Sustain Who we are

Awards won by Sustain and our staff members

Sustain is proud of our work and history, which is due to not only to the extraordinary range and depth of expertise in our membership and other networks, but also to our talented and energetic staff. Sustain is therefore delighted that independent bodies continue to recognise this outstanding quality, as reflected in the awards listed below. 

Leadership: Award for championing food standards

Photo credit: Hugh Warwick at the Oxford Real Farming Conference

Sustain's chief executive Kath Dalmeny was selected as one of Public Sector Catering’s 20 ‘Most Influential’ people in 2020 (an award she also won in 2018). The list is in its twelfth year and has been at the heart of much of the collaborative work that the public sector catering industry has conducted during that period. The 20 people on the list are all highly respected and regarded as industry leaders, influential in the industry that feeds schoolchildren, students, hospital patients, care home residents, prisoners and people in the UK military. Every year Public Sector Catering magazine convenes a panel of industry experts to draw up an annual list of the people who are driving the agenda on issues such as obesity, sustainability, health and wellbeing, malnutrition, Brexit, the national living wage and much more.

Winner: Children's Health Fund

Photo credit: Charity Times Award (Sustain's Sugar Smart coordinator Vera Zakharov and Deputy Chief Executive Ben Reynolds are in the middle of the picture)

Sustain's work on the Children's Health Fund won the award for Corporate Partnership with a Retailer category at the Charity Times Awards 2018, for its collaboration with Jamie's Italian, LEON, Abokado, Tortilla and over 100 restaurants to pilot a sugary drinks levy.

Our Children's Health Fund pioneered a sugary drinks levy on soft drinks working with over 100 restaurant outlets in the UK to raise money for children's projects. The money raised was granted to over 50 projects across the UK improving children's health. It ran from Autumn 2015 through to April 2018, when with the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, we have passed the baton on to Government. The judges of the Awards praised the project, calling it: "A hugely successful partnership based around a core social issue, showing great examples of excellence and communication in delivery." Sustain is now championing work to tackle sugar consumption and food poverty in communities throughout the UK. 

Winner: Sugary drinks tax

Picture shows partners Jamie Oliver Foundation, Sustain's Children's Food Campaign (Malcolm Clark, centre) and Obesity Health Alliance. Photo credit: Jamie Grainger and Communiqué

Sustain's Children's Food Campaign was the winner of the 2018 Communiqué Award for Excellence in Communications - recognising our work on 'Sugar-Coating a Tax', in partnership with Jamie Oliver and the Obesity Health Alliance.

The Sugar-Coating a Tax initiative was the vehicle used over several years of campaigning, and resulted in a major breakthrough, with the UK government persuaded to introduce a soft drinks levy from April 2018. The Communiqué judges said they were were particularly impressed with this result: “The Children’s Food Campaign, Jamie Oliver and Obesity Health Alliance all came together to focus on achieving the same result. It stood out because it is such a massive campaign in terms of government intervention and changing public perception. It achieved change in policy, but is actually already getting results before the policy is finalised.”

Top campaigner and influencer

Photo credit: Chris Young

Sustain chief executive Kath Dalmeny was identified as one of the 10 most influential campaigners of 2018 in The Right Ethos awards.

Sustain alliance colleague Alison Garnham, CEO of Child Poverty Action Group, was also recognised in the same list and we sent her our congratulations.

Kath was also identified in 2018 by Cost Sector Catering magazine in its annual listing of the Top 20 most influential people in Public Sector Catering, along with several Sustain friends – Neel Radia, of the National Association of Care Caterers; Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair of the APPG on School Food; Andy Jones of PS100; Lindsay Graham, champion of Holiday Hunger policy; Anna Taylor of The Food Foundation; and Fiona McCullough, British Dietetic Association. Following the award, Kath instigated a conversation on how we might collectively use this recognition to prompt a national conversation about public sector catering standards, and how this links to post-Brexit policy and Defra’s promised National Food Strategy.

Winner: Sustainable fish procurement 

Ruth Westcott and Ben Reynolds celebrate Go Sustainable Procurement award

Ruth Westcott and Ben Reynolds celebrate Sustain's GO Sustainable Procurement award

Sustain's Sustainable Fish Cities campaign was honoured in 2018 alongside the procurement community’s finest at the UK Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards.

