sustainability and the food industry

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Post on 24-Jan-2015




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Cate Le Grice-Mack, Trustee of Sustainability South West discusses the sustainability of food brands.


  • 1. Sustainability and the food industry An evaluation of opportunities in the SW

2. Sustainable= good business

  • Sustainable = living off our naturalincomenot exploitingcapital,harvesting not mining
  • Good business grows and makes profits, retains quality staff, shares benefits of success, innovates and reinvests, is a good neighbour, looks to the future, and reduces its bottom line costs

3. for example

  • Water
  • Local businesses are collectively missing out on combined cost savings of as much as 970,000 per day by ignoring the potential of water efficiency(Envirowise)
  • Waste

4. Nature of food industry 1

  • Food production
    • Primary industry: largely producing unrefined, unaltered product
    • Large, growing environmental footprint.
    • Selling mainly through agents for others eg supermarkets, multinationals. Often on contract. Pre specified quality limits with penalties imposed.
    • Value added by othersoften in a complex and lengthy chain

5. Sustainable food production

  • Contribution to soil regeneration and biodiversity and genetic diversity
  • Conservation of water purity and volume
  • Reduction of fossil fuel use
  • Retention and development of skills
  • Understanding and influencing the market
  • Quality of life for producer/employees

6. Nature of Food industry 2

  • Food marketing
    • Tertiary industry
    • High value
    • Often large environmental footprint In 2006, 59 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent were produced between the farm gate and.. our plates. DEFRA
    • Often unconnected to producer or origins
    • Retailer/brand focussed: directly communicating with and responding to consumers

7. Nature of the food industry 3

  • The essential filling in the sandwich
  • Can link producer to consumer
  • The shorter the chain the lower the footprint
  • The shorter the chain the greater the chance to capture the benefits
  • Opportunity for regional quality control, local skills development etc


  • Cabinet Office 2008
  • brought together the various elements of food policy and considered the challenges and opportunities for the food system
  • Challenge for government to join up its efforts on food policy looking at health, food safety, the economy and the environment

9. Food Matters: One year on

  • The focus of Governments work on food is on supporting consumers, engaging the supply chain, and joining up Governments approach to food policy
  • WRAP: working on reducing waste and packagingsee for more information
  • Council of Food Policy
  • Safety, labelling, identifying CO2 hotspots

10. Initiatives in the SW

  • Sustainable Farming and Food Delivery Plan
  • SW Food and Drink (RDA); CORE: some useful stuff on website
  • No substitute for networking within your sector
  • Local businesses, e.g. packaging: strong in Bristol
  • Local marketing groups

11. focus on building successful, sustainable food and drink brands.

  • All the research shows that getting your story crystal clear is perhaps the single most important task for the growing business. It then helps you review the different options for telling it in writing, online and face to face.
  • Growing public awareness of benefits of localisation