The Sustainable Food Trust was founded by Patrick Holden in 2011 in response to the worsening human and environmental crises that are associated with the vast majority of today’s food and farming systems.
His observation was that, for all of the hard work of food and environmental organisations over the last half century or so, there were still a number of major barriers preventing large scale uptake of sustainable food production and healthy diets. These include the lack of an enabling policy and economic environment for sustainable food production and consumption; a tendency towards reductionist and siloed thinking amongst scientists and some campaigning organisations; and a myriad of conflicting messages, often perpetuated by those with vested interests, leading to considerable confusion amongst consumers and policymakers alike about what to eat to be healthy whilst at the same time supporting just and sustainable food systems.
Our vision is for food and farming systems which nourish the health of the planet and its people.
Our mission is to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food and farming systems.
To achieve this, we work catalytically on a global scale to influence and enhance the work of other organisations, rather than replicating existing initiatives.
Our work is informed by the belief that policymakers, businesses and civil society organisations will be empowered to act when there is sufficient pressure from informed public opinion. Therefore, we work at many levels ranging from that of senior policymakers to consumer groups and individual consumers, and we ensure the information and policy direction we provide is grounded in good science. See here for details about our work programmes.
The combination of our practitioner experience and large network of influential global contacts sets us apart from other food and environmental organisations. Both Chief Executive (Patrick Holden) and Policy Director (Richard Young) have been combining organic farming with sustainable food advocacy for over 40 years, and several other staff members are practically involved in farming or community food systems.
The SFT became a UK registered charity in August 2012, and we work from a small office in Bristol, UK.