October – December 2015

Crunch Ambassador Network
Contact Maria Deveraux, maria@sustainweb.org

The Crunch website is now live (thecrunch.wellcome.ac.uk) and being used to help recruit ambassadors. If you or anyone in your organisation is interested in becoming a Crunch Ambassadors then please sign up online or contact Maria.

We have started recruiting ambassadors for The Crunch with the help of the Sustainable Food Cities network, Sustain members and other networks. We have already reached half of our 500 target and some of the events for ambassadors, planned across the country for the first half of 2016 are already full.


Campaign for Better Hospital Food
Contact Katherine Button (after 6 October), www.sustainweb.org/hospitalfood/

  • We have received a £5,000 donation from UNISON

  • We submitted a briefing to peers in the House of Lords on the state of hospital food, which was quoted in a Lords debate on building a health-creating society in the UK

  • We have successfully planned the Better Hospital Food meal to take place 19th January, hosted by Prue Leith and to be attended by NHS Trust leaders and Head of NHS England Simon Stevens

Inspired by the successful Beyond the Food Bank and Good Food for London reports, we have started to put together a report that takes a snapshot of the quality hospital food across London. The report will display a 'heat map' of good and bad practice and rank hospitals according to their food standards. Work has begun to plan this project and research the information necessary to make it happen.

Over the past few months we have built up a very positive working relationship with the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) Chair Phil Shelley and hope to work together to drive up standards in hospital food, and the changes necessary to make this happen. Philip has agreed to help investigate the quality of food as it stands as part of a survey to HCA members. This will also be a very helpful contribution to the fact-finding mission necessary to successfully deliver our local London campaign.

We have also built strong working relationships with UNISON and the medical association Medact. UNISON have expressed their confidence in this next stage of our campaign by donating £5,000 to the cause. In addition to this they have committed to help research for the local London campaign wherever possible by surveying their members. We have also agreed to involve UNISON in the other strand of our local campaign, to make improvements to hospital food in an NHS Trust outside London. Medact have partnered with us on the local campaign front and we will work together with them on both the London mapping and the local NHS Trust campaign.

Meanwhile, the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust in an area that received support from the Campaign continue building work on their new hospital and have awarded the re-tendered construction contract to a bid that included plans for an off-site hospital kitchen. This kitchen, or 'food hub', will provide fresh, healthy and sustainable food for hospitals and meals-on-wheels services in the area. The Liverpool campaign has fought hard to get this far and the work continues to raise all or part of the £600,000 to allow work on the kitchen to go ahead.

On the national front, we have heard news that the national hospital food standards are under constant review and that some regulatory documents are being accompanied with a check list to make them easier for hospitals and caterers to understand. Phil Shelley of HCA is arranging a meeting for the Campaign with Jane Crossley and Liz Jones of the Department of Health, after which we hope to learn more about this process and how we can contribute.

Last year the Government ran a short and unpublicised consultation on the aims for NHS England over the next four years. The Campaign for Better Hospital Food ran a social media and email action at short notice that asked supporters to respond to call for better, healthier food in our hospitals to be a priority before the November deadline. We had a great response and we thank everyone that answered the call.

We are now looking ahead to the Better Hospital Food meal, to be hosted by Prue Leith and attended by NHS England CEO Simon Stevens and leaders of NHS Trusts, to take place on 19 January. We hope the meal will provide a platform for the Trust CEOs, Public Health Managers and Facilities Directors attending to share their best practice in hospital food and develop their ideas for how to achieve improvements.


Capital Growth 
Contact Julie Riehl, Maddie Guerlain or Sarah Williams, www.capitalgrowth.org

  • 'Grow your own business' school marketplace at London’s City Hall in October, with over 50 students and teachers from 13 schools attending to sell their produce to the local community

  • Capital Growth hosted our first Roots to Work event in November, where 65 people learned about food growing careers and enterprise through panels, workshops and networking

  • In November we launched the Harvestometer School Challenge, which over 30 schools have joined (so far) to grow food and measure it using our online Harvestometer

  • Capital Growth hosted five trainings, on topics such as the legality of selling produce, fruit tree and bush pruning and how to incorporate food growing into the school curriculum

Capital Growth hosted its third seasonal school marketplace at London’s City Hall on 15 October, on the theme of ‘Grow your own business’, with 13 schools attending from 10 boroughs. During the day schools competed to win awards for ‘Best enterprising product’ and ‘Best dressed stall’ and ‘People’s choice’. As a part of Food Growing Schools: London’s Growathon, in November we launched The Harvestometer School Challenge to incentivise schools to grow food and measure it using the Harvestometer, with a chance to win great prizes later this year, for most food grown per square metre; the biggest range of produce, and School Food Hero.

