, loss of biodiversity and genetic resources, and pressures on land use. To this end, Defra must integrate the findings of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) into all its strategies and policies, and work with other departments, notably DFID, to do the same.


How robust is the current UK food system?  What are its main strengths and weaknesses?




1. Potential for self-sufficiency: The UK's self-sufficiency in food is approximately 58% for all food and 71% in indigenous type food[1]. High levels of self sufficiency reflect a strong and resilient food system, and that self-sufficiency is a desirable policy goal for food security and environmental sustainability.


2. Potential for domestic animal feeds: The UK benefits from a diversity of land types that allows for a mixed agricultural sector, for example grazing land for cattle and sheep in the uplands, and fertile arable land for crops. We therefore have the potential to be much more self-sufficient, particularly in livestock production and the use of home-grown animal feeds.


3. New entrants to organic farming: Across the farming sector as a whole, employment is declining whilst the average age of farmers is rising. Organic farming is moving against the trend and retaining and attracting a new workforce. The Soil Association reports that organic farmers in the UK provide more jobs per farm than non-organic[2]. Furthermore, organic farmers are more likely to be engaged in business innovation activities and attract younger people into agriculture.


4. Food awareness: Consumer interest in the provenance of food is growing, as evidenced by flourishing local food networks. Although this is currently small, it is a strength of the UK's food system that should be encouraged.





5. There is increasing evidence that food production has a major impact on the environment including contributing to climate changing emissions and loss of biodiversity. To ensure future production of food, production methods must be based on sustainable use of land and reduction in the use of finite resources in agriculture. International trade, finance and investment policies, including the drive for biofuels, further threaten food security and are primarily the needs of corporations, not people.


6. Energy and climate change: Conventional agriculture is highly energy intensive and the food chain is oil dependent at every stage, including processing, refrigeration and transport and distribution. A system dependent on high energy inputs contributes to climate change, exacerbating the vulnerability of agriculture globally. It is therefore necessary to halt any further centralisation of the food chain, and instead to reduce the energy dependency of the food system through more sustainable and localised, smaller-scale production.


7. Certain elements of the food system have high climate change impacts, notably meat and dairy production and consumption. Globally, livestock accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), from methane produced from ruminants, nitrous oxides and land use change[3]. Emissions from agriculture have stabilised within Europe and the UK in the last few years, mainly as a result of reduced fertiliser use. The implementation of the Climate Change Act can also help reduce domestic GHG emissions from food and farming. But with large quantities of feed crops and food now imported from South America, much of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from livestock, have effectively been exported rather than reduced. The impacts of UK food and farming on global deforestation are particularly alarming. A recent study by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research highlighted how levels of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions from food production affect our potential to meet carbon reduction targets elsewhere in the economy. The study found that even if emissions from food production were halved by 2050, and if 70 to 80 per cent of the current forest carbon was preserved, global emissions from other sectors would need to peak by 2015 and then decrease by up to 6.5 per cent a year if there was to be any chance of avoiding dangerous climate change by limiting the temperature rise to 2˚C.


8. Land Use: The UK requires a huge amount of overseas land to meet our consumption demands. The UK livestock sector for example is dependent upon imports of soy protein from South America for animal feeds. The conversion of forest and grassland to cropland is leading to devastating biodiversity loss, particularly in the Amazon region, the Brazilian cerrado, and the Atlantic Forest, and is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. The UK is currently using 1.4 Million hectares of land in South America to produce soy primarily for use in livestock feed. This is contributing to food insecurity by reducing the production of staple crops in the region and by the displacement of thousands of small food producers. The system is not working for farmers in the UK either. As commodity prices fluctuated, farmers saw the cost of animal feed and other inputs increase. The price of fertiliser increased by 156% in the last year. The cost of chicken feed increased by 80/tonne in the same period. Pig farmers have been hit by volatile feed costs and the UK pork sector seen its market share shrink.


