Sustainable food production and consumption

What we eat, where it comes from and how it is produced are important elements in the creation of a more sustainable society.  Sustainable food production and consumption and food security – an important element of community resilience - are key issues for many people in the Global South and the Global North.

The CSRC’s work in this area includes:

  • Farm diversification; current work on an EU H2020 bid with Wageningen University on the theme of Society Orientated Farming.  (Professor Gerard McElwee)

  • An ESRC bid is being developed along with the Universities of Cardiff, Coventry and Reading to explore how the markets for halal and kosher meat function in the UK. There is a focus on slaughter practice and volume, consumption practices, public acceptability and the standards and certification processes in place. (Dr John Lever)

  • A jointly funded research project between Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield Business School into the future of local food in Kirklees. Since the food crisis of 2007/08, the values of community food enterprise have gained greater prominence alongside the emergence of Urban Food Strategies and Food Policy Councils. It is in this context that attempts to foster new relations between civil society food activists and the local state are being discussed as a way of developing new governance structures capable of scaling up local food production in ways that enhance the sustainability of towns and cities and the health of local populations. (Dr John Lever)

    In the UK, places such as Bristol and Brighton – following the example set by cities such as Toronto and New York – are attempting to reconfigure food policies in line with a range of social issues, including local labour markets, transport, land use planning and economic development. Fostering links between policy makers and community food enterprises is vital if new approaches to sustainable food production that develop local resilience/ and food security are to emerge. It is in this context that Kirklees Council has developed a food charter and strategy that outlines the intention of the council and its partners to transform local food culture.

    This research is intended to assist with this process by improving understanding of how a sustainable food culture can improve health and support the local economy and environment. This approach reflects the approach taken in the Kirklees Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the Economic Strategy and this research is intended to provide evidence for how the current Kirklees food system contributes to the aim of making people and the economy more resilient. The project is nearing completion and a report from the project will be launched in late summer 2015.

  • Global halal and kosher markets and farm animal welfare in food supply chains. Dr John Lever is about to publish a jointly authored book: ‘Halal Matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective’ (2015). He is currently undertaking research for a new book comparing Global Kosher and Halal Markets. To follow John's blog click here: www.jblresearch.org

  • Dr John Lever and Dr Fiona Cheetham are conducting some initial research and consultancy with Kirklees Council on the implementation of www.comoodle.com and new approaches to public service provision focused on collaborative consumption.

  • Research on the tensions and ambiguities surrounding consumption in a number of contexts in the UK in the light of consumerism and contemporary consumer culture.  Current research focuses on the circulation of consumer goods through charitable acts of disposal.  (Dr Fiona Cheetham).