Candidates respond to survey on sustainability

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LIMITING food waste to zero, investing in school meals, improving education about farming and establishing food security are topics on the agenda for election candidates, a survey of the political hopefuls has revealed.

The Sustainable Co-operative, also known as SCOOP, is a consumer group made up of local producers who support and promote sustainable farming and food. They sent out a questionnaire to election candidates to get their thoughts on food security and related issues in Jersey.

SCOOP received responses from 62 of the 93 candidates – some of whom responded collectively as members of a party.

Each runner was asked to propose a policy, infrastructure or approach that would improve the food system in Jersey, as well as the following questions:

– How are you preparing for the predicted food price increases?

– What vision would you support for the food system in Jersey?

– What is your favourite ‘successful’ food/sustainability policy from around the world?

Reflecting on the results, author of the report India Hamilton, director and co-founder of SCOOP, said: ‘Our analysis highlights the benefits of having both political parties and individual candidates. Parties offer teamwork, but the independents offer great depth.

‘As it is not possible for any party to form a majority, teamwork and collaboration will need to be built into the forming of this government.’

She added: ‘There is real evidence of “systems” thinking across the candidates, with some really exciting concepts linking health and agriculture. There is a growing enthusiasm for innovation and the recognition that small-scale agriculture is vital to food security, climate [change] mitigation, water quality and biodiversity. There are concerns about value and human rights linked to worker wages. There is also clear focus on the processes required to facilitate a transition towards the circular economy.

‘SCOOP support all candidates who value small-scale agriculture, address issues around community rights to land, promote the circular economy and look towards innovation in socially and environmentally inclusive policy processes.’

Miss Hamilton said that a number of candidates had mentioned initiatives linked to reducing food waste to zero and creating a ‘circular economy’ which uses ‘innovation, collaboration and compliance’ to reduce waste.

She added that there were already more than 100 businesses in Jersey participating in the circular economy.

Some of the other ideas mentioned by candidates focused on local food production in order to reduce air miles and shipping, supporting community initiatives related to growing and education, as well providing more financial support for farmers.

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