From pork pies to poultry, sandwiches to sausage rolls, gin to fish fingers, some of the UK’s biggest food businesses have placed their competitiveness to one side to help tackle climate change.
Senior leaders from a range of leading food businesses have joined the Future Food Movement’s Accelerator programme, which aims to upskill the food and drink industry on critical climate issues. Its ambition is to upskill 10,000 people working in the industry in 2022.
The businesses – Moy Park, Samworth Brothers, The Compleat Food Group, Greencore Group plc, Nomad Foods, Sipsmith Gin, The Food and Drink Federation and Cranswick plc – are responsible for producing or influencing a significant proportion of the food sold in the UK. This also means that they have a significant opportunity to deliver a positive climate impact across the food system.
The Future Food Movement is a new community, industry network and upskilling platform, founded by Veris Strategies, which is solely focused on closing the climate skills gap and driving genuine collaboration between food companies in order to tackle climate change.
Kate Cawley, founder of the Future Food Movement, said: “The launch of our first Accelerator programme is a huge step forward in helping the food industry embed climate knowledge within its people and teams and drive real, actionable change. Our 2022 ambition is to upskill 10,000 senior leaders in the food industry along with thousands of other individuals through our Ally community.
“The Future Food Movement is based on the truism that if you understand the impacts of climate change, then you can make a difference. True business leaders will recognise the importance of climate upskilling to make their businesses fit for the future. Knowledge really is power.”
The UK food industry is facing a trilemma of health, sustainability and affordability issues but it is also facing a growing climate skills gap which could, if not fixed, derail both business growth and the future health of the planet.
Jack Gorman, head of investor relations at Greencore Group plc, said: “The Future Food Movement helps those of us not directly working in a sustainability role both upskill and learn how others in the food and drink sector are managing the challenge when sustainability choices conflict with business and commercial choices.”
The Future Food Movement Accelerator programme brings together senior leaders from competitive food and drink businesses to build a climate knowledge bank which spans all areas of the food chain from procurement to production, finance to food development.