Sustainable food

Written evidence submitted by Rhiannon Jehu

I work for one of the "big 4" as a shop assistant, as such I see the food processing industry close up day to day. I am writing a short note based on my experiences.

To the question:

* How can the environmental and climate change impacts of the food we choose to eat best be reduced?

1. A premium should be charged for all foods transported by air.

2. Local products should be advantaged in some way. I suggest that taxation could be used on transportation, but not on food, a sort of "fair trade" for local producers. (Of course the concept of local would have to be decided upon)

3. Freight should be encouraged to travel by rail not by trailer.

To the question:

* How can the Government help to deliver healthy food sustainably, whilst also delivering affordable food for all?

1. Encourage people to grow their own food on brown field sites or local areas.

2. Remove the red tape that surrounds allotments.

3. Encourage councils to disperse resources:

1. Collect organic waste.

1.1. Distribute manure and composted organic matter to people who want it.

4. "Waste" and unused brown field land should automatically be put out to "tender" for local organizations to apply to use it for projects so no land is unused. If a council or private organization has done nothing with a brown field site, then, after a certain length of time that land should be put out to tender. A length of time would need to be identified to recognize unused land.

To the question:

* How can consumer’s best be helped to make more sustainable choices about food?

1. Price should reflect environmental impact. Supermarkets should be stopped from doing BOGOF* offers and instead forced to use ½ price etc offers.

2. *(Buy One Get One Free)

3. Loss leaders should be banned – unrealistically low prices.

(Both these offers encourage people to buy more than they need and lead to wastage or excessive consumption.)

To the question:

* Which aspects of the food production and supply chain are presenting the biggest problems for the sustainability of the food industry?

1. Food miles - Food transport is responsible for the UK adding nearly 19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year.

2. Dependence on oil based fertilizers – oil is a finite resource and as such should be used to the minimum.


29 March 2011