The UK National GO Awards recognise organisations that are making public procurement smarter, more effective and better for the public and users of public services. There were 130 finalists.

Sustainable Fish Cities were presented with the GO Sustainable Procurement Award, which recognises the crucial role that public procurement plays in creating a more sustainable and equitable society. Entrants were asked to demonstrate how they deliver real social, economic and environmental benefits and how public procurement can be the catalyst for wider changes in the supply chain.

Ruth Westcott, Sustainable Fish Cities said of the win: “It is a great honour to be recognised by the GO Excellence in Public Procurement Awards. Together, public sector buyers are leading the industry in responsible fish buying and we should be hugely proud. We have been able to support responsible producers and fishers and significantly shift the supply chain towards sustainable fish buying. Thank you to the judges and well done to all the organisations that were recognised in the awards this year”.

Prize: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

Emma Slawinski of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics (centre) accepts the award. Photo credit: Compassion in World Farming

The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics won second prize in the European Commission's Health Award 2016 for fighting antimicrobial resistance.

The EU Health Award recognises and rewards the efforts and achievements of European NGOs towards reducing the threat to human health from antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the most challenging threats to human health. Each year, drug resistant infections result in an estimated 25,000 deaths and 1.5 billion euros in healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU.

Through the EU Health Award, the European Commission aims to draw attention to outstanding good practices by NGOs to reduce the threat to human health from AMR and encourage their wider replication throughout the EU.

The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics is an alliance of health, medical, civil society and animal welfare groups campaigning to stop the overuse of antibiotics in animal farming. It was founded by Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain in 2009. Our vision is a world in which human and animal health and well-being are protected by food and farming systems that do not rely on routine antibiotic use.

Recognised: For sticking our neck out

In 2016, Sustain's Chief Executive Kath Dalmeny was instrumental in catalysing third-sector challenges to the so-called "anti-advocacy clause".

This was a 2016 Cabinet Office proposal to prevent third-sector organisations (and universities) in receipt of government grants from using the money to advocate improved public policy. The wide-ranging nature of the prohibition on advocacy, and uncertainties around definitions and enforcement, would effectively have banned such organisations from talking to MPs, parliamentary researchers, civil servants, the media, or even giving evidence to Select Committees, unless explicitly receiving permission from the government to do so. Yet even asking for permission might have been construed as breaking the anti-advocacy rules. 

The photo shows Kath (to the right of the flower picture), with Sustain trustees and colleagues at Sustain's 2016 strategy day, being presented with an International Giraffe Appreciation Society Award. It was presented by Patti Rundall of Baby Milk Action (to the left of the flower picture), a Sustain Trustee. The International Giraffe Appreciation Society recognises, acknowledges and rewards (without financial incentives) "giraffes who stick their necks out in the public interest, particularly on behalf of unpopular causes". Read Sustain's submission to government on the anti-advocacy clause / Read Sustain's supplementary evidence.

Highly commended: Olympic fish buying

In 2014, Sustain's Sustainable Fish Cities campaign received a Highly Commended NGO Impact Award from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

The Sustainable Fish City campaign receives a Highly Commended award from CIEEM, 2014Sustain project officer Ruth Westcott (left, in the picture above) accepted the award on behalf of the campaign from CIEEM President John Box (centre), and David Stubbs (right), who was the Sustainability Manager for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. Sustainable Fish Cities helped the London 2012 organisers to adopt, implement and promote the first ever fully sustainable fish policy for a major international sporting event, and has gone on to use the inspiration of London 2012 to win sustainable fish policies from caterers that serve well over 500 million meals per year. In 2014, Sustainable Fish Cities went national, with campaigns being launched in 16 cities around the UK, with our help, as part of the Sustainable Food Cities initiative:

Special award: Junk free checkouts

Junk Free Checkouts campaign award

In 2014, Sustain's Children's Food Campaign received a special award from the Dietitians for Obesity Management (part of the British Dietetics Association) for their joint Junk Free Checkouts campaign.

At their 2014 AGM in Birmingham, the Dietitians for Obesity Management - a sub-group of the British Dietetic Association - awarded Sustain's Children's Food Campaign a ‘special partnership award’. The award was in recognition for the successes of our joint Junk Free Checkouts campaign. Malcolm Clark, then co-ordinator of Children's Food Campaign (pictured, right), collected the award from Linda Hindle, the outgoing chair of Dietitians for Obesity Management. 


