Communications and Learning Coordinator

Job title

Communications and Learning Coordinator


Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming


£31,659 (4 days a week) gross, which equates to £39,574 full-time equivalent.  In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.


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

Position type

36 months fixed-term contract with potential to extend

Working hours

Part-time, four days per week (28 hours).  Travel within Europe will be required, with occasional overnight stays

Other details

16 days basic 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.


Equal opportunities

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

About Sustain

This role is based within Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming which 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ran a network of 1,000+ small-scale food businesses, helping them source ethical food, reduce food waste, divert unavoidable food waste to useful purposes, and to promote their work.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Secured commitments from over half of supermarkets to remove junk food from their checkouts.
  • 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.

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. For more information see

About this role

This role has two main parts. The first half is to work with Sustain staff across our print, newsletter and digital communications to improve the quality, quantity and impact and increase the profile of Sustain, its projects and the aims of the alliance. Further details of this important work are provided under ‘tasks and responsibilities’, below. The second half of the role is to lead on the communications and learning strand of the international FoodShift 2030 project, for which Sustain is a partner.

About FoodSHIFT

Commencing from January 2020, the FoodSHIFT2030 project aims to achieve an ambitious citizen-driven transition of the European food system towards a low carbon circular future. The transition includes a shift to less meat and more plant based diets, while improving food and nutrition security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and revitalising urban-rural linkages. 

The project has received 7.5 million Euros from the EU Horizon 2020 programme and features a strong multi-actor consortium with 31 partners composed of local governments, small and medium sized enterprises, NGOs, universities, research institutions and network partners, including IFOAM EU. 

The rapid transition to a citizen-driven food system that the programme aims for will begin in FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs in nine city-regions: Greater Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Bari, Brasov, Berlin, Greater Copenhagen, Oostende and Wroclaw. Subsequently the learning and experiences will be shared with twenty-seven other city-regions ('Enabler Labs'). Each lab will work on maturing, combining and scaling up existing food system innovations within a specific thematic focus - including urban agriculture, procurement, food waste, climate friendly food, food education, and much more.

Sustain will be contributing to FoodSHIFT2030 as a network partner leading on sharing learning (knowledge transfer) and dissemination via city and region networks and also between FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs and Enabler Labs. Sustain will facilitate this by providing webinars and applying their experiences from the Sustainable Food Cities and Food Power networks, and drawing on relationships with many international partners. For more information about the FoodSHIFT2030 project, check out:

Tasks and responsibilities

The Communications and Learning Coordinator will have a varied and exciting workload and work in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management, Sustain staff, staff working on Sustainable Food Cities (run in partnership with Food Matters, the Soil Association and Sustain), cities and project partners.

The Coordinator’s responsibilities will include (with indication of likely divide of time over the week):

Within FoodSHIFT:

  • To inform, understand, demonstrate and spread knowledge from this project about replicable models to improve urban food systems and their measurable impact on key indicators.
  • To help the Accelerator Labs (cities) by working with Sustain staff to feed in our experience on city based initiatives that have scaled up solutions on the following issues: fish, urban farming, public procurement, rural to urban supply chains, food waste, local food infrastructure and plant based diets.
  • To bring our experience on good food governance locally through the Sustainable Food Cities and Food Power networks.

The Coordinator will deliver these by organising a programme of webinars and workshops, as well as encouraging the production of materials including videos and toolkits, and the use of relevant information sharing platforms such as email forums, working with both UK and international partners. The role will also involve travel within Europe to attend meetings and events and to share learning.

Within Sustain’s wider work:

Working with Sustain staff to improve the quality, quantity and impact of our communications and increase the profile of Sustain, its projects and the aims of the alliance. Here are some examples of what this would include:

  • Producing, and helping implement, communication plans with staff for their project and campaigns work.
  • Increasing press and digital media coverage for Sustain’s work.
  • Coordinating Sustain’s press list and strengthening relationships with key journalists and media outlets.
  • Working with staff to ensure that Sustain’s responses to topical news stories are sent to relevant media sources and posted on our website and via other digital media.
  • Working with Sustain alliance members and their press leads to identify key spokespeople on various food and farming issues to forward media responses where we do not have in-house capacity.
  • Producing Sustain’s digital newsletter Digest, coordinating content including adding Sustain alliance members’ news on the Sustain website.
  • Regularly monitoring and analysing the impact of Sustain’s output both on the Sustain website and social media platforms to help us develop our content for greater impact.
  • Increasing traffic to Sustain’s websites, and working with Sustain’s Digital team to improve people’s experience on the sites.
  • Organising staff training to improve skills on e.g. supporter newsletters, social media, press and media work, including interviews and press releases.
  • Helping to ensure that all of Sustain’s communications better reflect the diversity of voices of those we are working with and for.
  • Coordinating (but not delivering) production of videos and other audio and visual content for all Sustain projects for use on e.g. web pages, social media and events.

The Communications and Learning Coordinator will also:

  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, and project participants.
  • Support fundraising activities to enhance, extend campaigns or develop new ones, contributing ideas and expertise to fundraising initiatives that may be of benefit to programme partners and cities.
  • Maintain excellent financial and other records, to help with accountability and open to public and funder scrutiny. The Coordinator will work with Sustain’s finance and management team to report to the funder, relevant project working parties and sub-groups, and the Sustain Council of Trustees (who ultimately also report to Sustain alliance members).

The role is based in Sustain’s London office, and will also involve European travel with overnight stays, up to twice a year. The post holder will also undertake any other responsibilities in connection with the work that may arise from time to time, which may in the future include line management responsibilities.

Personal specification

Sustain is seeking a creative and experienced communicator with fantastic team working skills who shares our commitment to improving the food system, and who has the following skills and experience:


  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills in fluent spoken and written English, with strong attention to detail and the ability to translate complex data and policies into accessible language and engaging stories and communication materials
  • Experience of getting media coverage and established contacts with media outlets/journalists/bloggers
  • Experience of running webinars and facilitating learning between a dispersed set of stakeholders
  • Experience of organising and running training sessions or workshops
  • Knowledge of issues on healthy and sustainable food and farming
  • Excellent relationship building and team working skills, supporting achievement of shared goals
  • 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
  • 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
  • Availability to travel within Europe for meetings


  • Experience of working within a network or coalition
  • Digital campaigning and social networking skills
  • Good public speaking skills
  • Experience in the field of healthy and sustainable food, and action at a city level
  • Experience of working with local government and city/place-based approaches to sustainable food
  • Reasonable communication skills in one or more European language other than English


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 FoodSHIFT to the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Closing date for applications: 10am, 23 March 2020. Successful candidates will be notified by 27 March. Interviews will take place on 3 April 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.

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;


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

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 2020
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies