by Paul Milbourne
In the context of growing food poverty, ill-health, ecological breakdown and climate change, Paul Milbourne proposes how a more progressive agri-food policy could be developed in Wales, drawing on Welsh grassroots initiatives and ideas for food-system transformation from beyond our borders.
Food has emerged as a prominent political issue in Wales, and the other countries of the UK, during recent years, with attention given to its connections with health, welfare reform and poverty, the environment and climate change. Hunger has resurfaced as a growing social problem, poor diet and obesity now represent major health challenges, and there is increased recognition of the environmental consequences of farming. Ensuring its citizens have access to a sufficient supply of nutritious food represents a fundamental duty of national governments. Indeed, it is claimed that the way food is approached by the state carries with it broader significance, acting as a litmus test of how citizens, and particularly those from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, are treated. As Tim Lang argues in his recent book, Feeding Britain, ‘how a nation feeds its people, whether it feeds them all to decent standards, whether it applies sound criteria for doing so, and who gains or loses from reform, these are all tests for whether a country is civilised’.1Sign in to read more