About this Pillar
Why we want this
Multiple nutritional, societal and environmental issues are connected with our food systems, concerning the way we produce food and both how and what we eat. These include the dual global nutritional challenges of obesity and hunger, significant climate change contributions from the food industry, biodiversity loss and degradation through agricultural practices, food waste and food loss, and poverty and human rights issues across the food industry. These challenges are complex and formidable, but not insurmountable. “Fixing food” is possible with a transition that involves the protection and restoration of natural habitats, widespread adoption of sustainable farming practices, tackling global food waste and, crucially, dietary shifts. We need to eat “less and better” meat, more plant-based food, and less energy-dense, nutrient-poor food.
The food industry, and those who finance it, have a key role to play in this transition. This is especially true of the consumer-facing sectors such as retailers, restaurants and caterers, being both gatekeepers to our diets and the funnel through which most commercially produced food is channelled.
What we are asking
We would like to see food businesses making transparent and SMART commitments and setting targets for increasing their sales of healthy and sustainable food. These need to be in tandem with targets for the sustainability of their supply chains and their commitments to human rights.
We would like investors to use their voice and power to set ambitious expectations with these businesses. The money they invest should support the transition to a healthy, just and sustainable food system. We also want investors to engage more with Governments on food issues and the role of policy in accelerating change.
How we are helping
We work with a range of food businesses (primarily supermarkets, restaurants and caterers, and wholesalers) to inspire them to be more ambitious in their commitments and transparency on the impact their businesses have on people and the planet.
In collaboration with other civil society organisations, we work with investors to use their voice in business engagement and in dialogue with the Government, for example with a letter to the UK Government from a coalition of investors in support of mandatory reporting of healthy and sustainable food sales.
We also support policy-making more directly by generating robust data and evidence on the UK food industry’s progress to healthy and sustainable food sales, communicating this effectively, and advocating for stronger Government regulation that will increase transparency and accelerate change in the industry.
Explore the Key Pillars of our work
Our mission is changing food policy and business practice to ensure everyone, across our nations, can afford and access a healthy diet.
Improving children’s diets
Too many children live in households experiencing food poverty in the UK. These families often rely on a cheap, poor-quality food which means that child hunger and obesity often coexist. We work to ensure all children can access a healthy diet.
Increasing vegetable consumption
Despite decades of the 5-a-day campaign, consumption of veg remains well below recommended amounts, with children and low income groups eating the least. We work with over 100 businesses and cities to change the environment so that veg is more available, affordable and accessible.
Influencing food policy
To address the health and climate crises, policy needs to support major dietary shifts – 30% more fruit and vegetables, 50% more fibre, 25% less HFSS food and 30% less meat by 2032. We support leaders to transform food systems.
Inspiring change in food businesses and investment
5 out of 11 supermarkets now have targets for healthier food sales. 2 have targets for fruit or vegetable sales and 2 report on sales of animal vs plant proteins. We help make the food industry more transparent so that investors and policy makers can spot the leaders and the laggards.