Cover: Insights into global food system risks and opportunities and their implications for the FSA

Insights into global food system risks and opportunities and their implications for the FSA

Published Nov 15, 2019

by Elta Smith, Gordon R. McInroy, Pamina Smith, Camilla d'Angelo, Anna Knack, Adam Bertscher

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Research Questions

  1. What are the specific novel and emergent food system themes and their associated trends, pressures and drivers?
  2. Which particular themes are of relevance to the FSA through to 2030?
  3. What potential approaches could the FSA take to implement ongoing foresight capability?

RAND Europe was commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to conduct foresight exercises in relation to the specific aims of the FSA and the wider global food system. The study helped to establish a baseline for the FSA's potential future foresight and horizon scanning work and operated as a test of an approach that the FSA could implement to enable ongoing capabilities in this area. For the study, the research team used a prioritisation foresight approach developed at RAND and previously employed in both a UK and a US policy context.

Key Findings

  • Through the project, the research team developed a global food systems map, a logic model of the FSA, a set of thematic briefs, a map of systemic interdependencies, and a framework illustrating the pathway to support an 'idealised' food system that remains safe and authentic. Together, these results offer a baseline for future horizon scanning activities of the FSA by identifying emerging issues and challenges for global food systems, and suggested means with which to address those with particular relevance for the FSA.
  • The map of systemic interdependencies, for example, can serve as a tool to help place specific issues in the context of a wider food systems network and to quickly identify pathways through which they could have an impact on food safety and authenticity. It identifies issues that may become 'flash points' for the FSA in the future.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and conducted by RAND Europe.

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