What works: Regulation or voluntary schemes in the food sector?

We’ve just published this report: What works: Regulation or voluntary schemes in the food sector? 

How can we be sure that what we’re eating is safe, is nutritious, is what it says on the label?

And how can we know our tastes and choices haven’t been skewed by skilful advertising and product placement, especially when targeted, often with great precision, to our children?

What works best, voluntary schemes and codes of practice, or regulation with penalties for non-compliance? A recent report suggests that voluntary schemes don’t work. Regulation is necessary.

This recent report is by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Using regulation as a last resort: Assessing the performance of voluntary approachesand very interesting and informative read it is too. Keen to answer the question, regulation or voluntary scheme, they assessed 161 voluntary schemes across several sectors. Of these, 33 were food-related schemes.

Our report is based on the RSPB’s assessment of these 33 schemes.


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The Birmingham Food Council is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales number 8931789