Changing Appetites Business Forum

Changing Appetites: how can investors and businesses identify material challenges and opportunities in the big food system transition?

April, 2019

Our April Business Forum considered what role investors and businesses can play a role in the transition towards a more sustainable food system.

Food systems have huge impacts on the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the planet. A growing number of investors see long-term value in rewarding food businesses from all parts of the value chain that want to accelerate the shift to ‘better’ food systems. At the same time, there are growing calls for investors to actively engage with, or even divest from, the most harmful companies in agri-business, food and beverage manufacturing, retail and foodservice sectors.

Key questions considered were:

  • How can organisations involved consolidate metrics effectively without losing nuance and without creating perverse outcomes?
  • What metrics in key food issue areas e.g. relating to childhood obesity might be equivalent to ‘zero deforestation’?
  • How can food businesses and investors lobby regulators in a co-ordinated way to accelerate progress towards fair, sustainable food systems?
  • How can investors be held to account on the sustainability performance of the food (and food-related) businesses in their investment portfolios

We are grateful to our speakers, Rachel Crossley, Senior Advisor, Access to Nutrition Foundation and Will Nicholson, Co ordinator of ‘Plating Up Progress’ (a joint initiative between Food Foundation and Food Climate Research Network). Pete Ritchie, Director of Nourish Scotland and Trustee of the Food Ethics Council, chaired the meeting.

More information our Business Forum, including details on membership, can be found here.