Sustainable food and agriculture


Sustainable food and agriculture

17 March 2022 - Deforestation, climate change and consumption

Forests are receding, tropical forests have become climatic time bombs, and consumption in rich countries, China and India, are causing deforestation in tropical areas. [read]

Fisheries: can the world face a growing demand for fish while stocks are being depleted

and environmental degradation accelerates?

Rapid growth, central role of aquaculture, industrialisation of capture fisheries, impact of water pollution and climate change, are among the main features of the sector. [read]

Protecting biodiversity: beautiful pictures concealing a reality made of violence and ineffectiveness

If protection of biodiversity continues as is, the planet will progressively become a place where protected enclaves will coexist with a biologically impoverished environment less and less able to ensure the survival of humanity. [read]

Water resources: water stress and pollution

The accelerating expansion of areas under water stress in the world and the degradation of water quality due to human activities, threaten the sustainability of production of our food. [read]

20 January 2022 - A new study shows the widespread contamination of the French by glyphosate

Glyphosate was detected in 99.8% of tested people, and measured in urine with a mean of 1.19 ng/ml. [read]


16 October 2021 - Public support to agriculture has been promoting unhealthy and polluting products and generating more inequality in the world

A transition to more sustainable food systems (economically, socially and environmentally) will require a total reengineering of current support policies [read]

25 July 2021 - Sustainable Food Systems <=> Sustainable Diets

A Special Issue of the International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food explores how social sciences can contribute to the complex endeavour of changing consumption habits as part and parcel of transforming the food system. [read]

27 June 2021 - In France, the debate on the future of food and agriculture just scratches the surface

A faulty law illustrates the blindess of stakeholders, incapable to go beyond the signals of the market and agree on crucial decisions. [read]

30 March 2021 - Responsible businesses or greenwashing? The certification industry in support of multinationals

More rigorous laws and certification processes might allow consumers to identify companies and products that respect satisfactory social, environmental and health norms. [read]

14 March 2021 - Urban Expansion and Agricultural Land. Should we agree to sacrifice workers’ gardens in Aubervilliers on the altar of the 2024 Paris Olympics?

At global level, it is expected that the equivalent of three times the total area of land used for agriculture in the UK will have been sacrificed by 2030. [read]

8 March 2021 - The European Union’s challenging but imperative green transition

Despite the Green Deal for Europe launched in December 2019, indicators show that EU’s food and agriculture are not on track for successful food and climatic transitions.  [read]

11 February 2021 - COVID-19: Is agriculture the main culprit?

Expansion of agriculture has a large role in the emergence of pathogens, but deforestation alone is not enough to cause a pandemic. [read]

10 January 2021 - Mexico, first Latin American country to ban GMO maize and glyphosate

A ban that represents a real challenge for the country, because of its many implications. [read]

9 January 2021 - Every year, there are 385 million cases of unintentional acute pesticide poisoning, says a PAN study

Pesticide poisoning causes death and may have chronic health consequences (loss of quality of life, loss of well-being, and loss of ability to work).  [read]


24 December 2020 - Asymmetric trade flows create a massive transfer of biophysical resources from poor to rich countries

As money continously accumulates through trade in the hands of the richer countries, so do biophysical resources, to the detriment of the rest of the world and its development potential. [read]

17 December 2020 - WTO: deadlock in the negotiations for reducing subsidies encouraging overfishing

Launched in Doha in 2001, relaunched following the approval of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the negotiations on these subsidies are in a deadlock, while fishing stocks continue being depleted. [read]

10 December 2020 - Sustainable food systems: 2021 may be a turning point for food, … or it may not

Will 2021 be the year when the private sector will take the lead in thinking the future of our food? This would certainly have very serious implications in many respects [read]

24 November 2020 - How could the European Union’s trade policy become a tool for promoting sustainable food systems?

An information note by IPES-Food makes recommendations on elements that could make EU’s trade policy compatible with the promotion of sustainable food systems in the world.  [read]

The real cost of food - Can the market alone guide our food systems towards more sustainability?

Market prices neither reflect the real cost of food nor provide the right signals and incentives to producers and consumers for orienting our food system towards more sustainability. What should be done to fix this? [read

23 September 2020 - Farmers: poisoned lives

Two testimonies demonstrate the difficulties met by new rural dwellers, particularly if they farm differently from local farmers. [read]

6 July 2020 - In France, organic is growing fast

More than 70% of the French consume organic products at least once in a month, food habits change, but local supply has difficulties in meating a growing demand. [read]

21 January 2020 - Pesticides: an issue that poisons our agriculture

In France, the use of pesticides is on the increase. The solution is not in a quest for new and less dangerous molecules, but in an in-depth transformation of agricultural systems and their practices. [read]


26 November 2019 - Turmoil in the world of seeds

Rich and poor countries oppose on the use of agricultural biodiversity. In the absence of an agreement during the Eighth Session of the International Seed Treaty, the plundering of genetic resources may quietly and comfortably continue… [read]

13 November 2019 - Do forgotten crops have a part to play in the transition towards a more sustainable and climate friendly food system?

