Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice

Subject FOOD90033 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours (12 seminars)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Gyorgy Scrinis



Subject Overview:

This subject critically examines the policies, practices and challenges of creating more environmentally sustainable systems of food production, distribution and consumption. The resource dependence and environmental issues associated with existing food systems will be reviewed, including climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, oil dependency, and chemical pollution and animal welfare issues. Current and proposed practices and integrated policy solutions for creating more sustainable and less resource-dependent systems of production distribution and consumption will be explored and compared. These initiatives will be placed in the context of a rising global demand for food and shifting dietary patterns. Government policies and regulations will be examined, and the contributions of food producers, corporations, consumers and NGOs in driving change will be analysed.

Subject topics include:

  • Sustainable food system policies and planning
  • Sustainable agricultural practices
  • Sustainable intensification: from high-tech innovations and efficiencies to low-input practices
  • Sustainable livestock production and consumption
  • Farm animal welfare regulations and labelling
  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
  • The environmental impacts of food distribution, food miles, food manufacturing and convenience food production and packaging
  • Food waste across the supply chain: structural causes and remedies
  • Food standards, certification and labelling of sustainably and ethically sourced foods
  • Sustainable food consumption practices
Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Describe and critically analyse the environmental issues associated with systems of food production and consumption
  • Demonstrate an understanding of government policies and the initiatives of producers and consumers for creating more environmentally sustainable food systems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key frameworks, concepts, arguments and debates in the literature relating to sustainable food systems
  • A 1500 word essay due mid semester worth 35%
  • A 3500 word essay due at end of semester worth 65%
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Readings will be provided via the Learning Management System (LMS).

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • A profound respect for truth, intellectual and professional integrity, and the ethics of scholarship
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning and research
  • The ability to work as a team member
  • An ability to derive, interpret and analyse social, technical or economic information from primary and other sources
  • Awareness of and ability to utilise appropriate communication technology and methods for the storage, management and analysis of data, including literature databases and oral presentation software
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation, through the application of skills and knowledge
  • Ability to integrate information across sustainable food production systems to solve problems in applied situations across the globe
  • Highly developed computer - based skills to allow for effective on-line learning and communication, including literature searching skills
  • Highly developed written communication skills to logically and critically present an argument or debate in literature around a particular issue of research
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Certificate in Food Science
Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Diploma in Food Science
Graduate Diploma in Urban Horticulture
Master of Food Science
Master of Urban Horticulture
Postgraduate Diploma in Food Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point (A) Master of Agricultural Sciences
100 Point (B) Master of Agricultural Sciences
150 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
200 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
Food Security Specialisation
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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