Founded in 2013, Feedback has generated outsized impact over our short history. Here are six ways we’ve changed the game over the past few years:
1. Secured major victories on supermarket practice on food waste
After many years of research, campaigning and engagement with industry, including our Supermarket Food Waste Scorecard, our work has led to the former CEO of Tesco calling for mandatory food waste reporting to tackle climate change, stating “It’s time to get serious about food waste in fight against global heating.” Feedback’s role has been to catalyse public awareness and foster demand for action on food waste; our work has been credited by our allies as integral to raising the ambitions of UK businesses on food waste.
2. Leading the charge on the urgent need to divest from Big Livestock
Industrial meat and dairy, or ‘Big Livestock’, pose a significant threat to our environment, our health and our future. And just like the fossil fuel industry, these big companies are created and supported by global finance. The steaks are high. It’s time we called a halt to Big Livestock.
As part of our Big Livestock campaign, we launched two impactful reports: It’s Big Livestock Versus the Planet and Butchering the Planet. We also conducted a comprehensive study of private sector funding and publicly exposed these funding sources. We have worked with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Mongabay to expose the public sector finance behind industrial meat and dairy.
3. Making waves in the aquaculture world
Our Fishy Business campaign investigates the natural resources – in particular wild caught fish – which underpin the Scottish farmed salmon industry and the implications for the industry’s sustainability. We have published three in-depth research reports exploring the role of fed aquaculture in a sustainable food system. Through this work, we have worked with Michelin-starred chef Merlin Labron-Johnson and have collaborated with organisations such as Compassion in World Farming and Slow Fish.
4. Putting food on the climate agenda
We are a UNFCCC observer organisation and we will attend COP26 to steer debate towards reduced meat production and consumption and food waste reduction. We are also members of the Climate Coalition and the global coalition 50by40, which is a global alliance of organisations seeking to reduce meat and dairy by 50% by 2040. For our work on food and climate, we won the Keeling Curve Prize in 2020.
5. Influenced the debate on post-Brexit agriculture
We have taken part in key consultation processes, including for the Health and Harmony Strategy and the Resources and Waste Strategy. We also commented on the Agriculture Bill and responded to consultations on Better Regulation and the Competition and Markets Authority, as well as consulted on Labour’s agricultural policy. Our response to the UK government policy paper ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’ was publicly described by one of our civil society partners as ‘phenomenal research, clear thinking and compelling arguments’. In addition, many of our suggestions were reflected in the government’s approach to post-Brexit agricultural policy, including a provision in the Agriculture Bill to ask farmers to measure food waste on their farm, a core policy ask for Feedback.
In the EU, we were delighted that 2018 saw an agreement to regulate Unfair Trading Practices in the food supply chain across the EU, a key ask for Feedback, which will help prevent the role unfair market practices, such as last minute order cancellations, play in creating waste on farms.
6. Taking Gleaning to the next level by open-sourcing our approach across the UK (and the world)
Gleaning offers an opportunity for straightforward environmental and social wins – food waste on farms is reduced and supply of fresh food to those in need is increased. We have focused on replicating our success through ‘community-led Gleaning’, building the capacity of community groups to set up their own Gleaning hubs, thus further upscaling and open-sourcing our Gleaning activities. In addition, we hosted training webinars in 2020 for community groups interested in starting or developing a local gleaning group.
7. Nurturing the next generation of food and climate activists
We want to redefine the language which sees all of us labelled as consumers and reclaim our status as food citizens – empowered to change the food system for the better. In 2018, we directly engaged with over 500 young people as part of the National Citizenship Service Programme, through work placements at our offices and student events at Bristol University and the University of the West of England. Close to 70% of the young people we worked with reported they felt inspired to make changes in their own lives, such as cutting down on food waste, eating less meat or joining local environmental projects. Two-thirds of participants said they would share their learnings with their peers, and over one-third said that participation in the workshop had made them consider a career in the environmental or charitable sector. We are building on this portfolio of work with our new food citizenship project.
Confident in our expertise and originality, passionate about the necessary changes in the food system, we speak truth to power. To address root causes and not just symptoms, we do not shy away from tackling controversial issues and are willing to take risks to gain new ground.
We work with partners and allies that share our vision, as addressing the crises in the food system can only be a joint endeavour. We value our relationships with people, organisations, enterprises, governments, communities, while having a strong independent voice.
Our interventions are targeted for the greatest impact, working strategically at key leverage points in the food system, and inspiring people and partners to act to bring about ecological renewal and food justice. We monitor our performance and reflect on our past work, to learn from our successes and failures and improve what we do.
We show how piloting solutions to the ecological and inequality emergencies can be creative, fun and joyful. We bring people together sharing hope around the special place of good food in the lived experience of people, communities and their connected futures. We celebrate our successes and those of our allies.
We acknowledge and seek to address historic and current injustices in the food system, but also within our own organisation and the movements we are part of. We are inspired by, and honour the work of, land defenders and social justice activists, to better stand with those working for food sovereignty, food justice, the right to food and land rights.