9. Global inequity and trade injustice: Although we produce enough food to feed the global population, one billion people now go hungry. International trade policies have allowed large transnational corporations to enter Southern countries and force small scale, local farmers out of business and off their land.  Impoverished people around the world rely on their small, local farms but local producers and subsistence farmers are being replaced by export-oriented large-scale agriculture, turning food into a commodity to be speculated on and from which to make a profit. Current agricultural trade policies, which look to open up agricultural markets and increase free trade in agricultural products, will exacerbate the current problems. The 'dumping' of highly subsidised products on developing country markets combined with disinvestment by Governments in agriculture following liberalisation policies has undermined global agriculture systems for decades. Agricultural trade liberalisation has also encouraged developing countries to focus on export oriented agriculture feeding western markets rather than themselves. In addition to exporting environmental impacts, this system also ensures that the UK uses more than its fair share of global natural resources. Despite this the UK continues to focus on promoting imports as a means to achieve food security. Possibly the biggest impact for small-scale producers across the globe would be the promotion of trade policies that protect their local and regional markets without fear of dumping of subsidised imports, and which allow the maintenance of strategic grain reserves. The forced trade liberalisation policies of the past have no place in a future food system that puts people and the environment first.


10. Corporate control of the food system: Much of the global food system, from seed and fertiliser supply to trade and retail, is in the hands of a few large corporations who are not providing short or long-term stability in food production and supply. The price volatility resulting from increased corporate control of food trade is hugely damaging to farmers' incomes. Corporations must be made accountable by national law for the impacts of their operations and must be legally obliged to pay a fair price for farm goods. Governments must also shift their funding away from research and development of technologies and products which help to meet corporate demands for cheap raw materials. Instead they should use the funds to research modern, sustainable, low impact farming technologies.


11. Self-sufficiency: Whilst the UK currently has self-sufficiency levels of approaching 60%, this is in long-term decline with reliance on imports making the UK more susceptible to disruptions. High self sufficiency in food must be a central plank of a food security policy for the UK.


12. Fairness in supply chains: The low prices paid to farmers undermines their ability to produce sustainably. Consolidation of the grocery market has given the supermarkets considerable buyer power and farmers' share of a basket of food staples has fallen by 23% between 1988 and 2006[4].


13. Throughout the Competition Commission's recent inquiry into the grocery market, farmer organisations and civil society groups provided evidence of the unfair terms of trade and abuse of buyer power by supermarkets[5]. As the Competition Commission concluded, supermarkets' supply chain practices harm suppliers and have an adverse effect on competition.


14. To achieve a more secure and sustainable food system we need fairer trade across the whole supply chain. Government has a role in ensuring farmers are receiving fair prices for their produce and must support the Competition Commission's recommendation for an independent supermarket Ombudsman.


15. A diverse retail sector is also in the interests of UK consumers and to ensure food access. Small shops and street markets are vital for low income groups and those with limited mobility, such as the elderly. Government must introduce strong town centre planning policy with a qualified presumption against out of town development and support for diverse forms of retail.


16. Workforce: Despite more positive trends in the organic sector, the farming industry as a whole is experiencing unwelcome demographic change, with an ageing population and a net loss of workers. Accompanying the decline in the workforce is a loss of skills and traditional knowledge that must be reversed.



How well placed is the UK to make the most of its opportunities in responding to the challenge of increasing global food production by 50% by 2030 and doubling it by 2050, while ensuring that such production is sustainable? 


17. It is concerning that much of the policy debate is centred on the drive to increase production, without addressing inequitable consumption globally. The perverse consequences of the modern food system are illustrated by the fact that the number of people suffering from malnutrition is now roughly equal to the number of obese. Food distribution, infrastructure, access and justice must be addressed urgently.


18. Friends of the Earth believes that a secure and sustainable food system will not result from further intensification of agriculture, but by assessing land use needs and ensuring an appropriate farming mix. The UK's policy objective for a robust UK food system can be met by building domestic markets for farming, rather than pursuing a narrow focus on competitiveness in global markets. There is also a moral obligation, as part of a wider global food security strategy, to strengthen our own food production base, including the production of protein for livestock.


19. The UK's international development policy must support countries' food sovereignty, promoting their right to enough nutritious, ecologically produced and culturally appropriate food.



In particular, what are the challenges the UK faces in relation to the following aspects of the supply side of the food system:


20. Due to our increasing reliance on imports, the challenges of UK consumption are global. Our impacts on soil quality, water resources, greenhouse gas emissions, rural communities and biodiversity are felt across the world.


- soil quality


21. Intensification of agriculture has led to soil degradation including erosion and nutrient depletion. Soy production overseas for animal feed for intensive livestock depletes soil's nutrients and requires ever-increasing amounts of fertiliser to compensate. Conversely, extensively grazed livestock, for example in the Uplands, brings biodiversity and landscape benefits and maintains soil carbon sinks.


