12160746057?profile=RESIZE_710xThe Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is a bicameral body in the UK Parliament. POST has published a note (POSTnote) on measuring sustainable enviroment-food system interactions.

This POSTnote describes environmental impact metrics for food systems, which are complex networks of decision-makers, natural processes and human activities.


  • Food systems are built from the complex activities, interactions and networks of decision-makers, natural processes, human processes and infrastructure. They span all processes and activities involved in food production, processing, packaging, storage, distribution, consumption, and food loss and waste.
  • These systems generate economic and nutrition benefits and interact with the environment in multiple ways.
  • Achieving international and domestic climate change and environmental targets will require transformative change of global and UK food systems.
  • Studies exploring options for reducing environmental impacts suggest that an integrated and coordinated systems approach is needed. This will require sound data, metrics and models to track progress towards transforming food systems. 
  • Metrics on environmental impacts of food across the whole supply chain could incentivise producers and retailers to improve product environmental sustainability. However, there are significant data collection challenges, as well as metric, method and modelling limitations. 
  • The UK Government’s Food Data Transparency Partnership will develop a mandatory methodology for food labels and sustainability claims. A public consultation is planned.

This POSTnote has also been added to the Policy-Guidance-Law section of this website.

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