Sustain / Jobs

Economic Policy Coordinator

Job title

Economic Policy Coordinator


Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming

Gross Annual Salary

£32,292 on 0.8 FTE (FT equivalent £40,365). In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.


0.8 FTE (28 hours / 4 days per week) for 1 year with potential for more days subject to fundraising.


Role is office-based in Cambridge Heath, London. Travel around the UK is possible.

Position type

1-year fixed term with a 3-month probation period (with extension subject to funding).

Annual Leave

16 days Basic Annual Leave based on 0.8 FTE + same proportion of public hols + office closures.

Closing date

10am, Monday 21 June 2021


Contact email

Equal opportunities

Sustain is an equal opportunities employer. See our Equal Opportunities Policy.

Right to Work

Entitlement to work in the UK. You will need to hold the necessary rights/visa to work in the UK, Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits.

Other details

Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis.

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.

About this role

The food sector, from farm to fork, is the UK’s biggest industry, employing 1 in 7 of our workforce. It is a sector that crosses the whole country and every community; from food production, food supply, to hospitality and retail and everything in between. It is also a sector that can meet multiple government agendas including advancing the green economic recovery, improving public health and boosting local jobs. Recent crises have exposed how fragile our existing food system is, with shortages in some areas, and a need to consider how to make our food supply more resilient.

And yet, food, farming and fishing are being overlooked as mechanisms to drive economic recovery across the UK. Those businesses which support more environmentally sustainable systems and make healthier options more accessible, affordable and attractive, could with the right backing have a greater impact delivering these benefits whilst also creating more jobs and better livelihoods.

The main aim of this role is to ensure that good food enterprise is included within policy and investment linked to UK-wide efforts to stimulate a green economic recovery. This role will focus on key sectors and ideas that through the right investment and policy support in relevant areas including farming, fishing, certification, alternative livestock feeds, the circular food economy, baking, shorter supply chains, markets and good food retail, dynamic procurement and meals on wheels as outlined in this report. But these proposals are just the start, and we hope this role will identify and champion other ideas for how the food system could create jobs in a way that benefits people and planet.

Tasks and responsibilities

This role will have a varied and exciting workload and work in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management, Sustain staff, alliance members and exemplary enterprises.

The responsibilities will include:

  • Building relationships with investors and policy makers, industry bodies and practitioners, who are developing proposals linked to and building the case for Building Back Better and a Green Economic Recovery, to make sure that good food and farming features.
  • Forming a working party of key organisations/initiatives in the good food sector who can articulate the benefits to increasing good employment and livelihoods in those sectors that will contribute towards a healthier and sustainable food system as well as the impact of low paid jobs in the sector and organise their input through policy, public affairs and comms sub-groups.
  • Working with these organisations to plan a series of briefings, webinars and engagement with investors, MPs and policy makers – particularly in Defra, BEIS & Treasury, and linked to the National Food Strategy.
  • Supporting these organisations/initiatives with research and to determine the extent of positive or negative socio-economic and environmental impacts (e.g. on jobs, emissions, impacts on local economies and communities) resulting from the proposed investment/policy change. These would be determined at the constituency level (and the negative costs of alternatives), in order to gain political support from MPs. This could include areas identified in our economic recovery report, including the circular food economy, baking, short supply chains, good food retail and much more.
  • Identifying further opportunities that could complement those in consideration and contribute to a Good Food Economy and be explored through the activities listed above.
  • Developing relationships with the press to land stories on the outputs and ideas above, and moreover to ensure our narrative starts to gain ground, particularly through responsive media and comment.
  • To work closely with colleagues focusing on delivering a good food economy at a local level (local authority or Local Economic Partnership - LEP), using their work to inform our national policy calls, and likewise to provide evidence and insight to influence their local work. This will include working closely with colleagues in Sustain’s Good Food Economy team and Parliamentary and Communications teams so your work fits with overarching strategy and delivery of our work programme.

The Coordinator will also:

  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, and project participants.
  • Actively identify ways to support diverse groups through their work, in line with Sustain’s policy on improving diversity in the food movement, including supporting racial and socio-economic justice
  • 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 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 campaigner and economic policy expert who shares our commitment to improving the UK food system, and who has the following skills and experience:


  • Experience working on economic policy related to food, fishing and/or farming
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to translate complex data and policies into accessible language and engaging stories and communication materials
  • Degree level qualification or equivalent in economics or environmental economics
  • Experience of working with policy makers, either in Government, or in a lobbying/advisory role.
  • Experience of running webinars and meetings with a dispersed set of stakeholders
  • Knowledge of environmental and social issues with regard to 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


  • Experience of economic modelling and proficient use of excel
  • Experience of economic impact assessments
  • Experience of getting media coverage and established contacts with media outlets/journalists
  • Experience of producing digital content for web and social media
  • Experience of working within a network or coalition
  • Digital campaigning and social networking skills
  • Good public speaking skills


Diversity matters to us. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution. Diversity helps us identify where change is needed and what is required to promote equity as well as reflect the concerns of our wide alliance of members.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire.

The Economic Policy Coordinator will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please email the following:

- a completed Application form
- a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form

As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please put Economic Policy Coordinator in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 10am, 21 June 2021
Interviews for this position will take place virtually the week commencing 28 June 2021. We are looking for the role to start in September 2021.

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 2021
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