Food Justice

Slow Food UK was delighted to see the latest report by the UK’s Food Ethics Council, which, after a year-long investigation, declared that the “sheer scale of unfairness across all aspects of the food system demands urgent attention in its own right”. Food Justice: the report of the Food and Fairness Inquiry, published earlier this month, was immediately praised by Slow Food UK, whose work also focuses on issues of social injustice.

The ethical framework for the report considered equality of outcome (fair shares), equality of opportunity (fair play) and autonomy and voice (fair say). The report highlighted suggestions that would not only constrain but could also improve and direct the three major issues within the UK food system: domestic and global food security, production and environmentally sustainable food consumption, and public health. It also detailed the interconnection of food with the community and environment; illuminating that without fairness, sustainability and health could not be achieved either, a message that Slow Food has understood and promoted since its inception.

Through considering information from food producers to vegetable packers, environmental organizations and public health experts, the report resulted in several vital calls to action for government and business, including new regulations that will stabilize or reduce global food price volatility, and for businesses to “back up their claims to good corporate citizenship by revealing their tax payments as share of turnover for every country they operate in.”

It was proposed that farmers – in particular small-scale producers – should have more say in research. It also affirmed that the third sector and citizens had to share in this role.

Slow Food UK’s CEO, Catherine Gazzoli, asserted the importance of collaboration with other UK food-related organizations to ensure that messages of good, clean and fair food are both robust and united. While food policy played a vital role, she acknowledged that each organization had the potential to attract and gain support from different audiences. Gazzoli personally attended the report’s launch reception to support and congratulate the valuable work of the Food Ethics Council.

“Slow Food is all about the people, the environment and the process of food production. It is a subtle form of activism that really reaches out, while remaining hugely pleasurable and inspiring to all those involved.”

Gazzoli added, “Many of the elements that the report touched on, such as healthy eating, food security and considering a realistic definition of affordable food, connects with the many educational projects that Slow Food UK is undertaking.”

“Through Slow Food’s UK regional network, we intend to involve individuals throughout the key life stages, from “Slow Food Baby” to “The Taste Adventure” and “Slow Food On Campus”, right up to “Slow Food Wisdom”, an initiative that will promote a practical, cross-generational appreciation of food.”

For information:
Slow Food UK
Food Ethics Council

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