The Nuffield Foundation is an endowed charitable trust that aims to improve social well-being in the widest sense. It funds research and innovation in education and social policy and also works to build capacity in education, science and social science research. The Nuffield Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. More information is available at www.nuffieldfoundation.org
"A food system which supports the health and well-being of the UK public."
The Food Foundation is an independent think tank that tackles the growing challenges facing the UK’s food system through the interests of the UK public. We provide clear analysis of the problems caused by the food system and the role of policy and practice in addressing these. We develop and articulate food policies that support and guide the UK public to make choices that improve their health and well-being and we inform and generate demand for new and better public and private sector policy and practice.
Specifically we want to see four areas of policy and practice change:
1.Cross government leadership on accessible, healthy and sustainable diets
2.Policy and practice which re-balances the food environment and choice architecture so it supports healthy eating (covering e.g. marketing, planning and licensing and public food provision)
3.Policy and practice which incentivises and regulates the food supply chain so it supports healthy and sustainable diets (e.g. through impacts on price, quality, provenance, perishability, safety, availability etc)
4.Evidence gaps which are a barrier to decision making are addressed
We are independent of all political parties and business, and we are not limited by a single issue or special interest. We work with others who believe there is a problem with the system and want to change it.
Our 3 Principles
- Joining the dots on the food system and looking for coherent responses
- Future proofing policy and practice so it is sustainable for us and our planet
- Focusing on people and consumers, prioritising those facing socio-economic or life cycle risks
How are we funded
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change.
The New Venture Fund is a public charity established in 2006. They execute a range of donor-driven public interest projects in conservation, global health, public policy, international development, education, disaster recovery, and the arts.
Benenden provides a leading service which gives its members access to discretionary healthcare that complements the NHS, helping the get the highest standards to healthcare at an affordable price.
We are very grateful to our current funders, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation and the New Venture Fund; and to Benenden for their previous support.
We only accept support that does not compromise our independence.
About Our Funders
The Food Foundation reviews all financial engagements – assessing whether potential donations are acceptable and in line with the Foundation’s aims. From January 2016, the Food Foundation adopted the Financial Relationship Policy developed by World Obesity Federation. The Food Foundation adapted the strategy so that its language was consistent with the Foundation’s internal structure. The financial thresholds for low, medium and high risk engagements were also lowered, in recognition of the size and operating budget of the Food Foundation. The Food Foundation’s assessment protocol can be found here. Summaries of all Policy Alignment Assessments will be published here for transparency. The Food Foundation’s financial engagement strategy will be reviewed on a regular basis.
We are supported by some very generous organisations who provide pro bono support and core facilities
New Covent Garden Market is the largest fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK.
With over 200 businesses, employing over 2,500 people, the Market supplies 40% of fresh fruit & vegetables eaten outside of the home in London and is used by 75% of London florists.
Think is an award-winning, creative and entrepreneurial agency based in Glasgow.
They specialise in creating communications strategies for professional membership organisations, charities and corporations that need to engage a core group of members or stakeholders.
Their strong entrepreneurial ethos encourages new opportunities for work partnerships with their clients
Verb are a full-service printing company with an experienced in-house creative team that provides print, graphic design, stationery design, branding and advertising campaigns.
Anna joined the Food Foundation as its first Executive Director at the beginning of June 2015 after 5 years at the Department for International Development. At DFID Anna led the policy team on nutrition and supported the delivery of the UK’s global commitments to tackle undernutrition.
Before joining DFID Anna worked for a number of international organisations including Save the Children and UNICEF and has been at the forefront of international leadership on nutrition for several years and supporting programmes in a wide range of contexts in Africa and South Asia. Anna has also worked for the UK Department of Health. In 2014 she was awarded an OBE for her work to address the global burden of undernutrition. She did a MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1994. In May 2017 Anna became a member of the London Food Board to advise the Mayor of London and the GLA on the food matters that affect Londoners.
Dr Courtney Scott (RD, MPH, PhD)
Courtney is a food and nutrition policy expert, who joined the Food Foundation as Research and Policy Advisor in 2017. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was PhD student and Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She previously worked on nutrition policy advocacy in the US for Public Health Advocates, focusing on sugary drink policies, and international non-communicable disease advocacy in Brussels for the International Diabetes Federation and the NCD Alliance. Courtney is a Registered Dietitian (United States) and earned her masters in public health nutrition from the University of California- Berkeley. She is an unabashed vegetable enthusiast, a part-time crusader for recycling and reduced plastic use, and her California roots show often.