Honoured: Real Bread Campaign

In 2013, the Coordinator of Sustain's Real Bread Campaign, Chris Young, won an honorary Young British Foodies Award.

Accepting the award from category judge Gizzi Erskine, Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: "This is for the 570 local Real Bread bakers we know so far and nearly 2,000 people who’ve become Real Bread Campaign members to support our work over the past four years."

Food writer, chef and TV presenter Erskine said of The Real Bread Campaign Coordinator Chris Young: "He’s a powerhouse, genuine and inspiring."

The Campaign was then currently coordinating the first ever Sourdough September to help people discover the delicious delights of ‘wild’ yeast leavened loaves. Since its launch in September 2010, membership had grown rapidly, and not only in the UK - the Campaign already had members in countries around the world, including Ireland, Finland, USA, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.  

Winner: Best green advertising

The Capital Bee project, linked to Sustain's Capital Growth programme, won a Silver Award in the 2011 International Green Awards, in the Best Green Advertising and PR Award category. 

Winner: Supporting environmental health

The President's Award from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health is "for an organisation that has made a significant contribution to environmental health" and was presented to Sustain in May 2011 at a reception hosted in the House of Lords by kind arrangement of CIEH Vice President Joan Walley MP.

Sustain staff Alex Jackson and Kath Dalmeny being presented with the 2011 CIEH President's AwardIn particular, the award recognised Sustain's work to improve food standards in public- and private-sector catering, such as the Good Food for Our Money campaign, Good Food on the Public Plate, Ethical Eats, Sustainable Fish City and healthy and sustainable food standards for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Sustain's Campaign for Better Hospital Food coordinator Alex Jackson (pictured, centre left) and then Deputy Coordinator Kath Dalmeny (centre right) accepted the 2011 CIEH Presidents Award from CIEH's Stephen Battersby and Bob Foster (left and right).

Commendation: Promoting food growing

In 2009, Sustain's Capital Growth project won a Certificate of Commendation from the Royal Horticultural Society, jointly with the Mayor of London and London Food Board.

The commendation was for the Capital Growth garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, demonstrating how to use small urban and domestic spaces for growing a colourful (and edible) array of fruit and vegetables in recycled containers. Read the press release

The picture show London's former Mayor Boris Johnson and former Chair of the London Food Board Rosie Boycott accepting the Certificate of Commendation from the Royal Horticultural Society, at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, for the Capital Growth initiative, which was run by Sustain.

Ben Reynolds and Ida Fabrizio of London Food Link and Capital Growth are on the right.

Winner: Championing animal welfare

Sustain's Good Food on the Public Plate project received a Good Egg Award from Compassion in World Farming in 2009.

The award was made in recognition of the work by project officers Jon Walker, Kena Duignan and David Rose to increase the number of free-range eggs used in public procurement in London. Imperial College, Thamesbrook Carehome, Royal Brompton Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital of the Chelsea Cluster also won Good Egg Awards as did the British Library and Birkbeck, University of London from the Camden Cluster. Read the project report

Sustain's Good Food on the Public Plate Project was established to help increase the supply of healthy and sustainable food into London's schools, local authorities and hospitals. We also helped to establish the multi-million pound collaborative Procurement Across London scheme, now run by the London Borough of Havering.

The picture shows Sustain project officer Jon Walker received a Good Egg Award from Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, on behalf of Sustain's Good Food on the Public Plate project.

Winner: Consumer campaign of the year

Children's Food Campaign was given the award for Consumer Campaign of the Year for Importance

Sustain's Children’s Food Campaign was recognised at the 8th Annual Good Housekeeping Consumer Awards in 2008, with an award for Consumer Campaign of the Year for Importance, for its work to improve children’s dietary health and protect them from junk food advertising. Former Sustain project officer Lianna Hulbert (pictured above, centre right) accepted the Good Housekeepign Consumer Award at the ceremony. Read the press release

Bonged: Coordinator receives MBE

Jeanette Longfield receiving her MBEJeanette Longfield, then Coordinator of Sustain, was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours in 2007 “for services to food policy issues”. Read the press release

The picture shows Jeanette Longfield outside Buckingham Palace, shortly after having been awarded her MBE by Her Majest the Queen, in 2007.


