Our global food system is a story of both abundant success and dismal failure.
On one side booming crop production and year-round consumer choice. The other of failing harvests, hunger and waste. It’s a business model which no self-respecting CEO would tolerate.
I always enjoy a trip to Birmingham. It’s not difficult to imagine what it must have been like when the city was the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution; the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ as it was named, where creativity and innovation were treasured and nurtured. It must have been a fantastically stimulating place to be.
Before Christmas, I made my pledge to become part of WRAP’s #DonationGeneration. Why? Well, as our Love Your Clothes website says, “Did you know that in the UK around 336,000 tonnes of our unwanted clothing gets thrown away every year? And it’s wreaking havoc on our planet”. To illustrate how bad the problem is, I was recently shown an article in a fashion magazine that praised celebrities’ ‘recycled’ clothes. I assumed the clothes had been bought second-hand or repurposed, but was horrified to find out that the magazine simply meant they had been worn more than once!
On the last day of the last decade, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England issued a stark warning to the world. He noted that the financial sector had begun to curb investments in fossil fuels, but far too slowly. He said leading pension fund analysis "is that if you add up the policies of all of the companies out there, they are consistent with warming of 3.7-3.8C”. He made it clear that business as usual is no good, and finance has to up its game. How will it rise to the challenge?
This week – Recycle Week – is always busy for WRAP. This year has been particularly so, as it has coincided with both the publication of the first results of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap in partnership with IGD and the annual Champions 12.3 gathering in New York.
I was watching the commemorations of the first Moon landing recently. I do just about remember watching the actual thing, although I was very small then. Those pictures of the earth from space remind me of what an amazing planet we have. It still blows my mind that it is only our planet that has allowed life to flourish and evolve into the wonderful biosphere that we have. Billions of years of evolution; millions of plant and animal species. All depending on each other in a carefully balanced eco-system. The pictures of the rugged moon with no life make the contrast even stronger.