22. The demands of the modern food system are leading directly to ecosystem degradation, threatening our ability to grow food. Due to lack of government support and development, organic and other ecological systems, including rotations, mixed farming and low-input systems, remain a niche. There is a clear need for more government support.


23. Protecting soil quality can also have a major impact in preventing dangerous climate change. The UK, for example, has been losing 13 million tonnes of carbon from its soils each year for the past 25 years. Inappropriate agricultural practices accelerate water and wind erosion and the decline in organic matter, leading to a loss of soil fertility. Too many animals grazing in a given area and inappropriate use of heavy machinery make the soil too compact. It is estimated that the cost of soil degradation in the EU is around EUR 38 billion each year. Preventing soil erosion should be an important aspect of maintaining Good Agriculture and Environmental Condition under Cross Compliance, and a target of soil protection options under Environmental Stewardship.


- water availability


24. Embedded water is a major sustainability issue for the food system. UK consumption places stress on water resources globally, particularly through livestock and the unseasonal consumption of fresh produce from water-stressed areas.


25. Globally, agriculture is by far the biggest user of water, accounting for 70% of global water use[6]. Large-scale irrigated agriculture can cause depletion of groundwater, high salinity, and water and soil contamination by pesticides and fertilisers. Intensive livestock production is particularly inefficient in its use of water, with, for example, six litres of water required for one kilo-calorie of beef[7]. Animal feed production is also dependent upon irrigation to boost yields, with the FAO estimating that 7% of global human water use going into growing feed crops for livestock. The UK uses 1.43 billion cubic metres of Brazilian water a year through imported soy[8].


- the marine environment 


26. Three-quarters of the world's fish stocks are fully or over-exploited[9]. The UK's seas are dangerously overfished and fish stocks are declining. North Sea spawning populations of cod, herring, halibut and whiting are at all-time historic lows, and if we continue to fish for them at unsustainable rates of harvest they will very likely cease to be available for food. The Marine Bill must incorporate sustainable harvesting levels.


- the science base


27. Defra must increase public funding, or redirect existing funds, such as those destined for genetically modified crops, for research into modern sustainable farming systems which use lower levels of livestock and inputs and which maximise the potential for mixed farming.


28. Defra invests a very small proportion of its total available funding for research and development into sustainable agriculture. In 2007, the Government spent 50 million on agricultural biotechnology research, including GM, with just 2 million going directly to organic research, despite the benefits of organic farming recognised by Defra.[10]


29. Friends of the Earth believes that GM crops do not address hunger or poverty, and instead risk diverting resources away from food for the hungriest and exacerbating the problems brought about by intensive agriculture. Contrary to claims by the GM industry, the recent International Assessment of Agriculture for Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), endorsed by 58 countries including the UK revealed that there was no conclusive evidence that GM crops have increased yields.[11] Instead crops have been modified to be resistant to insect pests and tolerant to herbicides, resulting in a dramatic increase in the use of chemicals to deal with the weeds that develop resistance to the chemicals over time.[12] GM crops have been used for more intensive production methods by big companies, mainly to produce animal feed, at the expense of local farmers and the natural environment. All GM crops also need expensive inputs, like oil-based, climate-damaging fertilisers and chemical sprays and further entrench the intensive model of farming. GM seeds usually cost more than non-GM, and as they are patented by multinational chemical companies, seeds cannot be saved by poor farmers to use in future years. This makes GM a high risk technology to pursue for small farmers worldwide.


30. Friends of the Earth believes the UK Government must stop pushing for weakening of EU legislation on GM and the cultivation of GM crops in the UK. Internationally, the UK Government must stop pushing GM as a new green revolution 'solution' on poor countries such as in Africa.


31. All funding for agricultural science and technology research from the UK Government must be directed at research fully in line with the findings of the IAASTD. IAASTD concluded that public funds should be directed towards agro-ecological research combined with traditional knowledge. Funding currently directed towards large-scale industrial monocultures via the World Bank and other international financial institutions should be redirected towards smaller-scale sustainable agriculture that stimulates rural development and local markets.


32. In the UK, research is urgently needed to investigate changes to livestock breeds, alternative home-grown feeds to soy, and cropping systems.


33. To facilitate this research and to provide an appropriate and well-funded institutional setting, the government should set up a Sustainable Agricultural Research Council. Organic mixed farming systems in the UK provide a valuable research base, having benefited from a considerable period of investment in breeding, cropping and input testing to maximise outputs whilst minimising impacts[13].


34. Public funds must also be spent on social research to identify ways to change lifestyles and behaviours including helping consumers choose diets containing lower levels of livestock products.


- the provision of training


35. As noted earlier, the UK is suffering from a declining and ageing farming workforce. It is therefore important to retain traditional knowledge and ensure appropriate knowledge transfer.


36. Farmers also need training in adapting to climate change and managing land sustainably. Priorities for training are to improve the sustainability of agriculture through promotion of biodiversity, low input farming, mixed farming systems, and greenhouse gas management on farm and through feeds and inputs.


- trade barriers


37. Global trade, finance and investment policies have driven the globalisation and intensification of the food system, undermining food sovereignty and creating social injustice and environmental degradation.


38. The prioritisation of global markets over local food markets has exposed farmers all over the world to high volatility in commodity prices, to cheap imports from highly subsidised western industrial farming and has therefore undermined the production of staple food crops. The focus on producing commodity crops for export markets disrupts peoples' access to sufficient, nutritional food and diverts resources away from developing local markets for small scale agriculture.


39. Friends of the Earth believes the export-led model of development is deeply flawed. Developing countries have been encouraged to rely on export-led production largely to feed high levels of consumption in the industrialised countries at the expense of local food sufficiency, leaving them vulnerable to sudden changes in price. Many food and feed exporting countries did not benefit from the recent high prices because they have become dependent on expensive imported food to feed their own population. They have also been forced to open up their markets to cheap highly subsidised food from the EU and US and dismantle buffer stocks.


40. Pursuing agricultural trade liberalisation will further increase countries' dependence on food imports instead of encouraging governments to increase domestic production and rebuild local food systems. Governments need to have a range of tools at their disposal to build resilient food and agricultural systems that are ready for the challenges that lie ahead, in particular the challenge of dealing with the impacts of climate change. This means policies which increase national food sovereignty, encourage local investment in local markets, support sustainable small-scale farming, safeguard local production from dumping, implement genuine agrarian reform, and allow trade instruments such as quotas and tariffs.


41. Friends of the Earth strongly urges the UK government to not encourage countries into a one size fits all solutions or to open up their agricultural sectors but to allow them to put in place food policies that are appropriate to their national context.


42. We also believe that international trade rules can no longer ignore the distorting levels of market power held by a few transnational companies in global commodity and food markets. The ability of corporates in the food chain to make record profits in the midst of a global crisis while food producers and consumers suffer, is indicative of the monopoly control and power that they have been given in the current model of globalised agriculture.


43. The Blair House limits on oilseed production have driven Europe's reliance on imported animal feeds.


- the way in which land is farmed and managed


44. Food production is at the heart of sustainable land use, yet as farming has become increasingly mechanised and intensive, the overall environmental effect has been negative.


45. The external environmental and health costs of agriculture in the UK are estimated to be approximately 1.5 billion per year, including 150 million from losses of biodiversity and landscape value[14]. Government policy must be directed towards enabling a net positive environmental benefit from farming, promoting sustainable small-scale farming and appropriate land use which supports upland livestock, organic and other systems.


46. Inappropriate livestock production is a major cause of environmental problems. As the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded, 'intensified livestock production poses serious waste problems and puts increased pressure on cultivated systems to provide feed inputs, with consequent increased demand for water and nitrogen fertilizer." [15]


47. Already livestock use two thirds of global arable land, and if present trends of meat-eating continue, then by 2050 the world's livestock will be consuming as much as 4 billion people do. [16] Demand for livestock products puts pressure on land to produce grain and protein feeds, mostly soy. At present the EU is the world's largest importer of soymeal and the second largest importer of soybeans in the world[17]. The UK is a large poultry producer and consumer in Europe, also consuming vast quantities of soy for animal feed for poultry and other livestock sectors. [18]


48. Almost 90% of soy imported into the EU comes from South America where it is a serious threat to natural habitats, livelihoods, diversity and local food production. Between 2004 and 2005 approximately 1.2 million hectares of rainforest were felled as a result of soy plantations largely for export to meet European demand for animal feed and increasingly biofuels. This has resulted in food insecurity, rising global prices and demand. It is also responsible for causing significant greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource depletion threatening future food production.[19] [20]


49. A Joint Nature Conservation Committee study in 2006 has indicated that UK consumption of soy has a significant impact on areas of high biodiversity in South America. Since then, UK imports of soy from South America have increased.[21]


50. In the short term, one of the major threats to global food security comes from the diversion of food crops to fuel production, driven in a large part by US and EU policies and subsidy programmes. Biofuels have been identified by the World Bank, IMF and several international institutions as a key cause of the food crisis by increasing demand for crops such as grain and corn and increasing competition between food and fuel[22]. Intensive biofuel production also destroys the livelihoods of small scale farmers and production of local staple food crops, threatening national food security.


