With the global population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, there is increasing pressure on the food supply chain which is prompting a new look at how food is produced in the UK and globally. In the context of this the Government Office for Science (GO-Science) commissioned a public dialogue to explore public views on how food challenges could be addressed moving forward and weigh up different approaches that are possible.
This involved 49 members of the public who represented a broad range of individuals in terms of age, gender, social grade, educational attainment, family status, ethnic background and geographical locality. It also involved 27 stakeholders who helped to frame the public discussions and offer professional insight.
The project was delivered by TNS BMRB and evaluated by URSUS Consulting.
This dialogue fed into policy thinking within Defra, the Global Food Security programme, the Food Standards Agency and Department of Health. It was noted to be particularly useful in understanding the nuance in the hierarchy of factors at play when the public is weighing up the risks and benefits of technology.