Knowledge for better food systems

Investor briefing: Plating Up Progress Part 2

Thursday 5th September – Today a new investor briefing is launched by the independent think tank the Food Foundation and the FCRN.

Plating Up Progress demonstrates that investors can identify opportunities and avoid risks by understanding how far food businesses are prepared for the transition to sustainable and healthy food, and puts forward the necessary metrics for assessing progress.

Businesses with strong supply chain management and revenues which are aligned with healthy and sustainable food are likely to thrive; those dependent on business models rooted in the current system are at risk. They are exposed to physical risks (climate-driven volatility for the supply and price of crops, livestock and animal feed); policy interventions (taxes on sales of unhealthy food, land use and food waste regulation, meat and dairy reduction, mandatory labelling); shifts in consumer demand and reputational impact.

Plating Up Progress proposes a new set of metrics that investors will need if they are to assess how well food businesses are managing these risks and opportunities.

The briefing focuses on food retailers, caterers and restaurants because, sitting at the end of the supply chain as they do, they are potentially at the sharp end of regulatory or market-driven changes that affect food supply, prices and demand for new products. They’re also the channel through which most commercially produced food is funnelled, so are the best indicators for whether meaningful shifts are taking place in food industry. 

The report will launch at a Plating Up Progress investor conference in London today (September 5th).

Dr Tara Garnett, Food Climate Research Network, University of Oxford, about the report: “We urgently need to transform our food system. The planet, our health and wellbeing depend upon it, and the costs of inaction are too great to contemplate. All stakeholders need to play their part, including investors. This report shows that while they can be instrumental in driving forward change, they need to navigate carefully to manage the risks and maximise the opportunities that the transition towards a sustainable food future presents.”

Will Nicholson, Plating Up Progress Project Lead, about Plating Up Progress: “There has been a lot of talk about the need for change in our food systems, but we currently lack consistent metrics to assess progress. The window of opportunity for that change is closing fast. We urgently need agreement on the corporate reporting metrics that matter most, increased expectations for change from investors, and multi-stakeholder engagement to strengthen the business case for an accelerated transition to healthy and sustainable food systems.”