51. The UK Government's Gallagher Review into the indirect impacts of biofuels confirmed that 'biofuels contribute to rising food prices that adversely affect the poorest"[23]. Land use must focus on food production not biofuels, but the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation and EU targets will further direct land from food.


52. Where the money goes in the food system is key. The UK position on the Common Agriculture Policy fails to address the fundamental imbalances in the food system. European and UK farming still maintains high levels of support and yet fails to deliver sustainable agriculture, maintain farm incomes or food security. Decoupling of subsidies from production will have some benefits in reducing intensive farming systems but with largest payments still going to the largest farms the UK is continuing to promote large commodity, resource intensive farming supplemented by increased global trade. Past CAP measures have encouraged farm intensification and specialisation which requires investment e.g. in livestock or cereals. Because these systems are not going to be changed quickly, the CAP must incentivise sustainable farming with new measures. High levels of support and protections through tariffs also still affect production decisions, which will inevitably maintain overproduction. The food industry - sugar processing and dairy - still benefit from considerable support in the current CAP which promotes export dumping, and corporate control over the food system.



What trends are likely to emerge on the demand side of the food system in the UK, in terms of consumer taste and habits, and what will be their main effect?  What use could be made of local food networks?


53. Global meat consumption is predicted to double by 2050, but there is simply not enough land or natural resources to sustain this level. Rather than pursue policies to intensify production to meet this predicted demand, policy must instead aim to bring consumption in line with sustainable levels of production.


54. In the UK, poultry consumption has increased because consumers have been sold questionable claims of its health benefits in comparison to red meat. There are negative implications for the environment of this increase, particularly through our reliance on imported soy feed ingredients.


55. Emerging economies have come under scrutiny for their role in the food crisis. Specifically, rising incomes have been linked to increased demand for meat and dairy from China and India. Although demand of animal products from developing countries as a whole is expected to increase significantly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) projects per capita demand for meat products from developing countries to be 38kg per year, whilst for industrialised countries it will be 100 kg per year[24]. The EU and US have historically been consuming many times the level of developing countries.


56. Despite the steady erosion of local food infrastructure resulting from the drive to centralise, there has been a growth in interest in local food, with local food networks flourishing through the transition town movement, farmers' markets and local food growing initiatives. Government must encourage and nurture local food systems, including feed producers, abattoirs, and markets. More support must be directed towards local food networks because of the wider benefits they bring, including supporting local economies and cutting down on transport. There is an important role for public procurement in supporting local food networks.



What role should Defra play both in ensuring that the strengths of the UK food system are maintained and in addressing the weaknesses that have been identified?  What leadership and assistance should Defra provide to the food industry?


57. Friends of the Earth believes that the UK has a major role to play in ensuring global food security by urgently addressing the UK's use of commodities and global land area.


58. Government must commit to a strong joined-up food and farming policy, with environmental sustainability and social justice at its core. The IAASTD findings must be at the heart of policy on food production and agriculture in the UK and development aid spend. Smaller-scale, more diverse systems must be encouraged, diverting public funds away from intensive, export-led production through the CAP review and other agricultural policy.


59. Defra must take the lead and implement strong policies to improve the sustainability of the food system. Voluntary initiatives are not enough. Government must use its regulatory, fiscal and spending powers to revolutionise the food system to deliver food security and environmental sustainability.



How well does Defra engage with other relevant departments across Government, and with European and international bodies, on food policy and the regulatory framework for the food supply chain?   Is there a coherent cross-Government food strategy? 


60. Current cross-Government engagement on food policy is very weak. There is little high-level recognition of the food system's impacts on critical issues such as climate change, biodiversity, public health and inequality, and no high-level endorsement or engagement with the Food Matters-initiated strategy for a sustainable food system. Food Matters, published by the Cabinet Office in 2008 and hailed as an integrated food policy, was an attempt to develop a coherent cross-Government food strategy. But by focusing mainly on health and climate change it failed to address the sustainability of the food system in its entirety. Although the Strategy Unit's initial analysis of food issues recognised the negative social and environmental impacts of the current system, Food Matters failed to follow through with concrete actions to address the identified impacts and make UK consumption sustainable.


