This report discusses the environmental challenges relating to the food system, examining:
- how the production and consumption of food impacts on the environment; and
- the risks and vulnerabilities of the food system to environmental change and social responses (such as policy aiming to reduce environmental impacts)
The report considers: direct impacts of climate change; energy, greenhouse emissions and responses to these; resource constraints such as water, land, oil and agricultural inputs and depleted stocks (eg. fish); biodiversity (ecological and agricultural); waste; and health and nutrition.
The report also discusses strategies and innovations that are being employed to manage environmental risks and reduce impacts (including low-input production methods, changing distribution systems such as farmers' markets, and consumer food choices). It considers the extent of their potential contribution and identifies opportunities for further investigation or support.
This report finds that there are significant and urgent challenges to the security and sustainability of the food system. It also identifies many opportunities for technological and social innovation to reduce exposure to environmental risks and resource constraints.