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Food Policy and Ethics: Foundational Thinking for the 21st Century Food System.

Guest Editors:

Professor Ralph Early
Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB, United Kingdom.
[email protected]


Food policy and ethics have been developing as topics of professional and scholarly inquiry and research for the last quarter of a century.  The globalisation of the food system, the increasing power of multi-national agri-food corporations, advances in science and technology, and the growing problem of diet related disease, raise many moral concerns about the way the food system is developing and cause many questions about the kind of policy actions that ought to be implemented to ensure the just and equitable provision of healthy food by an environmentally sustainable food system.

Historically, ethical concerns about food centred on mankind’s relationship with food, e.g. concepts such as gluttony and entailed moral dimensions, as well as entitlement to food as a necessity for the existence of communities.  Since the Green Revolution of the mid-20th century science and technology have transformed the agricultural production of foodstuffs, but the food policies adopted by governments in economically developed societies have mainly been productivist in nature, aimed at the provision of cheap food.  Although consumers today benefit from a vast range of food products the global food system is failing to deliver healthy diets using sustainable production methods and numerous inequities exist in the system itself.  However one views the global food system one can detect food ethics and food policy issues that centre not just on food and the relationship of people with the food they eat, but also on the way resources and people are used to produce food, the actions of the agri-food industry in the production of food for the purpose of profit, and the interactions of the industry with people as consumers.  The need for clear food policy planning informed and underpinned by food ethics analysis has never been more pressing than it is today.

The Special Issue on Food Policy and Ethics: Foundational Thinking for the 21st Century Food System calls for papers on the following topics which are indicative of those that raise moral and ethical concerns and issues of food policy relating to food, agriculture, the food industry, society and people as consumers.  This list is not exhaustive.

Agricultural ethics and food policy.
Agricultural sustainability and food policy.
Animal welfare and bioethics.
Corporate social responsibility, food policy and ethics.
Diet, health and food policy.
Ethical implications of intensive farming/industrial farming versus agro-ecological food production.
Ethics, food policy and the use of natural resources (land and sea) for food production.
Ethics and urban food systems.
Exploitation by corporate agri-food businesses of land belonging to indigenous peoples.
Exploitation of workers in the global food system.
Food ethics theory and practice.
Food fraud.
Food labelling and ethics.
Food marketing, advertising and ethics.
Food policy and food safety.
Food policy theory and practice.
Food retailing and imbalances of power in the food supply chain.
Food sovereignty and the power of agri-food corporations.
Genetic engineering, food and agricultural ethics and food policy.
Organic farming, food ethics and policy.
People as consumers and food industry manipulation for profit.
Pesticides in food production and food policy and ethics implications.
Political policy interventions and consumers’ food related health.
Robotics in agriculture and food processing: ethical implications for humans and society.
Theoretical frameworks for food policy and ethics.

Submission Procedure:

Submissions to the British Food Journal shall be made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at:

Full information and guidance on using ScholarOne Manuscripts is available at the Emerald ScholarOne Manuscripts Support Centre:

Author guidelines for the journal are given at:

Please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process.

Submissions to the Special Issue shall be screened by the Special Issue Editor to ensure that they conform to the quality standards of the British Food Journal. Papers that do not pass this initial screening shall immediately be returned to the authors. Reviewers shall apply the standards of the British Food Journal in forming recommendations for acceptance, revision, or rejection.

Submission Deadline: 30 September 2017