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30 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
A steering group led by farming minister Jim Paice will be developing initiatives and good practices to improve the sustainability of the UK food chain as part of an ongoing project.
The steering group includes representatives from the National Farmers Union, WWF UK and British Retail Consortium who took part in The Green Food Project study conducted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It looked at how production and consumption in the UK food supply chain must adapt to meet sustainability goals.
The Green Food Project study looked at reducing the environmental impact of five areas: wheat, dairy, bread, curry and the location where food is grown. Its recommendations included using energy efficient toasters to save energy consumed by the bread sector. And for curry, it was suggested British farmers grow herbs and spices locally especially as the climate has changed.
“We are talking about the need for a culture change across the entire food chain and this is the first step in a long-term plan to make that happen,” said Paice. The next stage of the project is to examine how the recommendations of the project can be implemented practically.
The project was set up in response to the government’s foresight report into food security conducted in January 2011. It found food production will need to increase by 70 per cent to meet the needs of an estimated world population of nine billion predicted by 2050. The Green Food Project aims to ensure that the sustainability of the UK food chain is both developed and increased.