The Great Food Debate
The NFWI has launched a project on food security, a pressing issue as the world grapples with multiple threats to agriculture and food supply. From climate change causing frequent floods and drought and a worldwide population heading towards 9 billion by 2050, to war and civil unrest, there is an urgent need to take action to ensure safe, sustainable and nutritious food supplies. Now you can get involved by joining the debate.
The concept of food security has long been at the heart of the WI. Helping to feed a war-torn nation was central to the early activities of the growing WI movement in Britain during Second World War.
Today, the battle is being fought on a different front. As fast-developing countries grow wealthier and their populations continue to expand, demand will grow ever-more pressing. Combined with more frequent extreme weather such as drought and floods, there are already signs that food shortages are becoming a very real issue. The impact can be severe: the recent civil unrest in the Middle East has been linked to increases in food prices, and rainforests are being cleared at a spectacular rate to make way for crops, leading to further climate chaos. Domestically, the number of people turning to food banks for assistance has doubled in the last year, while a survey by Which? magazine showed that British consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain a healthy diet, as the price of fresh produce continues to rise.
Current discussion appears to be heavily polarised around the concept of 'sustainable intensification' – effectively using GM crops and large scale intensive farms to increase yields and productivity. Whilst this will necessarily inform part of the debate, what other issues should be explored? Considering ways to cut down on food waste, ensuring we have the right policy environment for agriculture to flourish and confronting consumer attitudes to food and sustainability are just a few of the issues that the NFWI believes warrant further exploration. Yet despite recognition of the importance of public discussion and understanding of these issues, many of the conversations that are required have yet to get started.
Join the debate
That is why the NFWI has launched the WI Great Food Debate.
Food for Thought: Global and National Challenges of Food Security has been produced for the NFWI by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
During 2013 WI members have been invited to hold a nation-wide series of debates that will help get to the crux of some of the questions the global food system faces and build understanding about the role that we all can play.
Contact the NFWI on 020 7371 9300 ext 212 or by email to email@example.com to find out more.
Contact the NFWI
- Phone: 020 7371 9300
- Open hours: 9am–5pm Mon–Fri
- Address: 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY
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