On 26 November we hosted ‘Roots to Work’, a day of workshops, panels, networking and a small crowd-funded competition focused on food growing careers and enterprise. There were 65 people in attendance, including speakers Alice Holden and Sophie Verhagen from Growing Communities; Joris Gunawardena from Sutton Community Farm; and Kate Collyns from Grown Green @Hartley Farm. Topics included how to start up an urban farm, a career panel, income generation for small growers and how to freelance your growing skills. At lunch three groups pitched their new project ideas to the crowd, who then had a chance to pitch in a few pounds to support them, and vote on their favourite to receive further funding. Microgreens and mushroom growing start-up Micro_Cycle won £250 for first place, with Audacious Veg coming in second and Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses in third. The day received overwhelmingly positive feedback and we look forward to hosting similar events again in the future.

During this quarter Capital Growth also supported and attended the winter London Food Link networking do at Apiary Studios in Bethnal Green. We were also involved in helping with Sustain’s Good Food for London report launch at City Hall in December. This year 15 boroughs received full marks for support for community food growing, with a further 12 boroughs fulfilling two of the three criteria for support.


Children’s Food Campaign
Contact Malcolm Clark, www.sustainweb.org/childrensfoodcampaign/

  • Malcolm gave evidence on junk food marketing and sugary drinks duty to Health Select Committee inquiry into childhood obesity

  • A sugary drinks tax was debated in Parliament and gained support of four former health ministers and dozens of MPs from across the political spectrum

  • Many of the campaign’s policy calls were included within recommendations of Public Health England's ‘Sugar Reduction: from evidence to action’ position paper, as well as within the Health Select Committee’s final report

  • Victory with Nestlé: the Advertising Standards Authority upheld our complaint against the marketing of sugary milk flavouring Nesquik as a suitable regular breakfast option for children

The Children's Food Campaign spent much of the autumn in and around Parliament. We built on the momentum of Jamie Oliver’s Sugar Rush TV documentary and associated campaign, and our joint petition (signed by over 150,000 people) made significant political headway. We were invited to give evidence in front of the Health Select Committee – one of only a dozen witnesses called in their inquiry into what should be in the Government's childhood obesity strategy. We helped brief Jamie ahead of his own appearance, and worked closely with his team to maximise media coverage, which included three Daily Mail front pages that week.

Together with Keith Vaz MP and the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Diabetes and Heart Disease, we organised an event for MPs to learn more about a sugary drink tax and measures to restrict junk food marketing to children. This meeting, attended by a packed room of MPs and researchers, was addressed by Jamie Oliver. We continued to keep up the pressure for the petition to be given a full debate in Parliament, and successfully persuaded the Petitions Committee of the case. The debate took place on 30 November, in Westminster Hall, and over a dozen MPs from across the political spectrum spoke in favour of a sugary drinks tax. On the same day, the Health Select Committee published its report, with its message that “brave and bold action” is required, along with recommendations on a pre-9pm TV junk food ad ban, online marketing restrictions, and a sugary drinks tax – all Campaign aims.

Just before Christmas, in a landmark ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint by the Children's Food Campaign that the sugary milk flavouring product Nesquik is not a suitable regular breakfast option for children, despite Nestlé's marketing to the contrary. Nesquik is no longer allowed to claim that it is a “great start to the day”. The complaint stemmed from an advert for Nesquik which appeared on bottles of Asda own-brand milk.

After years of pressure, we have finally made progress with the Committee on Advertising Practice, which announced a review of rules on non-broadcast marketing of food to children. We participated in a pre-consultation stakeholder engagement event and now await the consultation itself in mid-2016.

