MP Briefing

Plating Up Progress Part 1

Plating Up Progress (a Food Climate Research Network (University of Oxford) and Food Foundation project) has released a new investor briefing, Plating Up Progress Part 1, which looks at the sustainability risks and opportunities that exist for food retailers, caterers and restaurants.

Find more information on the webinars or interest to the event here.

Executive summary

This briefing, the first of a two-part series, provides investors with an overview of the sustainability and nutrition-related risks and opportunities that exist within the food industry. Its specific focus is on food retailers, caterers and restaurant chains within the FTSE sub-sectors of Food Retailers & Wholesalers, and Restaurants & Bars.

Our food systems are responsible for approximately 30% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of freshwater withdrawals, and are key drivers of both terrestrial and marine biodiversity loss. We are experiencing the dual global nutritional challenges of obesity and hunger, poverty issues such as farmers' wages persist across the global food industry, and yet a third of the food that we produce is lost or wasted. These challenges are complex and formidable, but not unsurmountable. ‘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. Food retailers, caterers and restaurants are in a unique position to influence the required transitions in consumption and production, being both gatekeepers to our diets and the funnel through which most commercially produced food is channelled.


Our second report, to be released in September 2019, will provide an analysis of current disclosures by food retailers, caterers and restaurants in the UK. It will propose a set of metrics to fill current disclosure gaps, especially for the required dietary shifts, and make a ‘call to action’ for investors to increase expectations on companies to report against these metrics and to track their progress.

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