Sunday, August 12, 2012

A new report says Defra agriculture must change if food prices remain low and maintenance of the environment. But, how? Leo Hickman, with your help, survey. Post your opinion, then e-mail

leo.hickman @

or tweet



Jim Paice, the Minister of Agriculture, today launched a new report entitled The Green Food Project. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and investigating "how the British food system must change to keep food affordable without destroying nature, in a time of rising on the growth of world population ".

The great diversity of voices and organizations - farm groups and food retailers through environmental charitable organizations and academics have contributed to the report. He emphasized that sees its role as encouraging discussion and collaboration, rather than hard solutions. However, he identifies eight key areas that need attention:


Project Green food has done for the first time, convene a group of interested organizations to jointly scope the challenges, and then have a discussion completely open on the food system. We did this in order to reach consensus whenever possible, where there is a clear way forward and where we need to do more work. Based on a number of existing initiatives, valuable, we focused in this report on areas where we must, and I think it's possible, rather than a difference

Our findings relate to a number of issues mainly:. research and technology, exchange of knowledge, of our future workforce, investment, construction of efficient structures, the valuation of environmental services, land management, consumption and waste.

But what are your views? If more food "organic"? If the genetic modification into account? Food subsidies are a help or a hindrance?

citing figures to support your points, please provide a link to the source. I will also invite stakeholders to participate in the debate, too. And later today I'll get back to my own verdict.

10:55: publication
The food industry has an interesting story about the report, saying "Welcome" those that support the "controversial technology" of genetic modification:

The Food and Drink Federation welcomed the idea of ??an "appropriate adult, based on evidence of the conversation." But Andrew Kuyk, director of sustainability, is quick to point out that GM n ' that was one of the technologies considered.


know that the agricultural industry in the UK should play a role in addressing food security here and worldwide. This means that we must produce food, while the much smaller impact on the environment Last year we had a blow to the annual conference of the National Food Plan - . A strategy within government and industry that pushes us beyond the clichés and starts drawing a map of who does what, where and when. The Food Project Green is certainly an important step towards achieving this goal. Not so at the end of the trip, but it is a significant body of work that identifies the key issues to be addressed by government, industry and other stakeholders.

Now we have some clear actions to move forward with. In particular, the report identifies some of the measures to be taken by the community, government scientists and farmers in providing easier inspiration, applied research. It pushes us to think smarter about sharing knowledge. Stimulate investment is essential if Defra is considering how best to support a more competitive economy, the industry strong. One step the government could quickly take is to examine the distribution of capital to create more generous incentives for farmers to invest in new buildings, ponds and sludge stores

But that ' is not only the government. All members of the Green Food will be responsible for their actions. For our part, we pledge to work more closely on skills, new entrants, the competitive environment and delivery.

has been very encouraging throughout this process is how we all, officers, farmers' organizations and environmental groups have been working constructively to address the challenges of increasing production and improve the environment.


Duncan Williamson, director of the program on the computer power of WWF, who was involved with the report, I was sent his response:

Defra convened a diverse group of parties and in no time, get the reports of five sub-groups and a set of recommendations, mainly to other interested parties, although one or two are for government . Even try to address and meat consumption. However, these recommendations tend to be very woolly, and certainly we think WWF should be more specific with a clear action plan.

The problem for me is a part of the structure. Some farm organizations and food manufacturers have said that the UK needs to produce more food, but a moral responsibility, so we can deal with food security. This is not true. This story would have been useful for some very good, but there is little or no for small farmers and the natural world.

good to see that not mentioning the phrase redundant the need to produce food 70% more by 2050. What is good for two reasons. First, it is no longer supported by the evidence - which came from the United Nations Organization for Agriculture and say now that this figure should be a maximum of 60%. Second, it is only possible scenario, and is based on "business as usual. If we tackle all the problems inherent in the food system, such as waste, consumption and distribution, the UN does not really need to produce more food. To be honest, the real figure will be the focus. It would be nice to see this emphasis. There is already enough food to feed 8 billion people, but we are cutting trees at a rate of knots, with the excuse that we need more land to grow food. Producing more will not solve the problem.

is great to see plans and sustainable foods listed, with a clear recommendation for the government to call a group of stakeholders to define the concept (I think nursery WWF report is a good start in this area, too), that is intersectoral, including health and perhaps even development agencies and industry and consumer groups. The Green Report is a good start, but this is just the beginning There are many issues that have been ignored, for example, the role of regulation and in particular the role of the food retail -. but this is an opportunity to gather them into the next phase. now need to see concrete actions and a timetable for them.


a rapid response via Twitter ...

@ @ LeoHickman
fifediet also where I live are amazing.Challenge eat local fruits / veg.Helps local economy / jobs and reductions in CO2 emissions!

- Jamie Brown (@ fishisoff) July 10, 2012

@ @ guardianeco
It's nice to see a systematic review LeoHickman - the debate on the first consultation was extensive (eg, "What is sustainable")

- John Kazer (@ johnkazer) July 10, 2012

LeoHickman case for the use of AD to treat MSW ~ politĂșneles reaction CO2 to grow food with increased volume and digestate photosythesis

- Richard Gurney (@ Tembo11RG) July 10, 2012


Recipe 's time! Nestled in Annex 2 to the subgroup of curry (pdf) is a recipe for "curry":


Sodexo Chief Rodney Mak Wan and Zeiler gave the challenge to produce a curry that reflects the challenges and conclusions of the subgroup "s work. This curry is served at the end of the meeting under- group. Challenges addressed include reducing product salt, fat and milk in the recipe (substituting coconut milk with fresh tomatoes), the substitution of protein sources (for example, by introducing in chickpea flour roti), and reduce reliance on less sustainable products, for example, rice and meat. Comments indicated that the quality and taste of food has not been reduced due to these changes.

And that's what a curry is in the future than it looks:

Chicken Dhansak (serves 5)

200 g of lentils mixed

(green and brown)

500g chicken (white meat, boneless / skinless chicken whole for about 1 kg)
10 black peppercorns

8 teeth

a "piece of Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

a "piece of mace

2 large bay leaves

1 star anise 3 dried red chili

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon Coffee sesame seeds

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

40g fresh coriander leaves
bunch of mint leaves

small ( 20 g)

1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons canola oil

Roasted Chickpeas (serves 6)

125 g of wheat flour 100 g

chickpea flour

1 teaspoon canola oil

150ml of hot water

200g Peas

100 g of chopped fresh tomatoes
250 ml vegetable stock

1 onion chopped

2-3 teaspoons Madras curry powder curry leaves

2 cardamom pods
a new bay leaf 1 star anise

Find best price for : --Council----Ethics----Zeiler----Rodney----Plan----Federation----Drink----Green----food----Defra--


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