CFC is a member of the new anti-obesity alliance of Medical Colleges and health charities, launched at the end of November. The alliance has come together to push common policy goals, including on robust restrictions on unhealthy food marketing and a sugary drinks tax.

In the holiday spirit, we did one last campaign action of 2015: dressing up as tooth fairies and dancing around a Coca-Cola Christmas truck outside the 02 venue in North Greenwich, to provide an alternative spectacle and a healthier message!

One final bit of good news: at a Prime Minister's Question Time in October, David Cameron gave his commitment to keeping Universal Infant Free School Meals. This was the culmination of wave of political pressure and media coverage which school food campaigners – including ourselves – had undertaken.


Children’s Health Fund
Contact Gloria Davies-Coates, www.childrenshealthfund.org.uk

  • The Children's Health Fund has recruited 127 restaurants since launching in September 2015

  • The grants are being launched week commencing 18 January 2016

  • The focus for the first open funding round (two per year envisaged) will be promotion of drinking quality tap water through publicly accessible water fountains.

We continue our discussions with other restaurants around the country who want to join. Three Brighton businesses, including Brighton & Hove Council have joined, with interest shown from Wirral and Havering councils. We are also targeting cities through our networks, with Bournemouth, Newcastle and Cardiff on the horizon. Most recent sign-ups include London’s City Hall and Brighton & Hove Council.

Applications for grants will be open on 18 January 2016 with funding allocated in May 2016. The focus for the first round of funding will be promotion of drinking tap water through publicly accessible water fountains. We have developed a supportive relationship with Water UK, the over-arching organisation for all water companies in the UK and the fund is being promoted through their networks as well as general press. In addition, all participating restaurants have been sent a briefing to encourage restaurant staff to tell customers about the grants and encourage applications.


Farming Policy
Contact Kath Dalmeny, www.sustainweb.org/foodandfarmingpolicy/

We have reached stage two of a funding application to the Friends Provident Foundation, and will be submitting a bid after further consultation, with an April 2016 deadline. We have also been invited to interview for a bid we submitted to the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Foundation. These are both aimed at recruiting a staff member to run a campaign for a million better jobs for better farming and land use.

We are continuing to plan and undertake a seminar and research programme in partnership with the New Economics Foundation and the Food Research Collaboration at City University, investigating opportunities to create more and better jobs in sustainable farming. We are also undertaking interviews and themed meetings with a wide range of organisations that are working on the various aspects of farming practice and policy, to find out how Sustain can best help make their work a success.

Ben organised, and Kath will chair, a session at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in January. This will cover the subject of a million better jobs for better farming and land use, with contributions from Unite, Tenant Farmers Association, the land-based skill sector council Lantra and the Soil Association.

To come, to cover Funding bids, research, meetings, GCA Review, ORFC

As noted previously, Traidcraft and Feedback, the food waste charity led by Tristram Stuart and for which Kath is a trustee, have started to convene a collaboration of NGOs, including the National Farmers Union and other farming representatives, to feed in to the Grocery Code Adjudicator review set for spring 2016. This is focusing on stopping on-farm food waste caused by supermarkets changing orders or rejecting crops on dubious cosmetic grounds – at home and abroad; fair prices for farmers – a “fair share of the pie”; and contractual terms – farmers being in a very poor position to negotiate. The long-term aim is to get farmers included under the protection of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.  Activities this quarter include identifying and meeting with MPs that might take up the cause in Parliament.


Growing Health 
Contact Maria Devereux or Sarah Williams, www.sustainweb.org/growinghealth/

  • Liverpool growers seek out a natural health service

  • We have been commissioned for a new guide on tools for measuring health and wellbeing

Our latest conference was held in Liverpool in October, attended by a mix of over 50 health professionals, commissioners and growers. People had a chance to hear from projects including Liverpool Food People, as well as Rachel Bragg from Care Farming UK, national charity Thrive and Liverpool Public Health. Presentations are available on our website. The theme was how to develop and roll out a natural health service, incorporating food growing into prescriptions and treatment.

Growing Health has been commissioned to write a guide to help growing projects find the right tools for measuring their impact. The work funded by a Groundwork-led Communities Living Sustainably programme is underway and on Wednesday 23 March 2016, there will be a workshop to discuss and share experiences of the tools highlighted in the guide. Anybody with an interest in measuring health and wellbeing outcomes from community food growing will be welcome to attend.


London Food Link

Contacts: Chris Young or Sofia Parente, londonfoodlink@sustainweb.org, www.londonfoodlink.org Twitter @londonfoodlink

  • Our November networking do was a great success, with over 80 people attending

  • 25 micro-grants were awarded to small food community enterprises

On 30 November, Apiary Studios in Bethnal Green hosted around 80 London Food Link supporters, staff and friends gathered for the latest of our good food networking events. Amongst the speakers and other attendees were Urban Food Routes enterprises and Urban Food Award winners and nominees, including SoleShare, Fruit Magpie, Papi's Pickles, Hackney Herbal, Bermondsey Street Bees and Shift (FKA We Are What We Do). People attending heard from, and chatted with, folk involved with Food Assembly, Honestly Good Food, The Children's Health Fund, The Crunch, SoleShare, Bermondsey Street Bees, The Urban Foraging Society, Hackney Herbal and Kitchen Table Projects.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with comments including: “the five-minute snapshots of various, diverse and inspirational speakers/projects were super engaging and fabulous”, and that we “kept the vibe buzzing for an all-round great networking event”.

This quarter, London Food LInk distributed micro-grants of between £75 and £200, as part of the Urban Food Routes project, working with the Greater London Authority food team and Plunkett Foundation.  As well as 18 given out for groups taking part in Urban Food Fortnight, a further seven were awarded as part of a winter funding round.  Through this work nine groups have also been awarded site visits, to provide advice on their food enterprise work. We also promoted the latest round of Urban Food Routes main grants for community food SMEs, working with the other project partners to select the winners. Fifteen successful applicants received up to £1,500 and business advice from the Plunkett Foundation.

To help boost their respective networks, Sustain member organisation Slow Food UK and London Food Link now offer a discounted introductory rate to the other’s supporters/members when they join the second network. We have worked with a number of companies who have agreed to renew their offers to London Food Link supporters, including Bread Ahead, Bulldog Tools, Culinary Anthropologist, Farmdrop, Meat School, The Organic Gardening Catalogue and Wildes Cheese.


London Mayoral Elections update

We have been trying to organise the first London Mayoral hustings focusing on food. We have been in conversations with the candidates, or their teams, from Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. Most of them have shown a desire to make commitments around food within their election manifestos, with issues covered including diet related disease, food poverty, the food economy, and the environmental impact of food.


Cage Free Capital campaign, contact Sofia Parente, www.sustainweb.org/londonfoodlink/cage_free_capital/

The events caterer (Ampersand, part of CH&Co) at the Old Royal Naval College received a visit from the campaign in December.  They were handed a symbolic plastic egg containing hundreds of names of London Food Link supporters who asked the attraction to serve cage-free eggs back in September.  See “Caterer Ampersand challenged to improve animal welfare by London Food Link supporters”: www.sustainweb.org/news/dec15_ampersand_cagefree/    

The key outcomes of this campaign, kindly supported by Compassion in World Farming, include:

  • Three of the most visited London attractions have signed the Cage Free pledge (Natural History Museum, Museum of London, Imperial War Museum) and 11 others got in touch stating what action they are taking to source cage free eggs

  • We estimate the campaign had an impact on over 56,000 hens – the total number of hens required to produce the eggs served at these 14 attractions every year

  • As a result of London attractions contacting their caterers on cage-free eggs, a total of 16 caterers have signed the Cage Free Pledge for all their eggs and egg products

  • Three additional London boroughs committed to cage free eggs and won a Good Egg Award in 2015 (Greenwich, City of London and Sutton) taking the total of London boroughs taking action on eggs to 19. One additional borough won a Good Chicken Award (Greenwich) and two additional boroughs won a Good Dairy Commendation (Enfield and Greenwich).


