Snapshot: UK sustainable food systems in the spotlight

Snapshot: UK sustainable food systems in the spotlight

‘Snapshot: UK sustainable food systems in the spotlight’ is our analysis of the UK’s position in the expanded 2018 FSI. It draws on the latest FSI results to question how the UK is really doing on food sustainability. Our analysis asks, is the UK a global leader on food loss and food waste, sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges? And if not, why not? And how can it rapidly rise up the rankings?

The 2018 FSI ranks the UK 16th out of 28 EU countries on a raft of health, environmental, social and economic indicators relating to food.

On a global scale, the UK came just 24th out of the 67 countries included in this year’s expanded FSI, which includes countries from both the Global North and the Global South.

Despite scoring well in some areas, such as quality of policies to address food loss, compulsory nutrition education and quality of animal welfare regulation, ‘Snapshot’ reveals the UK to be performing badly on issues including over-nourishment; number of people per fast food restaurant; GHG emissions from agriculture; diversification of agriculture; participation rate of youth in farming; and working conditions.

Our analysis shows that there is an urgent need for “bold and integrated food strategy” to address the full range of human health and nutrition, environmental, animal welfare and social justice concerns relevant to food and farming. Any strategy must highlight linkages and interconnections between different plans, so they reinforce each other, instead of simply being a place where separate plans reside.

In short, we call for:

1. The need to develop and implement an integrated food strategy.

2. The need for an outwardlooking approach.

3. The need for an international food sustainability learning exchange.