Inspiring Change in Food Business & Investment

Aligning food business practices with a healthy, just and sustainable food system.

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.

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