The food system has been described as the interconnected system of everything and everybody. A new EU legislative Framework for a Sustainable Food System (FSFS) is likely to include environmental impact labelling and regulations to ensure agri-food products imported from third countries, such as the UK, comply with high sustainability standards. This will be integrated with other relevant legislation such as the deforestation regulation, sustainable use of pesticides regulation and the carbon border adjustment mechanism. Transforming the food system, to achieve greater sustainability, is challenging as the system comprises multiple smaller complex systems that feed back into the whole, and requires a comprehensive, longer-term approach to outcomes.

This POSTnote will explain the data and models that allow consideration of the ‘totality’ of the environmental impacts of different production practices and commodities arising from their manufacture, distribution and subsequent waste parts of their lifecycle. This includes GHG emissions, water use, chemical use (fertilisers, pesticides, preservatives etc.), energy use, and air and water pollution.

The consultation period for contributions to this POSTnote closed on Friday 31st March.

To contribute expertise or literature, please email Rebecca Latter at

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash 

POST work programme

View the approved work programme and find out how to contribute as an expert.

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