Friday, 23 November 2012

The WI Great Food Debate

On 6 December 2012 at the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York, the NFWI is launching The WI Great Food Debate.  The keynote speech will be made by Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and I will be joined on the panel by Peter Kendall, President of the National Union of Farmers , Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair and Anne McIntosh MP, Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee (invited).  The events starts with a reception at 6.30pm, and the debate with discussion will run from 7.00pm to 8.30pm.

Ensuring global food security will become one of the world’s biggest challenges as the global population is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, increasing demand for food and intensifying competition for land, energy and water. There are growing concerns about how to improve security and sustainability of food supplies at the local, national and international levels, both now and in the future. There is no simple solution to addressing the tremendous demands on the food system and a holistic approach, involving all sections of society is needed, yet to date, there has been little public conversation about these issues.

IPPR and the NFWI are joining together to host a debate on food security as part of the NFWI’s ‘Great Food Debates’ and programme of work on food security in 2013.  A keynote speech will be delivered by Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, followed by responses from speakers on food and sustainability and audience Q&A.  The event will also launch a discussion paper on food security produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research for the NFWI.

As we saw from the 2007 milk debates, public debates are a great way to examine complex issues and the role that all parts of society can play in addressing important challenges.  The NFWI will draw on the lessons and model of the milk debates to develop a WI Great Food Debate during 2013 that builds awareness of the challenges that our food and farming system faces and examines how we might go about tackling them.  We’re calling on all members to join the debate so pelase do come along if you can.

Please contact the public affairs department on or 020 7371 9300 ext 212 to register your attendance. 

This is an open event so do pass the invitation on.

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