Recent trends such as increasing obesity levels and rising food prices have pushed sustainable development and public health promotion squarely onto the policy agenda. Yet action on sustainability and wellbeing is only credible if it also tackles the structural causes of injustice.
Research and innovation in food and farming is crucial if we are going to feed a growing global population in the face of the 'perfect storm' of climate change and resource contraints.
Agriculture has always been at the mercy of financial market activity. Financial practices have exacerbated the volatility endemic in agriculture. Rather than dissipating risks, instead they have served to magnify them.
Over many years food and farming policy has been low down the political agenda. When it does surface - in the form of BSE, Salmonella or 'horsegate' - consumer confidence in our food system is temporarily knocked, the government of the day calls for an independent inquiry, and knee jerk policies are made.