The Autumn 2012 edition of Food Ethics magazine investigates power and responsibility in the food system. Five years ago we published a magazine on ‘big retail’, which looked at whether supermarkets and food businesses could go green, healthy and fair. Since then the Groceries Code Adjudicator bill has been introduced in Parliament, progressive businesses have begun mainstreaming sustainable practices and consumers offered more buying choices.
And yet a change in government has seen the nearest thing to a food strategy – Food 2020 – effectively shelved, the Sustainable Development Commission and the Agricultural Wages Board ending up on the bonfire of the quangos, and the Public Health Responsibility Deal asking business to help set the public health agenda.
We asked experts what’s changed in the food system since 2007, and where the power to create sustainable changes in the food system now lies. Dan Crossley (Forum for the Future), Michael Hutchings (a solicitor who has advised the Groceries Market Action Group), Ian Price (Triodos Bank), Catherine Howarth (Fair Pensions), Tom Hind (NFU), Andrew Opie (British Retail Consortium), Andrew George MP, Harriet Lamb (Fairtrade Foundation) and many more offer their insights into power and responsibility in the food system.
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