The findings of a collaborative innovation project around the future of food have been published in the UK in a report – Food Citizenship.
The report explores what it calls the false and limiting idea of ‘the consumer’ and includes a review of international and UK food citizenship projects, and a Food Citizen’s Toolkit.
The Future Of Food: Beyond The Consumer project was convened by the New Citizenship Project with support from the UK’s Food Ethics Council. It involved a ten month inquiry with representatives of six organisations from across the food system to explore and experiment with a new way of thinking about the challenges facing the food system.
“We allow sugar content to remain high, compromise on wage levels and environmental impact for price, focus our best innovation brains narrowly on convenience, and all because that’s what ‘the consumer’ wants. But what if people are not consumers? What if brands sought our involvement, not just our spend? Imagine if we thought of ourselves and each other as active participants in shaping our society beyond our individual consumption,” says director and co-founder of the New Citizenship Project, Jon Alexander.
“We have applied the insights from our process and the work of our participant organisations to create a toolkit for others working in the food system, helping them to see how they as individuals and their organisations can be Food Citizens. This toolkit is an exciting opportunity for us to break out of consumer conventions and work towards a new food system which is fairer, more equitable and has a healthier future,” adds Alexander.
Each of the six UK-based organisations – which include frozen food manufacturer and retailer, Cook; the Co-op; and the Food Standards Agency – is playing a part in progressing towards a citizen food system, and adopting new approaches in communication, strategy and policy development as a result of their participation in the project.
Events are planned to encourage further conversations and activity to continue with this initiative. They include a Food Citizenship Boot Camp on 10 October.
For further details see: www.foodcitizenship.info