Read the review of Sustain’s activities and achievements for the financial year April 2022 to March 2023.
This Annual Report, containing a detailed account of Sustain’s work, plus our Audited Accounts, covers the year April 2022 to March 2023.
In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Coming hard on the heels of the Covid-19-fuelled economic downturn, this sent oil and grain prices soaring, with profound implications for food supply and finances across the globe. This has affected Sustain’s work at all levels, from our own operations, through to responding to another huge surge in poverty and household food insecurity, as well as a notable chill on the willingness of government to champion public health and environmental policy.
We started the 2022 calendar year looking forward to exciting opportunities. This included the promise of a National Food Strategy, and a 9pm watershed for unhealthy food advertising, for which our alliance has campaigned for decades. Who could have predicted then what delays, obfuscations, inflationary pressures and political chaos would ensue?! We feel very grateful to have been able to bolster our parliament and public affairs team at this time. Our funders recognised that national and global turmoil must not become an excuse for reneging on decisive action to prevent catastrophic climate change, restore nature and enable everyone to have access to wholesome, affordable and sustainably grown food.
We were thrilled to receive news of significant funding to invest in that better food vision – our new Local Food Retail Strategy and Bridging the Gap strategic programmes. These will work alongside our sustainable farming and local networks to rebuild and relationships, trading systems, access to land and facilities, financial investment and shorter and agroecological supply chains that could offer communities more food resilience, and less exposure to external pressures.
Encouragingly, this year saw the strength, size and confidence of the Sustainable Food Places network growing significantly, with 90 local authorities and food partnerships stepping up to their frontline role in addressing household food insecurity, supporting community-connected food enterprise, food’s role in climate change, and using planning to enable community food growing.
Strategic and other support from the Welsh Assembly and Scotland’s Good Food Nation Act have been very welcome. No such luck in Westminster, where we described Government’s response to the National Food Strategy as ‘feeble’. Key food and farming policies are not yet fit for the purpose of addressing the climate and nature emergency and improving public health. As a General Election starts to loom on the horizon, era-defining choices are ahead of us. We look forward to working with our alliance to put better food and farming firmly on the public and political plate.
Annual report 2022/23
47pp - 2023 | 2325Kb
Published Friday 1 December 2023
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.