Over the last century, history of agriculture has been one of impoverishment of the genetic base of food. Recently, there has been a renewed interest for “forgotten crops”. [read]

31 October 2019 - The dangers of a “partial” impact analysis: the example of a study on the impact of a 100% conversion to organic farming in England and Wales

The critical review of this study illustrates how difficult it is to analyse all dimensions of the food transition and how limiting the scope of research impairs the message sent to decision-makers and the public at large. [read]

15 October 2019 - New evidence of widespread human and labour rights violations in our food chains

The “relentless drive to cut costs and maximise profits”, cutthroat competition and the need to offer attractive prices for consumers are the main causes of the intolerable living and working conditions imposed on the multitude of workers producing our food.   [read]

Obstacles to transition - Why is it so difficult to make our food system

more sustainable and climate-friendly?

An analysis of historical, ideological and structural obstacles of a transition towards a more sustainable and climate-friendly food system.  [read]

8 September 2019 - Implementing the ecological transition : the example of Totnes in the United Kingdom.

The small town (8,000 inhabitants) located in Devon has the ambition to be autonomous from the point of view of food and energy by 2030. [read]

13 August 2019 - Ensuring world food security in a changing climate will require us to modify our diet, develop appropriate technologies and implement conducive policies  [read]

13 July 2019 - Being a lobbyist : accept to accuse sustainable agriculture in order to help develop profits of firms that fund you

Mixing freely carefully selected statistical, ideological, scientific and moral arguments to illustrate their point of view in defiance of any rigour, lobbyists promote ideas - and so-called solutions - that are damaging for the future of world food. [read]

11 June 2019 - Protecting our health and environment - Is justice to substitute rules and regulations?

In the face of the inability of Parliaments and Governments to take appropriate measures, consumers and citizens have been obliged to invoke the third power : Justice. [read]

9 June 2019 - Pervasive plastic (Season 2) : in the Mediterranean Sea and in our food

New evidence of pervasiveness and of negative consequences reinforce the need for clearly defined actions. [read]

27 May 2019 - Climate : two complementary approaches for a better understanding of the greenhouse gases issue

These two approaches show that solutions are both in the evolution of production technologies and in more sensible consumption choices. [read]

8 May 2019 - Life plagued by human madness: we must change our paradigms, objectives and values

The decrease of the number of species is accelerating and number of living organisms is regressing even for those species who are not at risk of extinction. These are the consequences of human activities and of the vision humankind has of the world and of the position it believes to hold in it. [read]

4 May 2019 - The United Nations warn us: we must stop plundering natural resources

To double the gross domestic product since 1970 and get billions of people out of poverty, humankind has adopted a devastating and unsustainable development model that is diametrically opposed to the sustainable development path it has committed to follow. [read]

28 April 2019 - Spain: strawberries with a strong taste of sex and pesticides...

Until recently, strawberries produced in Spain were known to have, by lack of taste of fruit, a strong taste of pesticide. We now discover they also have a strong taste of sex... [read]

15 April 2019 - To manage sustainably our water resources, we need to change our food consumption

Did you know that in France people use for their food more than ten times the water utilised for satisfying daily needs for hygiene and sanitation?[read]

5  April 2019 - In the global food system, the “farm-tech revolution” could shift the balance of power to the detriment of the weakest

Increased efficiency, less costs and waste, but also greater concentration of power and accelerated marginalisation of the weakest... [read]

17 March 2019 - Improved and local paddy varieties in South Asia: governments remain deaf to arguments put forward by farmers while biodiversity continues to decrease

For small farmers of the Indian subcontinent, rice is “more than just a bundle of calories and starch”. [read]

6 March 2019 - Côte d’Ivoire decides to work with chocolate majors for a more sustainable management of tropical forests: should we be concerned?

Will the chocolate multinationals put restoration of forest cover above their economic interests? What implications for cocoa producers?  [read]


23 October 2018 - Eating organic food helps to reduce risks of cancer

A scientific study shows that consuming organic food helps to reduce by 25% the risk of cancer; the reduction is 35% for post-menopause breast cancer and 76% for lymphomas. [read]

13 August 2018 - Monsanto case: a result that does not solve the problem and illustrates the perverse nature of the so-called “consumer protection system”

Winning cases is not enough; what is needed is to change the rules and implement them effectively. [read]

11 August 2018 - Fisheries and aquaculture in troubled waters

Despite an outstanding performance of aquaculture, overfishing, environmental impact, as well as serious threats on the quality of products offered to consumers make it that the future of the fisheries and aquaculture sector is uncertain. [read]

7 August 2018 - Pervasive plastic: from food in plastic to plastic in food

For decades, our food has been increasingly contained in plastic; now it is plastic that is pervasively contained in our food… and, consequently, it will soon be more and more present in our body.. [read]

