Sustain works in alliance with around 100 member organisations at national level, to champion better food, farming and fishing. Formal membership of the alliance is open to national organisations that do not distribute profits to private shareholders and which operate in the public or their members’ interest. The organisations must be wholly or partly interested in food or farming issues and support the general aims and work of the alliance. We also work with sister alliances that share our concerns, with statutory and non-statutory organisations, and with alliances and other groups in the devolved nations.
What does it mean to be a member of the Sustain alliance?
The Sustain alliance helps organisations with concerns about our food, farming and fishing system to join up, champion solutions that have the backing of a powerful coalition, campaign effectively for change, and become ‘more than the sum of our parts’. Sustain provides the secretariat for a range of targeted projects and campaigns, convened by skilled campaign coordinators, and we are frequently complimented for ‘punching well above our weight’. By joining the Sustain alliance, you can:
- Present your work and expertise as part of the system of solutions to the big challenges that face us in food, farming and fishing – addressing environment, public health, animal welfare and social justice in the round.
- Participate in project and campaign working parties, whose members actively participate in research, publications, standards-setting, campaign development and implementation, lobbying activities, joint meetings with policy-makers and other key activities. We have many notable wins under our collective belts. Sustain-alliance-led campaigns have led to, for example:
- Introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (sugary drinks tax) to combat obesity (working with the Jamie Oliver Foundation and others).
- A ban on junk food advertising during children’s TV programmes and near schools.
- Foodservice companies serving well over 850 million meals per year adopting verifiably sustainable fish policies.
- Healthy and sustainable food required in Government Buying Standards, NHS Standard Contracts for NHS hospitals, and healthy eating standards for school meals.
- Government powers to regulate fair trade with farmers, in the UK Agriculture Bill.
- Establishment of food partnerships in over 70 UK towns and cities as part of the Sustainable Food Cities network (working with the Soil Association and Food Matters); and the Food Power network (working with Church Action on Poverty and others).
- Have opportunities to network, speak at events, find out about relevant work and join in.
- Add your voice and expertise to joint submissions to government and other consultations, and help to influence the work of sister alliances with which we work, to ensure that public health, environment, climate change, farming, fair trade and animal welfare concerns are integrated.
- Add your voice and expertise to joint media work, letters to key decision-makers and position statements on issues of common concern.
- Help to design and champion initiatives that can bring real benefit to local communities.
- Influence the criteria our alliance uses to develop standards and measure success, whether this be dietary improvements, climate- and nature-friendly food, animal welfare or other criteria.
- Have the opportunity to stand for election to Sustain’s Council of Trustees, to help shape strategy and project implementation of the Sustain alliance.
- Have the opportunity to publicise your own news and publications via the Sustain network, working party members and, via our newsletters, to campaign supporters (over 50,000 people).
- Have the opportunity to develop partnership work with Sustain or other alliance members, where appropriate, that may lead to funding, larger scale implementation and positive impact.
Sustain member organisations also receive:
- Digest, a monthly summary of current activities by the membership and food policy issues from pertinent government departments, the food industry and elsewhere.
- A full record of all Sustain’s members’ and Council meetings.
- Additional, specialist information about the projects and campaigns you opt to join or follow.
Interested in becoming a Sustain member?
If your organisation is interested in becoming a Sustain alliance member or observer, download an application form at: www.sustainweb.org/membership or call the Sustain office on 020 3559 6777 to speak to Chief Executive Kath Dalmeny or Deputy Chief Executive Ben Reynolds for a conversation about how to get involved. When you submit an application, this is reviewed by the Sustain team and we may ask you for further information or clarification; we will make an initial assessment and take it to the next quarterly Sustain Council of Trustees meeting with a recommendation (the Council is elected by Sustain’s members). If they approve your application, it will then be taken to the next Sustain members AGM for ratification.
If your work is local or international rather than national, or you are an individual or represent a company or other profit-making organisation, you may prefer to get involved with a specific project or campaign, get on one or more of our mailing lists, publicise your healthy and sustainable food and farming events on our events calendar, or join a project or campaign advisory Working Party. Get in touch and we’ll help you decide how best to join in and share your unique perspectives.
If you are applying for membership, download and complete the application form (links at the top of this page) and send it together with your latest annual report and accounts, by email to email@example.com, or to: Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, The Green House, 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9DA.
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