Consumer food related behaviours that impact on sustainability

This evidence review, commissioned by DEFRA and undertaken by the consultancy Best Foot Forward, critically assesses and summarises data around two key objectives:

  • What are the ‘hotspots’ (i.e. points of greatest environmental impact) along the food consumer journey?
  • What mechanisms are available and most effective for influencing consumer behaviour at those hotspots?

This evidence review specifically addresses the topic of non-food-specific food-related behaviours. The focus is therefore on behaviours, rather than food-specific dietary choices. Whereas a study into sustainable diets might be concerned with the impacts of ‘dietary’ choice, e.g. meat vs. vegetarian ingredients, this research focuses on the sustainability of the food practice in isolation. It studied the relative (social, environmental and economic) sustainability merits or demerits pertaining to the practice of in-home from scratch meal preparation and the consumption of fast food or pre-prepared ready meals.   

The report outlines suggested routes towards the more detailed development and subsequent delivery of a comprehensive roadmap which might catalyse more sustainable food-related practices. Gaps in evidence where future research should be focused are also highlighted.

The final project report can be downloaded by following this link. The executive summary can be found here.  The DEFRA website provides a short overview of the publication and links here.

Publication
16 Jul 2013
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