Sustainable Food systems

07 December 2021

In our recently launched Strategic Fund for Buckinghamshire, how we transition to a more sustainable local food system is one of three themes. We want to fund activity that increases access to healthy food for all, delivers climate change solutions through improved land management and an end to food waste and encourages a local good food movement in Buckinghamshire. This builds on the work we’ve already supported to develop local capacity for delivering a better food system; increasing access to cooking and growing in schools and through the wider community; investing in local community kitchens; establishing a Buckinghamshire Food Partnership.

At home, on the Waddesdon Estate, we’re stepping up to the challenge of creating a more sustainable farming system based on the principles regenerative agriculture.

We understand that improving the food system is a challenge that needs to be embraced at a local, national and global scale.  Beyond Bucks we’re supporting a range of food systems activity, particularly those that are building consensus for greater impact. Read on to hear more about those we work with and how they’ve been getting food on the climate change and social justice agenda.

COP26 and Global Farm Metrics 

 ‘Why is food and farming missing in action from COP’ was the focus of a panel session hosted by the Global Farm Metrics team at COP26 in Glasgow last month. Rothschild Foundation funding is contributing to building consensus for a common framework to measure the impact of farming globally.  The GFM team used Glasgow to raise awareness and advocacy for the Global Farm Metric and the need to raise food and farming higher up the agenda Reflections from a busy week at COP26 – Sustainable Food Trust – Sustainable Food Trust

Children’s Right2Food

We are proud to be a supporter of the Food Foundation’s Children’s Right2Food initiative to ensure every child in the UK can access and afford good food.  Last year the Food Foundation teamed up with Marcus Rashford on the End Child Food Poverty campaign. The most recent phase of this campaign advocates for the three asks related to children’s food as recommended in the National Food Strategy:  the expansion of Free School Meals eligibility; Long-term funding for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme; Expanding Healthy Start eligibility. In the Autumn budget, the Chancellor confirmed funding for the Holiday Activity and Food Programme for the next three years. Whilst this is a big achievement in protecting children from food insecurity during the holidays there is a lot more to be done.  Recently released data shows that more households with children are experiencing food insecurity than in the first wave of the pandemic YG8C | Flourish. The Food Foundation continue to coordinate a coalition of NGOs to back the remaining two asks.

Bite Back 2030

We’re pleased to announce a new partnership with BiteBack 2030, a new youth led movement for a healthier, fairer food system.  Funding will contribute towards Lab2030: A Youth and Food industry Partnership Programme and Food Systems Dialogue. Over the course of 12 months Bite Back’s youth activists will partner with major food retailers to help identify, develop and deliver a major change to their business model that will contribute to healthier more sustainable food solutions. Using the unique setting of Windmill Hill, home of the Rothschild Foundation, partners will come together through a series of workshops and conference. Progress will be documented and evaluated and shared with others to drive a wider dialogue for change.

We’re also supporting BiteBack 2030 to scope opportunities for local young people in Buckinghamshire to join Bite Back’s national Youth Board.  This will involve discussion with local initiatives such as the Bucks Food Partnership and Feedback’s Green Futures programme.  Support for young people is another key theme of our Strategic Fund for Buckinghamshire.

Rothschild Foundation’s funding will  support Green Futures, a youth employability programme focused on green jobs. Building on ‘Food Citizens’, the project delivered by Feedback and supported by the RF over the past three years, Green Futures responds to the gap in local employment pathways into green jobs and the rise in youth unemployment which has tripled in Bucks over the past year. Green Futures focuses on building partnerships between the local food and youth sectors in order to deliver a programme of activity that opens up the local food sector as a viable career pathway for young people.

Look out for more information on this theme in next month’s newsletter.