Good Food for London 2015 report, contact Sofia Parente, www.sustainweb.org/publications/good_food_for_london_2015/   

The 2015 Good Food for London report was launched on 18 December at an impressive and well-attended event in London’s City Hall attended by more than 70 participants from 18 boroughs, several catering companies, Greater London Authority and third-sector organisations.

The highlights from the 2015 report include:

  • 31 out of 33 London boroughs are doing more to improve the food available to their residents, workers and school pupils

  • More London councils than ever are serving sustainable fish; higher welfare meat, eggs and dairy; Fairtrade products; and organic and freshly prepared food in schools

  • Many are tackling food poverty by encouraging breastfeeding to ensure the best start in life for infants, and also paying the Living Wage to Council staff and contractors

  • Increased support is being shown for food growing in the community and in schools

  • On the negative side, less are taking up the ‘Healthier Catering Commitment’, a first step programme to help local authorities improve food in high-street takeaways

The Good Food for London league table 2015 is topped by the London Boroughs of Greenwich, Islington and Tower Hamlets. In addition, four boroughs were recognised for having been consistently in the top five since results started to be compiled in a league table two years ago: Camden, Islington, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets. Eight boroughs were also celebrated for being ‘most improved’, demonstrating change is possible even in a short period of time: Barking & Dagenham, City of London, Croydon, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Wandsworth and Westminster.


The Jellied Eel, contact Chris Young, www.sustainweb.org/jelliedeel/

  • Urban Food Awards and Fortnight celebrated

  • Efforts to secure income redoubled

Work this quarter was on the November - January issue of the magazine. The issue’s major features were double page photo spreads on Urban Food Awards winners and Urban Food Fortnight, an item from our food poverty project on saving London’s meals on wheels services, and a seasonal planting guide from our Capital Growth team. Other features included:

  • Mexican food revolution

  • Crowdfund for success

  • Tom Hunt's winter veg box recipes

  • To Market: Crystal Place

  • The Eel Loves...Finsbury Park

We also took on a part-time member of staff to concentrate on securing advertising, which – along with increasing paying London Food Link supporters – is essential for the future of the magazine.


London Food Poverty programme, contact Hannah Laurison, www.sustainweb.org/foodpoverty/london/

  • First annual London Food Poverty Profile launched at City Hall.

The Beyond the Food Bank report demonstrates how poor Londoners face a postcode lottery in coping with food poverty and shows how much more there is to be done to ensure that the most vulnerable have an adequate safety net. We are working with the Mayor’s Fund for London and other funders to explore how London boroughs might support holiday meal schemes during the summer holidays this year. We are also working with Fiona Twycross and the London Food Board to develop more resources for local authorities on meals on wheels provision.


Real Bread Campaign
Contact Chris Young, www.realbreadcampaign.org  Twitter: @realbread

  • Misleading supermarket loaf ad ban

  • Honest Crust Act delegation to Defra

  • Together We Rise project launched

As the result of a complaint we submitted to the Advertising Standards Authority back in June, the Real Bread Campaign has scored another victory against questionable industrial loaf marketing. The ASA agreed that an advertisement for the supermarket chain Iceland, which showed a windmill and a baker kneading by hand before loading a loaf on a peel into a wood fired oven, was misleading and ruled it should not appear again.

On 13 October, Sustain’s deputy coordinator Ben Reynolds and Real Bread Campaign supporter Vanessa Kimbell met with George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The main topic on the agenda was the Campaign's demand for a legal definition for the word sourdough to protect shoppers and support small, independent bakeries that make the genuine article. The meeting was positive and a follow up meeting with Defra is scheduled for January 2016 to discuss our proposals in more detail.

As part of our Together We Rise project, Campaign volunteer Henry Naylor concentrated on collecting examples of good practice and success by initiatives helping people – particularly living with mental health issues – benefit from the therapeutic nature of bread making. Along with details from enterprises creating training and employment opportunities for people facing a range of challenges, we will use the information as the basis for creating case studies and guidance.

