Climate and Nature Development Coordinator

Job title

Climate and Nature Development Coordinator


Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming


£23,053 (three days per week), which equates to £38,421 full-time equivalent.  In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary


The post is London based. Travel within the UK is expected. Sustain’s office in the Cambridge Heath area of London

Position type

12 month fixed-term contract with potential to extend

Working hours

Ideally starting January/February 2020. Part-time, three days per week (21 hours). Flexible working hours are negotiable, for example spreading the hours over more days

Other details

12 days annual leave, which equates to 20 days full-time equivalent.  The annual leave rises by two days (pro rata) each year to a maximum limit of 25 days. The office closes over the Christmas period, and this period provides additional holiday days.

Website(s) and

Equal opportunities

Sustain is an equal opportunities employer. See our equal opportunities policy:  

Project background

With record temperatures gripping the world, widespread drought, changing seasons and large-scale loss of Arctic ice, the effects of climate change are being felt and recognised. At the same time, scientists are warning of an alarming decline in insects, soil, forests and biodiversity upon which our living systems and human food production depend. We are living in a time of climate and nature emergency. The decisions we take now will affect the ability of our planet to sustain us, and to sustain our children and generations to come.

In summer 2019, the Sustain food and farming alliance joined others in declaring a climate and nature emergency, see: Given the gravity and immediacy of climate change and precipitous loss of nature, there is growing frustration at the pace of change by businesses, national governments and local responses such as city-based action. Hence, Sustain is working with alliance members and others to develop campaigns and interventions that can make a big difference to policy and practice, with growing momentum and at large scale.

We hope to employ a person who can help implement existing activities, as well as shape the wider programme, taking a creative, collaborative and leadership role, working closely with key Sustain staff and member organisations. This is a new role for Sustain and we have big ambitions, grounded in a clear focus on priority areas of work. We are consulting on priorities, but broadly, we think the main areas that we and our members need to focus on are:

  • building better policy, beneficial subsidies, investment and market conditions, and suitable infrastructure for net zero carbon and agro-ecological farming, and for sustainable fisheries, that also secures decent livelihoods in sustainable food production;
  • achieving a fundamental shift to healthy and sustainable diets (including building the supply and supply chain infrastructure to meet these needs), including serious progress on achieving ‘less and better’ meat and dairy, and greater consumption of plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products;
  • radically reducing food waste – designing it out of the system;
  • securing climate- and nature-friendly land-use policies;
  • divestment from damaging food production and investment in agro-ecological food production and distribution;
  • examining how fiscal and policy measures can shift industry and consumer choices and behaviours, at scale; with a view to development of campaigns to win such measures;
  • cultivating the good food movement.

On some of these issues, Sustain has well-established programmes led by senior campaign staff (for example, on sustainable farming and fishing), or is working closely with sister networks that we co-founded to help develop important interventions (for example, the Sustainable Food Cities Network and the Eating Better Alliance). For some, Sustain will lead and early progress needs to be turned into effective programmes of work. For others, we will support Sustain alliance members and others – their expertise and solutions – to come to the fore.

About Sustain

Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. We represent around 100 organisations working internationally, nationally, regionally and locally. Some of our recent alliance campaign successes include the following, we have:

  • Put a sugary drinks tax on the national agenda, then campaigned successfully with chef Jamie Oliver to see it adopted in the 2016 Spring Budget and confirmed in the government’s August 2016 Obesity Plan. This came after we also won robust legislation to protect children from junk food adverts on TV.
  • Won national public-sector standards for food served in UK hospitals, schools, prisons, government and the armed forces, to benefit farmers, farm animals, sustainable fisheries and healthier eating.
  • Secured a commitment to a fair trading obligation in the government’s draft Agriculture Bill (2018/19), to help farmers, complementing the ‘public money for public goods’ approach to farm subsidies that Sustain also helped to secure.
  • Persuaded foodservice companies and suppliers that serve over 0.95 billion meals per year to adopt verifiably sustainable fish policies.
  • Worked with the Organic Trade Board to facilitate the UK’s first generic organic marketing campaign, helping put the organic market back into growth for the first time since the recession.
  • Re-framed the national response to the current food poverty crisis, away from food banks and towards practical solutions to household food insecurity, helping vulnerable people to eat well.
  • Facilitated creation of over 2,000 new community food growing spaces in London, working with many partner groups, the Mayor of London, local authorities and other land owners.

Sustain is an unusual organisation – small, creative, friendly, supportive, responsive and highly effective. We are frequently complimented for “punching well above our weight”. We value our staff and pride ourselves on creating an organisational culture that focuses on good relationships and working together to achieve ambitious change. Our work on climate and nature emergency is ambitious and exciting, with the aim of Sustain helping to catalyse significant changes in policy and practice.

