Reports Right to Food

Why we need the right to food

This new Sustain briefing explains why we need our Right to Food to be incorporated into domestic legislation.

Download 764Kb PDF

Millions of our fellow citizens suffer from household food insecurity, predominantly due to low pay, rising living costs, and cuts to the social welfare safety net.

At the same time, we are also facing the prospect of climate changes as well as the loss of soil and biodiversity that is threatening our very ability to produce the food we need.

We need a refreshed political and cultural commitment to ensuring that everyone can eat well, whilst balancing the needs of farmers and the natural systems that sustain us. We need policy-makers to take this seriously, to have clear duties and be accountable for taking action.

Over the years, successive UK Governments have ratified a number of international treaties that refer to our Right to Food as well as broader socio-economic rights. Unfortunately these rights have not yet been brought home into domestic legislation.

There is broad political support for incorporation with the Green Party, Co-operative Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Labour Party all pledging to uphold our human right to food.

In this briefing, published on World Food Day 2019, Sustain's Right to Food programme looks at:

  • What is the Right to Food?
  • Why we need to incorporate our right to food into domestic legislation and what this would look like
  • The Right to Food within planetary boundaries


Why we need the right to food
4pp - 2019 | 764Kb


Published Wednesday 16 October 2019

Right to Food: Everyone has the right to enjoy safe, nutritious and sustainable food. This project advocates the realisation of the Right to Food in UK law.

4pp - 2019


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