Business Forum: Sound the consumer alarm [ONLINE]

What if we stopped targeting consumers, and started involving people as food citizens?

Please note this event will take place online.

Join us to hear from The Co-op and Guy Singh-Watson, farmer and founder of Riverford, who are working to involve people as food citizens – the why and the how. And the so what!

It has often been said that consumer is king or queen, but does this still hold true in 2023? The multiple crises of the climate and nature emergency, global instability and inequality have turned many old adages on their heads. People today are thinking more about the story behind the food they buy, and are increasingly engaged in ideas of fairness, ethics and decency. However, the opportunities for engaging in and shaping the food system as a ‘consumer’ are incredibly limited, particularly under an inequality and cost-of-living crisis that has left many people with little spending power. People want and need more. They want to participate in the food system as a whole, not just be passive consumers at the end of a supply chain. What does this mean for food businesses? What new and exciting opportunities can this bring?

In this workshop, we’ll explore food citizenship*, and why it’s a must have in the shift to fairer food systems. We’ll hear from both The Co-op and Guy Singh-Watson, farmer and founder of Riverford, who’ve been at the forefront of the food citizen shift over the past few years. We’ll also create space for sharing experiences, opportunities and concerns amongst businesses and brands who want to make the shift but don’t know where to start, or who have started on the road and are now stuck.

We’ll hear from businesses who have shifted their approach from targeting consumers to engaging citizens – they will share their experiences, both the good and the bad, the successes and failures. The aim of the session is to outline how food citizenship is the antidote to passive consumerism, and to unlock ways for business and brands to be a part of the shift towards a food citizen world.

*Food citizenship is a movement of individuals and organisations across the food system. It is rooted in the belief that people want to and can shape the food system for the better. The movement builds on the Food Citizenship report, a collaboration between New Citizenship Project and Food Ethics Council.

Lots more resources and tools available at:


8th February 2023
7:00 - 8:30 pm

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