For more information see and

Job description

Roles and responsibilities

1. Coordinate Sustain’s approach to climate and nature emergency:

  • Work closely with Sustain’s chief executive Kath Dalmeny and deputy chief executive Ben Reynolds to develop Sustain’s ambitions on this critically important programme, in liaison with other senior staff leading on key elements and programmes
  • Maintain a strategic oversight and understanding of Sustain’s various strands of work relevant to climate and nature emergency and how they fit together
  • Work with the management team to help key staff strategise, plan next steps, maintain their clear focus and make the most of emerging opportunities
  • Pick up on recommendations from Sustain’s current work, and from the Food in Climate and Nature Emergency ‘triage event’ that we aim for Sustain to co-host with others early in 2020, helping to develop with participants a shared vision for what we are all seeking to achieve and each organisation’s role in doing so
  • Understand the models of intervention being championed by Sustain and others, and what they can best offer to help achieve our shared vision
  • Instigate or participate in stakeholder meetings and consultation to develop shared activities (projects or campaigns) aimed at changing policy and practice
  • Help to champion a coherent picture of necessary interventions and key players with stakeholders and funders
  • Undertake research to help make the case for specific interventions and for the Sustain alliance’s role in catalysing them
  • Help to develop and maintain relationships with key potential funders, project partners, evaluation and research teams
  • Help to develop (or lead on) project proposals and fundraising to secure sufficient staff capacity to fulfil our climate and nature emergency ambitions

2. Support coordinated action by the Sustainable Food Cities Network:

  • Organise one or more webinar(s) for the Sustainable Food Cities Network, exploring the best ways to support a coherent programme of work to implement the priorities identified here:
  • Identify a cohort of pioneering cities willing to take next steps; to help Sustain and participating cities and partners understand both the opportunities and barriers to this approach, and the best ways we could catalyse change at larger scale and with more cities
  • Work with the Sustain and Sustainable Food Cities team to secure the necessary funding, staffing, support, partnerships and other resources that could facilitate a cohort of cities to implement ambitious programmes of change
  • Cultivate existing and new leads and opportunities to spread the influence of this work

3. Support coordinated action in London:

  • Work with others at Sustain, and with sector specialists, to undertake a review of key elements of Sustain’s Good Food for London programme:, helping to refresh our approach to measuring progress by London Boroughs on their action to support healthy and sustainable food, updating this to serve the climate and nature emergency agenda
  • Establish good relationships with key contacts in London’s Boroughs, the Greater London Authority and organisations who provide practical solutions relevant to climate and nature emergency (e.g. Food for Life Served Here, Eating Better Alliance, Feedback, Sustainable Fish Cities, London Waste and Recycling Board, WRAP and others)
  • Undertake research on good practice in London Boroughs relevant to climate and nature emergency in relation to food; and support publication of a report that reflects evolution of the Good Food for London process to support the climate and nature emergency agenda, providing a new baseline and recommendations for how Good Food for London should develop in future
  • Supervise the delivery of the Good Food for London project, which may involve line management of a project delivery officer
  • Identify the support needs for London Boroughs and local food partnerships to take action and, where there are gaps, work with the Sustain team to secure the necessary funding, staffing, partnerships and other resources to make this possible

4. Keep a growing network of people engaged and informed:

  • With support from Sustain’s communications staff, coordinate a food in climate and nature emergency newsletter, blogs and social media presence, and relevant content for the news, blogs, media and social media of others

The role is based in Sustain’s London office, and we expect it will involve travel nationally (and possibly occasionally internationally), occasionally with overnight stays, to enable participation of a wide range of geographical locations through consultation, meeting with partners, stakeholders and groups showing leadership on key issues, regional events, and occasional conferences. This role may involve some responsibilities for line management of staff or volunteers. The post holder will also undertake any other responsibilities in connection with the project that may arise from time to time.

Personal specification

Sustain is seeking to employ a creative and experienced, multi-talented, determined and motivated coordinator to help lead and inspire an ambitious programme of work on climate and nature. The coordinator will support alliance members to play their part; and proactively to develop opportunities to enhance the Sustain alliance’s collective reach and impact.


  • Knowledge of issues surrounding the climate and nature emergency, preferably in relation to sectors such as food, farming and/or fishing
  • Knowledge of practical interventions to address climate and nature impacts in a relevant sector, preferably in relation to food, farming and fishing
  • Track record of developing successful campaigns or policy initiatives
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with strong attention to detail, preferably including the ability to translate complex information into material that practitioners can use in their everyday roles to implement change
  • Excellent relationship building and team working skills
  • Ability to work independently, with high levels of self-motivation
  • Good project management, time management and organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines
  • Good track record in fundraising and developing funder relationships
  • Energy, enthusiasm, creativity and tenacity
  • Entitlement to work in the UK (Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits)
  • Availability to commence work promptly following the recruitment process


  • Experience in catalysing and co-ordinating action by groups of people or organisations
  • Confidence and experience in making presentations and consulting with stakeholders
  • Ability to help people navigate complex issues and diverse opinions towards achievement of shared goals
  • Experience of working with local authorities and the public sector
  • Personal commitment to sustainable food and farming and to catalysing practical action on the climate and nature emergency
  • Experience of volunteer and/or staff management
  • Experience of working with the media

This post will report to and be line-managed by Sustain’s Chief Executive, Kath Dalmeny; also working with several others in the Sustain staff team.


Please send a CV and covering letter addressing the person specifications set out in the job description above. Applications by email to: As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please add CLIMATE to the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Closing date for applications: 5pm, 9 December 2019. Successful candidates will be notified by 13 December. Interviews will take place on 18 December in Sustain’s offices. Unfortunately, we are not able to respond to those who are unsuccessful in getting an interview. We encourage applications from anyone with relevant skills and interests, but regret that we are unable to assist with finding accommodation or with visa applications. We envisage this work to start early in 2020.


The Sustain alliance is a registered charity (no 1018643) and a company limited by guarantee, which is registered in England and Wales (no 02673194). Registered office: The Green House, 244 – 254 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9DA

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2019
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