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Hasn’t the time come for some brave new thinking on food management?

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The Humanitarian Centre warmly invites you to a lecture given by

Dr Andrew MacMillan, former Director of Field Operations at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations : “Hasn’t the time come for some brave new thinking on food management?”

The lecture will take place from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms.

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Please feel free to join us afterwards for some informal networking over drinks at the Anchor, on nearby Silver Street.

About the lecture: Food plays a fundamental role in determining the well-being and health of all people. It is surprising, therefore, that very few countries have set clear goals for their food management policies, and that there is still less sense of direction at global level.

Food management is in a mess, as is evidenced by current nutrition indicators – nearly one billion chronically hungry, 1.5 billion overweight or obese, and probably at least 2 billion suffering from vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies. About one third of food produced goes to waste and people who produce food or work in the food chain tend to earn much less than workers in other sectors and have few incentives to invest and expand their output. Worryingly, the way much of our food is being produced is damaging the natural resources – soils, water, genetic diversity – as well as the climatic stability that will be needed by future generations to meet their food needs.

The food management system as it now operates, largely on a laissez-faire basis, is squandering the vast potential of mankind to do much better, with over half the world’s people eating sub-optimally, even when – fortunately – there is enough food now being produced for all to eat adequately. It is worrying that few people seem to care, still less take necessary action. Andrew MacMillan will propose some simple goals for food system management in the global public interest, and then explore their main policy implications, especially in relation to food pricing. He hopes to persuade listeners of the need for a deliberate and urgent shift towards better and more coherent policies.

Although sure that he does not have all the right answers, Andrew hopes that, at least, he shall provoke some serious thinking on topics that, for unexplainable reasons, are seldom even debated.

This talk is part of the Global Food Futures series.

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