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Centre for Food Policy, City University

Professor Tim Lang and Dr David Barling of the Centre for Food Policy at City University London have both been vocal and effective supporters of sustainable food policy, including a sustainable approach to fish and the ecosystems that support them.

In January 2011, City University was among the first cohort of five London universities to sign up to Sustainable Fish City, with the caterers and environment team pledging to help London become the world's first sustainable fish city. [read more from Dawn White of City University's environment team...]

Since November 2002, Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University (established initially at Thames Valley University in 1994). He was formerly chair, and a founder member of, Sustain, the alliance that now runs Sustainable Fish City. In 2006, Tim was appointed Natural Resources and Land Use Commissioner on the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission, and since 2005 has been a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) ‘Food Supply in the 21st Century’ Working Party and team.

Of Sustainable Fish City, Professor Tim Lang says, “I am delighted that City University's catering and environment teams have stepped up to become part of the great collaborative effort to make London a Sustainable Fish City. Fish are very important to human nutrition, and could be a plentiful and ever-replenishing source of protein and essential fatty acids. But there is also substantial evidence that fish stocks are in a dire state and that we should all act to protect the seas as well as human health. What are consumers to do? Eat fish or not? Facing that question is a test case for good government and sensible behaviour by organisations and consumers. Standards are long overdue for both public and private eating. Sustainable Fish City will help galvanise food buyers and consumers into taking appropriate action."

"Almost everyone who studies or thinks about fish and consumption knows ‘business-as-usual’ merely puts off the inevitable, or consigns fish stocks to further degradation. That’s why City University’s Centre for Food Policy welcomes the Sustainable Fish City campaign. We have to fill that policy gap. And this London initiative keeps up the pressure. We urgently need clear, sensible standards. No-one in their right minds could favour today’s slow drift to fish-less seas.”

Dr David Barling's specialist research area is in food policy and political economy - in particular, the governance and regulation of the agri-food sector and of the food supply. This covers: food security, support regimes and standards-setting at international, EU and UK levels, and food chains and sustainability policy. For several years, David has been highly supportive of work to improve the sustainability of fish-buying standards by industry and government, and currently chairs Sustain's working parties for the Good Food on the Public Plate and Good Food for Our Money initiatives, to help public sector caterers (such as local authorities, schools and hospitals) to buy and serve healthy and sustainable food.

Dr Barling said, "It is very welcome news that City University, with the support and encouragement of the university's environment team, have agreed to adopt a sustainable fish policy and to promote this to staff, students and visitors. We at the Centre for Food Policy welcome the Sustainable Fish City campaign as an important step in the much needed movement to the sourcing of sustainable food for our plate – and the key role that City governments can have in driving this movement forward."


Find out more about the work of the Centre for Food Policy at:
Read more about
Professor Tim Lang's work on his City University profile page.
Read more about
Dr David Barling's work on his City University profile page.


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