Alex grew up on a arable and sheep farm in Kent and gained an understanding of the food system from the perspective of a small time farmer. She gained further understanding of the food system whilst working on larger fruit farms both in the UK and Australia and in the service industry. Alex joined the Food Foundation in July 2015 as the Communications and Office Manager having completed an MSc in Sustainable Environments at the University of Gloucestershire. During the MSc Alex focused on food sustainability and delivered research on food waste and food security solutions as well as completing a dissertation on the barriers and enablers to accepting edible insects as a more sustainable protein source in the West.
Before completing her MSc Alex worked for EDF Energy as a Sustainability Officer on their CIPS Sustainable Supply Chain project.
Laura Sandys is an innovator who seeks to challenge incumbent thinking in public policy and business in order to increase competition, productivity and creativity. She set up the Food Foundation as an independent policy think-tank to explore the changing challenges facing UK and international food systems.
In both politics, as MP for South Thanet, and the corporate world, as the founder of two companies in the energy and environment fields and now CEO of Challenging Ideas, Laura has campaigned for changes in food security, together with resource management and energy markets as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Energy Minister. Described by The Times as ‘one of the sanest of all MPs’ and by ConservativeHome as ‘lateral-minded, original and free-thinking’, she has brought her political and business experience to calls for innovation in food systems policy.
Rosie was appointed Chair of London Food by the Mayor to help improve Londoners’ access to healthy, locally produced and affordable food. Rosie has been editor of the Daily Express, Esquire and the Independent. She developed Capital Growth which was launched last year by the Mayor, to boost “grow your own” by creating 2012 community food growing spaces by 2012. The scheme, managed by London Food Link, now has hundreds of spaces being cultivated in a diverse range of places including canal banks, schools, roofs, private gardens open to the community and parks. The programme was awarded a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Commendation last year for its success in getting communities growing and has launched a competition to encourage primary age pupils to grow food in their school grounds. She writes and speaks regularly about the importance of food in improving health and in reducing the carbon emissions, which cause climate change.
David Edwards is the Assistant Director of The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit. David oversees the ISU’s natural capital risks team and heads the Unit’s work on food security. This work seeks to use HRH’s neutral convening power to help build consensus on the need for transformations in food systems and to accelerate international action on this agenda. David’s work focuses on illuminating the economic arguments for transformations in food systems and centres on the developing consensus around policy changes that can help level-the-playing-field for the evolution of healthier, more sustainable food-systems.
David’s work with the ISU is currently focused on accelerating ICT innovation to support sustainable smallholder agriculture, and on developing a collaboration amongst international organisations, city leaders and the private sector to help mainstream healthier city regional food systems. Prior to his current role David was Project Manager of the Princes’ Rainforest Project (PRP) and worked previously both as a development consultant in Africa and as a market research executive with TNS-Global where he advised a number of major food and drinks companies working in the UK. David has a BA in History and and MSc in International Development.
Professor Sir Charles Godfray CBE
Professor Sir Charles Godfray CBE is Hope Professor at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. He has been at Oxford since 2006 and was previously Head of Biology and director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London where he remains a visiting professor. He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and is a member of the strategy advisory board of the UK Global Food Security Programme and the steering group of the UK Government Green Food Project.
Tom is a Chartered Accountant and graduate of Manchester University. He has over 20 years investment banking experience having worked for Flemings and Lehman Brothers, both in the UK and USA. Tom has covered the Consumer sector for most of his career. He founded Spayne Lindsay & Co, with John Spayne, in 2000. The independent advisory firm focuses exclusively on the Consumer sector, including Food & Beverage, Retail, Restaurants, Household & Personal Care and other Consumer-related markets. Tom is also currently a board member of Eminate, which commercialises university-inspired research and innovation.
Professor Sir Michael G. Marmot MBBS, MPH, PhD, FRCP, FFPHM, FMedSci, FBA
Director of the Institute of Health Equity (UCL Department of Epidemiology & Public Health).
