An appetite for change

Cutting a slice of cake

The groundswell of interest in renewing the country’s food culture is central to the recovery of our environment and our communities and to meeting the challenges of a fast changing world, according to our food report.

We are the country’s largest owner of farmland and one of the largest fresh food caterers. We also manage dozens of historic kitchen gardens, allotments and other growing spaces, many of which give local communities the space to grow their own.

Our report, Appetite for change, shares the progress we have made in supporting farm tenants and sea fishing by sourcing sustainably-produced, local and seasonal food for our 150 restaurants and cafes.

It also shows the ways that we are helping engage people in the ‘story’ of their food and how promoting its heritage and provenance is enriching food culture and supporting community action, particularly around growing their own.

Food revival

An encouraging sign of the country’s food revival is that more sustainable food, grown with care for the environment and people – such as ethically-traded tea and coffee, local and seasonal vegetables, free range eggs and meat that meets high welfare standards – is increasingly becoming a part of the country’s way of eating, even during the economic downturn.

Appetite for change looks ahead to the challenges of climate change and the depletion of natural resources to identify some key questions facing the Government, businesses and society:

  • How do we give food more identity and reward sustainable production so people are more connected with where their food comes from and food is both affordable and more sustainable?
  • How do we support growers, farmers, chefs and suppliers in promoting a revival of our food culture and extending the reach of sustainably-produced food beyond individual restaurants and gastro-pubs to the public at large?
  • How do we face up to the food crunch by responding to climate change and weaning our food system off a dependency on cheap oil and plentiful water through more sustainable diets and lower resource use?