Feedback – Fighting for a Sustainable Food System

We walk into supermarkets and see endless rows of colourful shelves stacked with products from hundreds of different countries. We have an enormous amount of choice, but this illusion of abundance creates an enormous amount of waste.

One of the aims of the CEE Bill is to hold the UK government accountable for emissions and damage to nature resulting throughout our supply chains, in the UK and globally, in the fight to limit global warming to 1.5℃ and reverse the decline of the natural world. Feedback, one of the latest organisations to join our list of allies, also shares this aim, and believes that this cannot be achieved without addressing the damage caused, to the climate and to nature, by the food system.

Our current food system is incredibly wasteful. According to research by the government’s waste reduction agency, Wrap, an estimated 6.7 million tonnes of food is wasted per year in the UK. This totals about £10.2 billion annually – or costs of £250-£400 per household per year.

Not only are there huge financial costs associated with this amount of waste, but there are also enormous environmental impacts too. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Association reported that almost 30% of all available agricultural land on earth is used for food that is left uneaten or eventually wasted. Considering that food production is one of the most environmentally damaging, water-intensive, and polluting human activities, this level of waste has enormous devastating consequences.

Feedback is an organisation that is calling for a stable, sustainable, circular food system. To enable this transformation they ‘challenge power, catalyse action and empower people to achieve positive change’ through a combination of campaigning and advocacy, citizen engagement, and pilot programmes.  Feedback is working to ensure food-related issues are at the very top of UK business and policy agendas – from sustainability to food security. They are an inspiring organisation that continuously challenges the system and exposes systemic issues that lead to the unsustainable utilisation of resources within the food system. For example, creative campaigns such as Total Bull and the Supermarket Waste Scorecard provide informative public resources that expose bogus claims and greenwashing. The brilliant Gleaning Network shows people how to rescue wonky, surplus fruit and veg from farms, where it would otherwise be wasted.

Despite being a relatively young organisation (founded in 2013) Feedback has succeeded in securing some major victories in challenging the way we view and engage with our current food system. For example, they have succeeded in improving supermarket practices associated with food waste; catalysing public action on food waste has impressively led to the CEO of Tesco calling for mandatory food waste reporting. They have also launched two impactful reports (It’s big livestock versus the planet & Butchering the planet) that challenge the power of large industrial meat and dairy companies, working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to expose sources of public sector funding behind these industries.

We asked Feedback why they are supporting the CEE Bill:

“Feedback supports the CEE bill as we are in the decisive decade for climate action,  there can be no more delays- we need real action now. A recent report by the UN highlighted that the food system accounts for over one-third of all global greenhouse gas emissions. To put it plainly, even if every other sector of the economy decarbonised, without addressing the climate damage caused by the food system, we cannot meet climate goals to remain below 1.5°C of warming.”

You can find out more about the work Feedback is doing here.

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