Our monthly round-up of news from around the web; useful resources; funding updates; actions to take and interesting publications to read.


The anonymity of fresh food The provenance of food is important to people, but is it actually possible to know where our supermarket produce comes from?
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How to make leaf mould It’s free! and the source materials are in bountiful supply right now…

Agriculture is linked to soils and natural processes, but this provides little guidance on what sustainable agriculture should be What is sustainable agriculture? Many implicitly assume that it somehow has to do with a ‘natural’ environment wherein production takes place, with close linkages to soils and ecosystems. But why should this be so?
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DEFRA refuses to publish food prices report The UK’s largest union has accused the government of suppressing a report on the impact of Brexit on food prices. READ MORE
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Bake What We Knead: Solving the Problem of Excess Bread What should be done about the extra bread flooding our markets and soup kitchens?
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Eating the land that feeds you. Urbanisation is taking place at a fast rate at the expense of agricultural land. However, given that there is so much agricultural land globally and that cities are taking only a fraction of it, is this really an issue?

Should we be reliant on cheap foreign labour to work on our farms, or is there a better way to feed ourselves?
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Industrial food and farming systems are making people sick in a variety of ways, and are generating staggering human and economic costs – according to a major new report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) – Unravelling the food-health nexus: Addressing practices, political economy, and power relations to build healthier food systems.

So we need to work on food… but where should we start? London, Belo Horizonte, Detroit, Amsterdam, Nairobi… some cities around the world have pioneered local food action. Here is an overview of key advice for any city willing to embark on a food policy provided by Jess Halliday, the author of these works.

Spatial Planning for Health: An evidence resource for planning and designing healthier places Public Health England have published a study evidencing the impact of improving the general population’s access to healthy food and food growing spaces on a range of health outcomes. This comes as recent updates to the National Planning Policy Framework encourage planners to create healthier food environments. SUMMARY

Insight issue 6: Paris-compliant healthy food systems. This issue outlines the need for a food system that supports both health and the Paris climate agreement, exploring impacts of food production and consumption as well as potential interventions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions across the system.

Grazed and confused. Ruminating on cattle, grazing systems, methane, nitrous oxide, the soil carbon sequestration question – and what it all means for greenhouse gas emissions.


There is a new Innovate UK funding opportunity to stimulate Innovation in health and life sciences, relating to food productivity, quality and sustainability which opened on 2 October and closes 6 December.   A small business can apply for up to 70% of eligible costs for feasibility studies,  p to £100K on their own – or over £100K if working with at least one other organisation. Projects must show significant innovation in one of their priority areas inc. Improving Food quality and sustainability e.g authenticity and traceability, enhanced nutritional value, food safety, modern methods of food manufacturing, new and smarter ingredient, protein development, smarter packaging. Another of the priorities is around increasing agricultural productivity. https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/58/overview