Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

The true cost of food: can we afford it and how do we change it?

5pm | 27th March 2018

Shulman Auditorium, The Queen’s College, University of Oxford

Put in dollar figures, the annual loss in environmental damage due to the food sector has been estimated at over twice its total economic output. Health costs to society from food, primarily though obesity and diabetes, have been put at a staggering 11% of global GDP. An expert panel will discuss what is the true cost of our food once its external impacts on nature, society and individual health are taken into account? Can we afford to continue to pay these hidden costs? Can costing these externalities bring about change in the way giant food companies operate and our own food choices?

The Food Systems Group in the Environmental Change Institute is hosting a Public Panel debate on “The true cost of food: can we afford it and how do we change it?”. The event will be followed by a wine reception 6:00-7:00pm. Register for this free event.

The public panel is part of the Second Oxford Meeting on Food System Impact Valuation, organised by a corporate, civil society and academic committee, and convened by the ECI food systems group.

Speakers and Panellists

Event Chair: Sam Bickersteth, Executive Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health, Oxford Martin School

  • Lauren Baker, Director of Programs, Global Alliance for the Future of Food
  • Patrick Holden CBE, CEO of Sustainable Food Trust
  • Professor David Barling, Professor of Food Policy, University of Hertfordshire
  • Stephen Nelson (tbc) (DEFRA)
  • Professor Ian Noble, Senior R&D Director, Mondelez International
  • Duncan Williamson, Food Policy Manager, WWF-UK

This event hosted by the Food Systems Group of the Environmental Change Institute in partnership with:


Elizabeth Haub School of Law

UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute