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The future of food policy to be discussed at City Food Symposium

The annual event brings together food policy experts from around the world to discuss the key issues

by Nicola Ranson (Communications Officer)

What does food policy look like in the 21st century? How far have we come and what do we need to do differently? How can we involve a more diverse range of voices in the discussion? And how will the implications of recent world events affect how food policy should be done in the future? These issues and more will be the subject of discussion at the upcoming City Food Symposium on Monday 12th December.

The annual event brings together experts from around the world to debate the key questions around food policy. The issues will be explored through a series of presentations and panel sessions and those attending will be asked to contribute their opinions to the conversation.

Good food policy is essential in order to address the many food-related challenges facing the world, from agriculture and hunger to sustainability and nutrition. Since it was established 25 years ago, the Centre for Food Policy has played a key role in changing perceptions about food systems and redefining food policy. A report, showcasing the Centre’s contributions to food policy and setting out the goals for the future will be released on the day and discussed during the event.

The Symposium will hear from speakers from business, academia and civil society, including: Professor Tim Lang (Professor of Food Policy, City); David Barling (Director, Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management, University of Hertfordshire); Kath Dalmeny (Chief Executive, Sustain); Liz Dowler (Emeritus Professor of Food and Social Policy, the University of Warwick); Terry Marsden, Professor, Environmental Policy and Planning, Cardiff University; Aileen Robertson, Professor, Metropolitan University College, Copenhagen; Carlo Cafiero, Director, Voices of the Hungry, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Karen den Hertog, Programme Manager, Amsterdam Healthy Weight Programme, Amsterdam; Cecilia Tacoli, Principal Researcher, Human Settlements, International Institute for Environment and Development; Tom Wakeford, Centre for Agroecoolgy, Water and Resilience, Coventry University; Dee Butterly, Landworkers’ Alliance.

Director of the Centre, Professor Corinna Hawkes said:

Food policy matters, because food affects everyone. The food growing in the fields, the food on our shelves, the food on our plates. Food policy affects the people whose jobs are based on growing, moving, processing, buying and selling food. Food policy affects the environment. It affects (and is affected by) economics, health and culture. Food policy determines who eats what, when, why, where and how.

Professor Hawkes added: “Now is the time to bring even more people into the discussion. The people affected by the global food system’s problems. The people eating, working and living in the food system. The people who most stand to benefit from change. This inclusive people-centred approach will be at the core of the Centre’s work in future years.”

The opening and closing presentations by Professor Tim Lang and Professor Corinna Hawkes will be streamed live from the Symposium from the Centre for Food Policy’s Facebook page along with regular updates of the day also on Twitter at #cityfoodsym. Following the event, a video of the symposium will also be posted online. For more details about the topics that will be discussed at the Symposium, take a look at the article Professor Hawkes wrote for the Conversation.

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