We cannot put the world to rights on empty stomachs - so let’s start with food.
What would our food system look like if we transformed it to tackle global challenges like the climate crisis, rising inequality and biodiversity loss? And what could our future hold if we don’t?
On Monday 19th October we had an evening of food-inspired stories and discussions, to find out what these global challenges mean for the food on our plates, and the key role of our food in addressing them.
FOOD SECURITY TEAM
CHAIR: Maia Elliott
Maia Elliott is Project Manager and Science Writer for the Global Food Security programme, leading multiple projects that explore how the UK food system could be transformed to meet the UN’s global agreements and the UK’s Net Zero pledge. Maia is an ardent supporter of climate justice and food equity, as well as an advocate for creative and collaborative problem-solving.
PANELLIST: Paul Cherry
Paul runs a family farm with his brother John in Hertfordshire, UK. 10 years ago, they shifted from a fully plough based system to no-tillage on their arable acres, while also managing a 100% grass-fed Beef shorthorn suckler herd. By introducing animals back into the arable rotation and using mob stocking techniques, they are able to grow more feed in a relatively dry part of East Anglia, simultaneously improving soil and animal health.
Paul and John started the Groundswell Conference 5 years ago, and are passionate about saving the world’s soils from over-industrialised farming. Paul is an advocate for maintaining healthy soils to grow healthy crops for healthier humans.
PANELLIST: Tasha Mhakayakora
Tasha is a Youth Board co-chair at Bite Back 2030; a non-profit organisation that exists to improve the health and wellbeing of young people. Through persistent campaigning, she is passionate about reforming the food industry to put health at the forefront of its operation. This involves stemming the tide of unhealthy foods and improving the flow of affordable, healthy options. Alongside Bite Back 2030, Tasha believes every child should have the opportunity to thrive and be healthy, no matter where they live.
PANELLIST: Christina Adane
Christina is an intersectional youth activist and poet who aims to engage and integrate young people with everything she does. She is also co-chair of the Bite Back 2030 Youth Board, and started the campaign to extend free school meal provisions over the holidays with a petition in April, which has collected 300,000 signatures.
PANELLIST: Jyoti Fernandes MBE
Jyoti Fernandes MBE is Policy Coordinator for the Landworkers Alliance, a UK-based union for farmers, foresters and land-based workers. She represents small and family farms in Westminster and globally - challenging governments to guarantee healthy, affordable agro-ecological food for everyone by supporting localised production and distribution.
Jyoti farms with her husband and four daughters on a 23 acre regenerative farm in Dorset, producing vegetables, fruits, preserves, cider, lamb and cheese. She provides practical and legal support to enable access to land for new entrants and land rights for indigenous communities so that more people can live ecosystem connected lives - gaining autonomy in food, housing, electricity and spirituality.
PANELLIST: Dr Hibbah Araba Osei-Kwasi
Hibbah is a Public Health Nutrition researcher, focussing on dietary acculturation and food insecurity amongst Ghanaian migrants in Europe. Hibbah has previously worked on research projects in Africa that explored dietary transitions in urban areas in Africa and led the development of the African food environment framework.
She is currently an AXA Post-doctoral Research fellow at the university of Sheffield, exploring cooking practices of Ghanaians in the UK and also in Ghana, to leverage evidence to improve the traditional diets of African women.
Hibbah is leading the establishment of the social enterprise Sahara Nutrition to empower Black minority ethnic people in the UK through nutrition.
PANELLIST: Paul Newnham
Paul is Director of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 Advocacy Hub, which brings together NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to coordinate global campaigning and advocacy to achieve SDG2. Paul also facilitates the Chefs' Manifesto, a network of 800+ chefs from 80 countries equipped with a simple set of actions to drive progress on the Global Goals.
With over 20 years’ experience working strategically alongside actors from all aspects of the food, agriculture and nutrition industries, Paul seeks to generate change that will impact our food system and planet. Paul has recently been appointed a UN Food Systems Summit Champion.
PANELLIST: Lydia Medland
Lydia is a multidisciplinary researcher at the University of Bristol, focussing on the social dimensions of intensive food production. Her research explores the social challenges that workers face in large-scale fruit and vegetable production within the global food system. Lydia previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Bath, has a PhD in Global Political Economy (University of Bristol) and Masters in Agroecology (University of Cordoba, Spain).
PANELLIST: Pete Falloon
Pete is the Met Office Science Directorate’s Change Manager, and leads the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme’s Climate Service for Defra on Food, Farming and Natural Environment. Pete has over 25 years of experience in modelling environmental systems, particularly the impacts of climate and land use change on agriculture, water and soils. Pete has been at the Met Office Hadley Centre since 2004 and led the Climate Impacts Modelling team from 2009-2019. He is a contributing author to the UK’s Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) and a member of the Global Food Security Programme’s Programme Coordination Group board.
PANELLIST: Lynne Davis
Lynne Davis' purpose and passion is to build global food sovereignty through agroecological economics and social technology. Lynne has trained in agriculture, engineering and economics. She has worked on a number of commercial livestock and vegetable holdings and has developed innovative models in community driven food systems such as Dean Forest Food Hub and Street Goat in Bristol. Lynne has worked on agricultural policy with the Landworker’s Alliance, La Via Campesina and the RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and is a board member of Ecological Land Cooperative.
UN75 Food Security Expert Working Group
Christina Adane (Bite Back 2030 youth board)
Ed Atkins (Univeristy of Bristol)
Barabara Bray MBE (Director of Oxford Farming Conference).
Dan Crossley (Food Ethics Council)
Pete Falloon (Met Office)
Jyoti Fernandes MBE (Landworkers Alliance)
Helen Harwatt (Chatham House)
Aled Jones (Global Sustainability Institute)
Kate Mayne (farm advisor),
Hannah McGrath (PhD student & entrepreneur)
Tasha Mhakayakora (Bite Back 2030 youth board)
Jordan Russell (student & activist)
Matt Sowerby (poet & activist)
Laura Wellesley (Chatham House)
Ali Yellop (Grow2Know)
George Young (Fobbing Farm)