OVER 2013, we saw much debate around sustainable diets and consumption. Defra’s Green food Project and the IGD were both working to ascertain what a sustainable diet may look like. This was not just in the UK but across the rest of Europe also, shown in the work of the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Roundtable which continues with the pilot testing of environmental protocols for different food products.
The European Commission also launched a consultation on ‘sustainable food’ and will produce legislative proposals early in 2014. On top of this there has been increased awareness of the importance of economic sustainability in particular sustainable pricing mechanisms in the dairy sector as well as increased attention towards environmental sustainability in retail waste.
What’s clear is that sustainability in all its guises, financial, social and environmental is far from defined. And tactics to deal with the issues which demonise particular product groups ,or progressing with choice editing policies will not address many of the complex concerns.
I see the debate around food waste, sustainable diets and consumption becoming more prolific in 2014, as the supply chain, with the backdrop of increasing consumer scrutiny and volatility, faces the challenges of needing to produce more, while impacting less.