Sir Michael Marmot is Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, and Immediate Past President of the World Medical Association. He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world (Bloomsbury: 2015) and Status Syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health (Bloomsbury: 2004). Professor Marmot holds the Harvard Lown Professorship for 2014-2017 and is the recipient of the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health 2015. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from 18 universities. Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for over 40 years. He chairs the Commission on Equity and Health Inequalities in the Americas, set up in 2015 by the World Health Organizations’ Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO). He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), which was set up by the World Health Organization in 2005, and produced the report entitled: ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’ in August 2008. At the request of the British Government, he conducted the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ in February 2010. This was followed by the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, for WHO Euro in 2014. He chaired the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team and was a member of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health. He set up and led a number of longitudinal cohort studies on the social gradient in health in the UCL Department of Epidemiology & Public Health (where he was head of department for 25 years): the Whitehall II Studies of British Civil Servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality; the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and several international research efforts on the social determinants of health. He served as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2010-2011, and is President of the British Lung Foundation. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology; a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences; an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and in 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities. Professor Marmot is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Martin White is programme leader in the Centre for Diet & Activity Research (CEDAR), MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, where he leads research on understanding and changing food systems to improve population health. He has particular interests in: food environments that shape what we eat; and the causes and consequences of, and interventions to reduce, social inequalities in health.
Martin is also Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme, and a visiting professor in the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University, where until 2014 he was Director of Fuse, UKCRC Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.
Martin graduated in Medicine from Birmingham University, from which he also gained an MD, and has an MSc in public health from Newcastle University. He is a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health, past President of the UK Society for Social Medicine, and President- of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine.
Emma Coles is head of Sustainable Retailing at Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket in the Netherlands and part of the Ahold Delhaize group. Emma is responsible for health and sustainability at Albert Heijn and is interested in the link between diet and health and the opportunities for the food retail industry to support consumer health. Before joining Ahold Emma was Director of the Health Insurance Fund, a foundation supporting low-cost health insurance delivered through the private sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Emma is co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum Health and Wellness pillar. Emma has an MBA from IESE Business School.
Tim Lobstein is Director of Policy at the World Obesity Federation and Adjunct Professor of Public Health Advocacy at Curtin University, Western Australia. He was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Rudd Center, Yale University, and a Research Fellow, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, and for many years was a director of the UK Food Commission and editor of its journal The Food Magazine. Tim was the lead author of the highly-cited scientific report Obesity in children and young people: A crisis in public health (Obesity Reviews5(S1) 2004), and co-author of the European Commission-published reports Status report on the European Commission’s work in the field of nutrition in Europe 2002 and Obesity and socio-economic groups in Europe: Evidence review and implications for action, 2007. Tim has produced consultancy reports for the World Health Organization’s European, Middle East and Geneva HQ offices. He has written several chapters for standard textbooks on obesity in childhood and obesity prevention.
Pablo Monsivais is a public health researcher based at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR). His research interests include the social determinants of food consumption, obesity and health. Pablo is leading a research group to investigate why low socioeconomic status is so strongly associated with less-healthy eating habits and higher rates of obesity and chronic disease. Food costs and other economic factors, social context and neighbourhood patterns of food availability are some of the factors being investigated. Pablo is also involved in research to measure the effects of nutrition and public health programmes and interventions on food consumption and the nutritional quality of the diet. This work also extends to the use of modeling and other analytical approaches to identify cost-sensitive ways of improving nutrition at the population level.
Harry is a public health physician based in Oxford. He is a senior clinical research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a senior strategic adviser to Public Health England, an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford, and an adjunct professor of public health at both University College Cork, Ireland, and the Sogn og Fjordane University College, Norway. He was the founder director of the National Obesity Observatory for England and led the development of the National Child Measurement Programme childhood obesity surveillance system. Harry was a founder member of the steering committee of the European Health Enhancing Physical Activity network. He has a broad interest in the evaluation of public health approaches and interventions within complex systems and the development of tools to support evidence-based public health policy and actions.
Corinna is the incoming Professor of Food Policy at the Centre for Food Policy, City University London. She is a specialist in food policy, food systems, diet and health who’s work involves research, advocacy, and advising governments and international agencies. She has worked for the World Health Organization, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the School of Public Health at the University of Sao Paulo and New York University. Between 2012 and 2015 she was Head of Policy and Public Affairs at World Cancer Research Fund International. Her research interests focus on the impact of food systems and food policies on diet, nutrition and non-communicable diseases. She has published widely in academic journals, policy briefs and reports on topics such as food systems globalization; the links between agricultural policy, trade and nutrition; policies and regulations to encourage healthier diets. Corinna participates in the World Health Organization’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.