Over the three months, 325 people began or renewed support for our work, while our following on Twitter passed 24,400. For regular Real Bread Campaign updates sign up to receive the monthly enewsletter Breadcrumbs www.sustainweb.org/realbread/breadcrumbs


Sustainable Food Cities
Contact Hannah Laurison unless otherwise stated, www.sustainablefoodcities.org Twitter: @Foodcities

  • More than half of Sustainable Food Cities have seen Meals on Wheels eliminated

  • Several Sustainable Food Cities members, including Brighton & Hove, Belfast and Oxford, have developed local food poverty action plans with our support

Sustainable Food Cities' Beyond the Food Bank campaign has been gathering momentum. Several Sustainable Food Cities members, including Brighton & Hove, Belfast and Oxford, have developed local food poverty action plans with our support. Following a successful trial of a holiday meal scheme in Cardiff, several other cities are exploring developing holiday meal provision for children in food poverty.

Sustain convened a funders' roundtable in December to explore how joined-up action by funders might support the implementation of pilot projects nationally. Sustain has partnered with the National Association of Care Catering to develop a toolkit for local authorities on meals on wheels provision. More than half of the local authorities in the Sustainable Food Cities network have already eliminated the service. We are also working with the Food Research Collaboration at City University, Oxfam and the Food Foundation to investigate whether the UK needs a national measurement of food poverty.

Sustain have been working closely with Church Action on Poverty who have been forging a new alliance to tackle food poverty. This new alliance brings together most of the major national organisations working on food and poverty in the UK, including Fareshare, Magic Breakfast, Trussell Trust, Food Ethics Council, Food Foundation, Food Matters, Child Poverty Action Group, Oxfam, Nourish Scotland and others, and in consultation with the Church of England, the fledgling Emergency Food Network and other poverty experts.

This alliance has formed as a result of five consultation workshops, run by Church Action on Poverty with the Sustainable Food Cities network and other groups in locations across the country during November 2015. Over 250 people from a diverse range of local food poverty organisations attended these events, in which participants were invited to identify the key issues they were facing locally and nationally; what kind of action they were interested in taking together; and who else needed to be involved.


Sugar Smart Cities
Contact Ben Reynolds: ben@sustainweb.org

The past year has seen an emerging consensus that more attention needs to be given to reducing the amount of sugar we consume. Following a spate of studies and reports from influential health bodies, including Public Health England, there is greater public awareness, and greater pressure on business and national government to act. Since the launch of Jamie Oliver’s Sugar Rush TV documentary in September there has been a much interest from different parts of the UK in how to take action at a local level, particularly amongst the Sustainable Food Cities network and London boroughs.

We have provided advice and some assistance to work in Brighton & Hove who launched their Sugar Smart City initiative in October. We are working with them to design a framework for action, inspired by the approach used in Sustainable Fish Cities, which would be replicable in other parts of the UK. We are planning a webinar on this issue on the 11 February to share ideas with others interested.


Sustainable Fish Cities
Contact Ruth Westcott, www.fishcities.net

The end of December marks the completion of the Sustainable Fish Universities project, which, supported by the European Fisheries Fund, has brought sustainable fish to students, staff and visitors at the UK’s very large higher education institutions. During this quarter, we enjoyed a spurt of last-minute pledges from Corpus Christie College, Newnham and Homerton Collages in Cambridge, Finchale College Durham, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Central Lancashire.

Sustainable Fish Cities partnered with the Marine Conservation Society and Fish2Fork on a campaign called ‘Point the Fish Finger’, which aimed to encourage some of the UK’s largest high-street restaurants to switch to 100% demonstrably sustainable fish. We asked the public to take an online action, to email the heads of Bella Italia, Café Rouge and JD Wetherspoon. Within five days of launching the action, all three groups published a sustainable fish policy, and are now positively engaged in developing their policy to meet the strict standards in the Fish Cities pledge.

A pledge to serve only demonstrably sustainable fish was received from Elior, a very large contract caterer that serves over 8% of all contract catered meals in the UK in over 600 sites. Elior specialises in workplace and industry catering, but its sites also include educational institutions, defence sites and event catering.

We were delighted to welcome a new city – Norwich – to the Fish Cities campaign. Pledges were received from Royal Borough of Kingston, Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa, Walton Hospital and Manchester Fayre, responsible for the majority of primary school catering in Manchester.


Alliance projects

Square Meal

The Square Meal group has been planning its activities for 2016, including preparing for a January meeting with George Eustice, and a 1 March event chaired by Professor Tim Benton, covering the main themes of the Square Meal report.


Alliance to Save our Antibiotics, contact Emma Rose erose@saveourantibiotics.eu

This campaign is a partnership of Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain, working with a wide range of public health, animal welfare, farming and sustainability groups. This quarter has been exceptionally busy with a series of industry, government and media reports on the coming antibiotic crisis and the role of farm antibiotics in driving antibiotic resistance. Campaigner Emma Rose has been on annual leave during the period when a quarterly report was due, so further information is available on request.


Eating Better Alliance, contact Sue Dibb: sue@eating-better.org, www.eating-better.org

We have been working with the Eating Better Alliance and Friends of the Earth to discuss how the Eating Better messages could be adopted at a local/city level, particularly targeting change in the catering sector. This could adapt the approach used successfully with Sustainable Fish Cities, and use a covert way of reducing the quantity (while improving the sustainability) of the meat served, with the aim of measuring the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of pledging caterers.


Organic Sector Development, contact Catherine Fookes: catherine@organictradeboard.co.uk

This campaign is coordinated by the Organic Trade Board, with Sustain helping to manage the finances.

  • ThriftyOrganic blogs continued to appear to reinforce the message that organic is can form part of everyone's diet

  • We organised a successful event hosted by blogger Deliciously Ella at Whole Foods Market High Street Kensington

  • This was the final quarter of Year two so focus was on Monitoring and evaluation and planning for 2016. We also undertook a survey of non-organic buyers to find out more regarding barriers to purchase and most likely sectors to buy into

  • Press coverage of our Organic Christmas recipes appeared in The I, Crumbs, Style Nest and We Heart Living

  • We have continued to raise funds and talk to agencies regarding our 2017-2019 campaign.


UK Food Group, contact Jean Blaylock, jean@ukfg.org.uk, www.ukfg.org.uk

July to September 2015 update (not available for previous Council papers)

As the Paris climate summit approached, UK Food Group members who have been following the process closely gave a briefing to other members on the negotiations. There are dangers that in talking about ‘net zero’ rather than ‘zero’ emissions, then agriculture could become part of an attempt by some to wiggle out of making real cuts and structural changes, by balancing them against carbon capture and storage. Support for adaptation needs to be equal for that for mitigation. Land remains controversial.

The Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) remains a concern. Without any real requirements for what ‘climate smart’ means, it is being used to greenwash business as usual. The UK Food Group joined more than 350 other organisations internationally in a statement on the anniversary of the launch of GACSA, calling for support for agroecology instead.

UK Food Group members have started some work investigating how agricultural field programmes are monitored and evaluated, and whether this reflects the same principles we call for in our advocacy or whether there is room for improvement.


October to December 2015 update

The National Food Sovereignty Gathering was held in October in Hebden Bridge. Around 300 people – growers, activists, agricultural workers, consumers (though everyone hates the term), academics and others – came together for four days of discussions, action planning, farm visits, practical skill shares as well as great food and dancing. The UK Food Group and several member organisations helped organise the gathering and we held a session on international issues.

Water was a focus issue at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) this year which developed recommendations around water and food security. While these could have been stronger, civil society group were happy that they took a human rights approach, prioritising vulnerable and marginalised populations. The need to provide drinking water in the workplace, including for agricultural workers, was a small but iconic win, while the acceptance of an ecosystems approach throughout the recommendations gives an important perspective.

The UK Food Group signed on to a letter calling for requirements on environmental and social risk to be kept in the EU Shareholders Rights Directive. This is part of long term work by UK Food Group member Global Witness and others, to incorporate provisions in binding EU regulations that could help to tackle land grabbing and environmental degradation caused by damaging investment – something Global Witness had presented about at UK Food Group meetings earlier in the year. The UK Food Group also supported farmer organisations in a letter about farmer rights to the governing body of the Plant Treaty.

As the end of the year approached, UK Food Group members were joined by representatives from the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and GRAIN, for discussions on seeds, climate and agroecology – and mince pies.


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