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  3. Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice

Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice (FOOD90033)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeFOOD90033
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject critically examines the policies, practices and challenges of creating more environmentally sustainable systems of food production, distribution and consumption. The resource dependence and environmental issues associated with existing food systems will be reviewed, including climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, oil dependency, and chemical pollution and animal welfare issues. Current and proposed practices and integrated policy solutions for creating more sustainable and less resource-dependent systems of production distribution and consumption will be explored and compared. These initiatives will be placed in the context of a rising global demand for food and shifting dietary patterns. Government policies and regulations will be examined, and the contributions of food producers, corporations, consumers and NGOs in driving change will be analysed.

Subject topics include:

  • Sustainable food system policies and planning
  • Sustainable agricultural practices
  • Sustainable intensification: from high-tech innovations and efficiencies to low-input practices
  • Sustainable livestock production and consumption
  • Farm animal welfare regulations and labelling
  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
  • The environmental impacts of food distribution, food miles, food manufacturing and convenience food production and packaging
  • Food waste across the supply chain: structural causes and remedies
  • Food standards, certification and labelling of sustainably and ethically sourced foods
  • Sustainable food consumption practices

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Describe and critically analyse the environmental issues associated with systems of food production and consumption
  • Demonstrate an understanding of government policies and the initiatives of producers and consumers for creating more environmentally sustainable food systems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key frameworks, concepts, arguments and debates in the literature relating to sustainable food systems

Generic skills

  • A profound respect for truth, intellectual and professional integrity, and the ethics of scholarship
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning and research
  • The ability to work as a team member
  • An ability to derive, interpret and analyse social, technical or economic information from primary and other sources
  • Awareness of and ability to utilise appropriate communication technology and methods for the storage, management and analysis of data, including literature databases and oral presentation software
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation, through the application of skills and knowledge
  • Ability to integrate information across sustainable food production systems to solve problems in applied situations across the globe
  • Highly developed computer - based skills to allow for effective on-line learning and communication, including literature searching skills
  • Highly developed written communication skills to logically and critically present an argument or debate in literature around a particular issue of research

Last updated: 28 May 2019