5 August 2018 - The use of pesticides still on the increase in France

Data for 2016-1017 show a growth of 12.4% compared to 2009, while the objective was to reduce the use of pesticides by 50% between 2008 and 2018. [read]

5 May 2018 - Is France world champion of food sustainability?

By obtaining a food sustainability index of 74.8%, France ranks first among the 34 countries for which EIU and BCFN computed this index. But the French food system remains under threat of a series of very worrying processes. [read]

Policies for a transition towards more sustainable and climate friendly food systems

What would a sustainable food system look like? What measures for moving towards more sustainability? Why is the transition to a more sustainable food system so difficult? [read]

25 March 2018 - Is organic agriculture, under pressure from consumers, turning into the central element of the transition from a conventional “chemical” agriculture towards a more sustainable agriculture?

The answer is clearly : yes. [read]


15 October 2017 - Food-Health nexus: priority to public interest, independent research and reshaped power balance are indispensable ingredients for reengineering our food systems and make them healthier

Dominated by private interests, our food systems affect negatively our health, generating severe human and economic costs. [read]

13 July 2017 - Our food system: some reasons for hope…

The strong growth of organic products and of fair trade shows that some positive changes are taking place. [read]

25 April 2017 - To eat more fruits and vegetables is fine. But which ones?

Did you know that in France, apples are treated more than 35 times? [read]

19 March 2017 - Production and use of pesticides: an infringement on the rights to food and health

The alleged reasons that would make pesticides indispensable to ensure world food security are in contradictions with the right to health, considering the numerous health impacts associated to their use. [read]

10 March 2017 - What are the challenges to be met in order to secure a sustainable future for our food system?

Technology, dynamics of food and agricultural value chains and governance deficit are the main factors explaining the crisis of our food system. They determine the challenges to meet in order to secure a sustainable future. [read]


25 September 2016 - The dark side of chocolate: a comparative study of ‘conventional’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘fair trade’ cocoa value chains

The analysis of different types of cocoa value chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Peru shows that the ‘conventional’ value chain has huge hidden social and environmental costs compared to the ‘fair trade’ value chain. [read]

15 April 2016 - The European Union and glyphosate: an illustration of one of the principles that govern our society

The resolution adopted by the European Parliamant on glyphosate illustrates well the principle of ‘privatising profits, socialising costs’ that often govern decisions taken by political leaders. [read]


9 September 2015 - Ecological farming at the center of the food system called for by Greenpeace

A plea for an ecological farming that combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity. [read]

1 July 2015 - In the US, the industrial food and agriculture sector spent hundreds of millions on communication to influence the media, consumers and policy. What about in Europe?


17 June 2015 - A solution to combat climate change: an agriculture that stores carbon in the soil

Regenerative organic agriculture can help store a huge quantity of carbon in the soil while contributing to make agriculture more sustainable and to eradicate hunger. [read]

14 April 2015 - For a more sustainable agriculture : three myths to debunk

Chemical fertiliser use, ploughing and monocropping are practices that are not favourable to sustainable soil fertility. [read]

3 April 2015 - Researchers show that organic agriculture generates more economic value than conventional agriculture

An international team of researchers showed that if you account for the positive externalities it generates, organic agriculture systematically creates more economic value than conventional agriculture. [read]


24 May 2014 - USAID’s Frontiers in Development essay competition submits its essay to USAID’s Frontiers in Development essay competition. Its topic is: Research on sustainable and accessible agricultural technologies for combatting poverty and hunger. [read]

18 March 2014 - Hunger is a political issue: its eradication will require more democracy

Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur of the UN on the right to food, submitted his terminal report to the UN Human Rights Council at the end of his six-year tenure. His diagnosis on the world food situation is uncompromising, and he formulates very relevant recommendations. [read]

8 March 2014 - The large corporations multinational

corporations in charge of our agri-food system...:

upstream corporations

In 2010, multinational corporations weighed more than 25% of world GDP. For agricultural inputs, a handful of companies control the market and promote products which often have an exorbitant environmental and health cost. [read]


20 December 2013 - Promoting climate smart agriculture: why be so shy about policies?

Climate-smart agriculture has become an important subject on the development agenda. But little is said in concrete terms on policies to shift current agriculture towards a more climate-smart one. Why is that so? [read]

26 November 2013 - France: another agriculture is possible

The Afterres2050 report, result of work initiated by Solagro in 2010 shows that it is possible in 2050 France to have a productive and environment-friendly agriculture that can provide a more healthy and sustainable diet to the French. [read]

16 November 2013 - Agriculture and environment: UNCTAD’s wake up call

UNCTAD’s latest Trade and Environment Review 2013 urges world leaders to wake up and take required decisions to shift world agriculture from a traditional ‘‘green revolution’’ approach to one of family farm-based ‘‘ecological intensification’’. [read]

19 September 2013 - The economic and environmental cost of wasting food



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Last update:    March 2022