61. Defra must work with all departments whose remit has an impact on the food system, including BERR on competition in the grocery sector and to address buyer power; CLG on supporting town centres and retail diversity, and stopping growth in out-of-town stores; DFID on sustainable agriculture and developing domestic and regional infrastructure and markets in developing countries; and the FSA on its advice and labelling responsibilities.


62. The UK Government supported the IAASTD research and signed onto its recommendations. However, it continues to promote free trade and investments in agricultural biotechnology and more intensive farming as solutions to the global food crisis. It also supports undemocratic institutions such as the new 'Global Partnership' for food security involving the G8 and agribusiness and excluding developing countries or small farmers' organisations.



What criteria should Defra use to monitor how well the UK is doing in responding to the challenge of doubling global food production by 2050 while ensuring that such production is sustainable?


63. The UK requires a huge amount of overseas land to sustain our own consumption. Defra must measure and reduce the UK's impact on global land use, particularly through our use of animal feeds.


64. The strategy for addressing UK food security and sustainability must not result in exporting problems elsewhere nor undermine developing countries' ability to grow food for their own populations. As the livestock system is a 'hotspot' due to its impacts on the environment, land use and global food security, specific indicators should be developed to measure and reduce its impact, for example a target for domestic production of feeds.


65. As outlined previously, Friends of the Earth does not believe we will achieve global food security by further intensification of agriculture, but by supporting small-scale production, food sovereignty and agro-ecological systems. To monitor the sustainability of the food system, we recommend the following criteria:


Global impacts of UK consumption and production patterns.

Climate change: greenhouse gas emissions from UK consumption, including from overseas land use change.

Biodiversity and ecosystem services: health of ecosystems and natural resources including water and soils.

Diversity of seeds, genetic pool.

Fairness in supply chains and prices for food producers that enable them to earn a livelihood and invest in long term sustainability of agriculture, for example an indicator on farm-gate share of retail prices.

Diet and food-related nutrition and health, including links between income levels and occurrence of diet-related ill-health, and the number of people worldwide achieving the recommended WHO diet.

Equity and access to food, not just global availability and production.

Global environmental and social impacts of UK food companies.


February 2009


[1] Defra, 2007, Food Statistics Pocketbook

[2] Soil Association, 2006, Organic Works

[3] FAO. 2006, Livestock's Long Shadow

[4] Defra, 2007, Food Statistics Pocketbook

[5] Competition Commission, 2008, Final report groceries market inquiry

[6] UNEP, 2000, Global environmental outlook

[7] Waterwise, 2007, Hidden waters

[8] WWF, 2008, UK Water footprint

[9] FAO, 2005, Review of the State of the World's Fisheries

[10] Friends of the Earth, 2007, Planting Prejudice

[11] International Assessment of Agriculture for Science, Technology and Development (IAASTD), 2008

[12] Friends of the Earth International, 2008, Who benefits from GM crops?

[13] Friends of the Earth, 2001, Get real about food and farming

[14] Pretty J, Ball A, Lang T, Morrison J, 2005, Farm costs and food miles: an assessment of the full cost of the UK weekly food basket

[15] Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005, Volume 1: Current State & Trends

[16] Colin Tudge, zoologist, author of 'So Shall We Reap' (Penguin 2003)

[17] Friends of the Earth, 2008, What's feeding our food?

[18] Table 5.16 Poultry and poultry meat: United Kingdom, UK National Statistics, 27 March 2008.

[19] AIDEnvironment, 2007, Commodity chains, poverty and biodiversity: the case of soy and chicken meat

[20] Journal of Environment & Development, 2007, Biodiversity and Socioeconomic Impacts of Selected Agro-Commodity production systems

[21] Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2006, Global Biodiversity Database Protocol Development - Commodity Linkages

[22] For example, the IMF estimates that last year biofuels accounted for almost half of the increase in demand for major food crops. The OECD has estimated that between 2005 and 2007, almost 60 per cent of the increase in consumption of cereals and vegetable oils was due to biofuels. The World Bank attributes sixty five cent of price increases to biofuels, suggesting biofuels have endangered the livelihoods of nearly 100 million people and dragged over 30 million into poverty.

[23] Department for Transport, 2008, Review of the Indirect Effects of Biofuels

[24] See: