Why we're working on food
What we eat not only affects our own health, but also the environment. Food is at the heart of many environmental issues – it’s a significant contributor to climate change and responsible for almost 60% of global biodiversity loss.
Our food system relies on nature but the rise of our Western diet - high in meat, dairy and ultra-processed food - is inefficient and resource intensive.
Farming animals for meat and dairy requires space and huge inputs of water and feed. Today, one of the biggest causes of forest loss is the expansion of agricultural land for animal feed production, such as soy. And producing meat creates vastly more carbon dioxide than plants such as vegetables, grains and legumes.
Whilst we're over-consuming high-impact food, the planet’s resources remain finite and the impacts are felt on land, water and our oceans.
If we're to build a future where people and nature thrive, we need to reconsider the food we eat and how it's produced.
Livewell – our work on sustainable diets – looks at the food changes we need to make to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees. Livewell demonstrates a diet that can reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on water and land.
But we cannot achieve systemic change on our own. That’s why we work with business leaders and policy-makers to help transform the UK food system – in particular through the adoption of sustainable diets.
We work with businesses, such as Sodexo, to help them embed sustainable diet concepts into their business models, using our Livewell principles to encourage consumers to shift to more plant based proteins and away from animal protein and processed foods.
And we’re working with food brand Knorr to inspire chefs, retailers and shoppers to choose a greater variety of plant-based food to help reduce the environmental impact of our food system.
Our Plant2Plate campaign
Most of us have become a bit disconnected from the way our food is grown and produced, and the effects that can have on our planet. That’s why we launched our Plant2Plate campaign – to introduce people while they’re still at school to growing and cooking their own food in a sustainable way.
We reached out to over 600,000 primary school children in just over 2,000 schools, involving activities ranging from classroom lessons and storybooks to an Easy Peasy Pea Challenge and recipe competition. We also ran a six-month media partnership with Education Guardian.
And we got some fantastic school stories along the way – showing learning, life skills – and a blossoming enjoyment of growing and cooking food.