Joanna Lewis (Chair)
Strategy and Policy Director, Soil Association Food for Life
In 2009 Joanna founded the Food for Life Catering Mark, a quality assurance scheme for caterers committed to high standards of nutrition, freshness, welfare, sustainability and provenance that now certifies over 1.6 million meals a day. Food for Life’s work to transform the food environment and food culture in early years settings, schools, hospitals and care settings is delivered with our national partners the Royal Society for Public Health, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust, and funded chiefly via local authority public health commissions. Rigorous evaluation has demonstrated that the Food for Life Schools Award programme achieves healthier diets both in schools and at home. In 2011 Food for Life was awarded the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards ‘Derek Cooper Award’ for the organisation doing most to change our relationship with food.
Joanna was a member of the Department of Health’s Hospital Food Standards Panel in 2014, helping to secure the requirement that all NHS Trusts should develop a food and drink strategy covering healthy eating, nutritional care and sustainability.
From 2004-6 Joanna was Convener of the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable, which was co-hosted by the former National Consumer Council and the former Sustainable Development Commission, and produced the influential report “I will if you will; towards sustainable consumption” with co-chairs Ed Mayo and Alan Knight.
From 2005-6 Joanna was Chair of the UK judging panel for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy having judged on the Awards since 2003.
From 2002-4, Joanna was Head of Policy for the think tank Green Alliance, leading policy and advocacy projects and managing the Corporate Supporters Scheme.
While at Green Alliance, Joanna founded the Energy Entrepreneurs network, linking construction professionals & local authorities, working with Merton Borough Council to successfully convince the then Planning Minister Keith Hill to do a U-turn on planning policy and support the ‘Merton Rule’ for on-site renewables in new developments, resulting in its enshrinement in the Planning Act.
Joanna received a First Class Honours Degree in Geography from St John’s College, Cambridge, in 2001 and was a ’Forum for the Future Scholar,’ achieving a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development in 2002.