Productivity and Sustainability Tradeoffs
More and more headlines in the media state that consumers want goods to be more ethically and sustainably sourced. While important, Claire Taylor, a Nuffield Scholar, says in order to grow food at scale consistently and sell it affordability, consumers have to look at food production beyond just the environmental lens.
Taylor… “For example, the UK you mentioned there. Yes, we do have some of these fantastic climate. We can have some of the things that you couldn't have in other parts of the world, but we are feeding ourselves in this country. We're able to have self-sufficiency, but we're not contributing to global malnutrition or distribution of food to those that need it. And I always try and throw it back to the fact, you know, we can criticize and we can have this idea, but we've also got to remember that, to have energy, to have food, we've got to produce also at scale and to have affordability and accessibility for all. So it can't always be this picturesque, fantastic example. And even if suddenly, you know, we were to change everything over to non-animal produce, you mean the energy requirements of that, the land, you know, some of the resources involved with that, it's trying to explain to people to be maybe slightly more realistic and saying, you know, we can't have everything, but farmers actually celebrating what they are doing.”
Taylor’s current pursuit is to travel the world as a Nuffield Scholar to understand different sectors of agriculture in what she calls the “anti-farming agenda”.