A personal A to Z of positives on which we might build…

Today’s world is deeply disturbing, from events in Ukraine to the IPCC’s new report on the climate emergency, with big implications for humanity – and for our food systems. We’re a long way away from peace, sustainability and justice. However, we mustn’t crawl into a ball of despair and inaction. We must do what we can, not least showing solidarity.

In issues related to UK food and farming, there is a lot to be grateful for, and there are potential shifts taking place that might lift our spirits amidst the gloom. Here’s my own personal A to Z of positive things happening – and those I’d like to see happen – in our food systems and beyond. It’s not a definitive list, just a thought-starter. Would love to hear your A to Zs…

A is for Animal Sentience Act that is oh so near
B is for B Corp movement month – purpose brings cheer

C is for community resilience growing stronger
D is for David Attenborough showing nature trumps wonga

E is for ending imports of foie gras and fur
F is for food citizenship emerging everywhere

G is for a Good Food Nation Bill in Scotland
H is for HFSS advertising soon to be banned?

I is for Incredible Edible, a movement to unite
J is for Jack Monroe on how to eat on budgets so tight

K is for knowledge of farmers being respected more
L is for Living Wage (real) so food workers are not treated so poor(ly)

M is for metrics – getting the right metrics is vital, I feel
N is for the National Food Strategy – whole system, not piecemeal

O is for organic and agroecological gaining more speed
P is for Presidency of COP – still time for UK to lead

Q is for questioning, more questions are good
R is for Rashford (Marcus) campaigning on food

S is for standards in food & farming – the UK public demanding they’re high
T is for trade, fair trade, IF it doesn’t undermine

U is for Universal Basic Income – it would help everyone participate
V is for a vision for food systems that inspires – wouldn’t that be great?

W is for White Paper response to National Food Strategy – hoping it’s bold
X is for xenodochy, meaning hospitality or so I’m told

Y is for Youth – giving young people more power
Z is for zest, what we crave in this hour

Our actions need to be grounded in today’s realities and tomorrow’s possibilities. We can’t vanish away harm and conflict, but the sums of our actions will add up. As global citizens, we can write to our MPs, we can show solidarity to friends and strangers in the Ukraine, we can support the humanitarian effort…

In the food and farming world, as well as addressing this global crisis, let’s see what we can do to shift food systems, and society, onto a better footing. It might sound trivial or trite at such a time, but together we can make more good stuff happen in our food systems and displace the harmful stuff. What are the positives YOU are seeing in food & farming right now and how can we build on them?


Dan Crossley