Scholarship: Sustainable farming

Emma Hockridge, project officer for Sustain’s Good Food on the Public Plate project, was awarded a prestigious Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2006 to study how UK grown “exotic” produce could provide economic opportunities for ethnic communities.  Download PDF for more information.

Lifetime award: For healthier food

Kath Dalmeny, Deputy Coordinator of Sustain (with Tim Lobstein of the Food Commission), with their joint 2006 Caroline Walker Trust awardKath Dalmeny, then Deputy Coordinator of Sustain (now Chief Executive), was given a Special Lifetime Award by the Caroline Walker Trust in 2006 for her research and campaign work in support of healthier and more sustainable food.

The Caroline Walker Trust, a member of the Sustain alliance, runs an annual award ceremony to recognise the work of those who have sought to improve public health through good food. Details of the awards can be seen at:

The picture shows Kath Dalmeny, then Policy Director of Sustain with colleague and mentor Dr Tim Lobstein of the Food Commission, with their joint 2006 Caroline Walker Trust Lifetime Award.

Winner: BBC Good Food Award

Jeanette Longfield, Coordinator of Sustain, receives a BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming award in 2005Sustain was the winner of the Judge's Special Award at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards in November 2005, in recognition of our 20 years' work with our members. Judge Sheila Dillon said: "It was Sustain's work into food that made it possible to start thinking about what to do, and what was wrong with school dinners."  Read the press release

The picture shows Jeanette Longfield, then Coordinator of Sustain, accepting the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming award in 2005, awarded as part of the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Sustain's Deputy Coordinator (now Chief Executive) Kath Dalmeny went on to become a member of the judging panel for the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards, serving in this capacity for 10 years.

Recognised: London Food Strategy

Dan Keech, Sustain's first London Food Link project officer, was awarded a certificate by the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone in 2004.

The Mayor thanked him for his "outstanding contribution to London". Dan was seconded from Sustain to help the London Development Agency develop the rationale and framework for a London Food Strategy and London Food Board to oversee implementation.

Winner: Investigative journalism award

Eating Oil: Food supply in a changing climate, published by Sustain in association with Elm Farm Research Centre, won the 2002 Guild of Food Writers Award for Investigative Journalism.

Winner: Food miles campaign

Peta Cottee, formerly Projects Director and now trustee of Sustain, with the 1996 Good Food Awards for the Food Miles campaignThe S.A.F.E. Alliance was winner of the Good Food Awards 1996, for ‘Best Educational Campaign for Adults’ for the Food Miles campaign.

S.A.F.E. merged with the National Food Alliance in 1999 to form Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming. The S.A.F.E. Alliance undertook pioneering work on sustainable agriculture and the first report on the environmental effect of increasing food miles. 

Peta Cottee , formerly Projects Director and trustee of Sustain, is pictured (left) with the 1996 Good Food Awards for the Food Miles campaign.

Winner: Schumacher Society Award

Vicki Hird, co-founder of the S.A.F.E. Alliance and now a trustee of Sustain, with the 1994 Schumacher Society awardThe S.A.F.E. Alliance (see note above) was given a Schumacher Society Award in 1994.

S.A.F.E. merged with the National Food Alliance in 1999 to form Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming. The S.A.F.E. Alliance undertook pioneering work on sustainable agriculture and the first report on the environmental effect of increasing food miles. 

The Schumacher Society recognises those people and organisations that demonstrate that both social and environmental sustainability can be achieved by applying the values of human-scale communities and respect for the natural environment to economic issues. 

Vicki Hird, co-founder of the S.A.F.E. Alliance, former trustee of Sustain, and now Sustain's Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator is pictured (left) with the 1994 Schumacher Society award.

Winner: Caroline Walker Trust Award

Jeanette Longfield, who was then Co-ordinator of the National Food Alliance (which merged with the S.A.F.E. Alliance to form Sustain in 1999) was Overall Winner of the Caroline Walker Trust Award in 1993. 

The Caroline Walker Trust, a member of the Sustain alliance, runs an annual award ceremony to recognise the work of those who have sought to improve public health through good food. Details of the awards can be seen at:

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