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Social justice

Recent trends such as increasing obesity levels and rising food prices have pushed sustainable development and public health promotion squarely onto the policy agenda. Yet action on sustainability and wellbeing is only credible if it also tackles the structural causes of injustice.

Un Women Asia & Pacific

Sustainability often adds up to little more than ‘eco-efficiency’, where social justice becomes an optional add-on for government, business and campaigners.

 Health inequalities are taken more seriously in policy, but the focus is on encouraging consumers to choose a healthier diet. The structural causes behind health inequalities and food poverty, such as welfare systems and low wages, are often ignored.

The role of workplace injustice in creating food poverty is largely neglected too. It’s in the food sector that we’ve seen some of the worst documented abuses of workers’ rights in recent years.

Current policymaking locks us further into systems of production and consumption that depend on exploitation. There is an urgent need to address this problem, by linking campaigns, policies and business initiatives on sustainability and public health with efforts to promote social justice.

The Food Ethics Council ran an inquiry into how to put social justice back at the heart of progressive policy, business, and campaigning on food issues. We invite you to read our report Food Justice.