proposal to the UN Food Systems Summit for a global, unifying label rating food against all relevant human rights has been published and we’ll be discussing it on July 27 at a United Nations pre-Food Systems Summit event. Do click here to register to join us.uota’s
The proposal published by the UN Food Systems Summit can also be found here. Our event and proposal are led by the “Godfather of the Omnilabel” Tim Lang, Emeritus Professor of Food Policy, City University. He first proposed the solution 20 years ago.
According to Professor Tim Lang, “Everyone says let’s just concentrate on one or two do-able things.
“Big food companies say we’re great big battle ships. We can’t turn around nimbly, we’re not canoeists. So, let’s just talk about climate. Let’s just deal with carbon. And they will be hard enough for us to do.
“The problem is in the meantime, soil, water, land use, culture, health inequalities, diet related inequalities and diet related ill-health get put to one side.
“Food has got to be addressed to meet a multiple set of crises. Social crises, economic ones, jobs, climate change, biodiversity, fishing, inequalities of health, rampant out of control ultra-processed diets. It is hopeless if we do not include water scarcity, because food is the biggest user of potable water on the planet.
“There’s a panic button with meeting climate change targets”
“The food system’s got to change. How can we get change? If you stick to just calories and carbon, say, leave biodiversity out, you’re overlooking one of the main capacities to soak up carbon.
“So, I’m a multi-criteria man and I have been for 15, 20 years. And I stand by that even more than I did 15, 20 years ago.
“I worked up omni standards, with Sustain, the NGO, an alliance which I used to chair and indeed I helped set up 35 years ago.
“We dropped the idea 20 years ago because we said the world’s not ready for this yet, it’s too complicated.
“So where have I got to? Now is the time. Great ideas become more powerful when the moment is right. And I think we’re at one of those moments.
“There’s a panic button with academia around meeting climate change targets. The horizon to scan is very foreshortened. Britain’s Committee on Climate Change has said we need dietary change by 2030 – that’s nine years away. Not enough is happening.
“Without an omnilabel how can we get consumers to change? They’re the elephants in the room who keep being ignored. No-one is addressing consumers at the moment and that’s the gap that’s got to be filled.”
The proposed omnilabel rates food against all the UN’s sustainable development goals. You will find the metrics at the bottom of this article.
Also speaking at our UN pre-Food Systems Summit event on July 27 will be:
- Terrence Collingsworth of IRAdvocates who helped develop Rugmark with the International Labor Organization – a monitoring mechanism against slave labour.
- Anya Doherty, founder and CEO of Foodsteps which calculates carbon footprints for food labels. Her research has proven that informed consumers make food decisions with a positive environmental impact.