Business Forum: Profit in food and agriculture

What question/s should we ask?

Profit is a loaded and contentious term. Many food and farming businesses are under severe pressure from competition in the marketplace and from rising input costs, meaning that profit margins (in relative terms) are often slim. In absolute terms though, some of the major food businesses are making many millions of pounds. Is making profits something to be proud of or ashamed of?

Determining who or what should profit is challenging. Are fair profits possible in industrial food systems under a capitalist system? Do we need to rethink profits and profitability? What about the rise of Benefit Corporations, organisations that aim for social and environmental goals, rather than only focus on financial profit alone?

This in-person dinner meeting in central London will provide an opportunity for participants to:

  • Explore the different dimensions of profits and profitability, including underlying drivers
  • Consider the impacts of high or low profits on people, animals and the planet
  • Assess what fair and appropriate profits might be
  • Decide what is the critical question that those working in agri-food businesses should be asking about profit (for discussion in a subsequent ONLINE discussion at 6pm on 17th April).

Speakers will include Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO of the New Economics Foundation (and former CEO of Oxfam) and James Perry, co-chair & co-founder of COOK, co-founder & Board member of the B Corp, co-chairman of B Lab UK. Ian Pigott OBE, farmer and member of the Food Ethics Council, will chair the meeting.


19th March 2024
4:45 - 8:30 pm


St Luke's Community Centre
Central Street

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