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Gizzi Erskine calls on army of food industry workers to fight the climate crisis in UK’s biggest climate upskilling programme

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 12 April 2022

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine has launched the biggest mass climate upskilling programme in UK history.

The Future Food Movement Ally Community is a digital community founded to revolutionise the role that individuals play in the UK’s food and drink industry, and empower them to accelerate climate change initiatives ‘from within’.

The food industry is facing a huge climate skills and knowledge gap, which is having an impact everywhere from the boardroom to the shop floor.

To help fix this, the Future Food Movement is embarking on the biggest mass upskilling programme in UK history. The aims is to climate upskill two million people who work in the UK food sector and arm them with knowledge that will help them take action on sustainability in their businesses.

Becoming climate warriors

The food industry isn’t moving fast enough on climate. A third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system and the climate crisis threatens to undermine the world’s food supply chain. Implementing climate strategies in the food sector is now critical.

‘The UK food industry is a big carbon emitter – and to make real measurable change we all need to become climate warriors. Businesses are slowly catching on to the terrifying realisation that we are at critical moment in history, and that drastic changes are needed now to preserve our planet for future generations. Our industry has the power and ability to start this critical revolution but, only when we get smart and share knowledge, can we really work together and see real effective climate action.’

GIZZI ERSKINE
Chef, restaurateur and sustainable food campaigner

In its recent White Paper, ‘Tomorrow’s Talent: Skills For A Climate Smart Food System’, The Future Food Movement revealed that nearly two-thirds of those who work in the UK’s food and drink sector do not think that their employer is taking positive action to tackle the climate crisis.

The report also highlighted a need for the food sector to come together to create a loud voice for climate action, while also increasing employee retention and inspiring the next generation to enter a positive, sustainable and engaging industry.

‘This is a rallying call to both individuals and businesses in the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector take action on climate and be on the right side of history. There’s an assumption that sustainability professionals are going to magically fix everything but there aren’t enough of them and until this becomes part of everyone’s day job we won’t move fast enough.

‘The Future Food Movement is built on the philosophy that when you know, you can’t unknow. Embedding climate strategies into the culture of a business and allowing individuals to create ideas and facilitate change is key to enacting lasting and positive change.’

KATE CAWLEY
Founder of the Future Food Movement and MD of Veris Strategies

’Knowledge is power’

A recent Kantar survey commissioned by media platform Teads showed 49% of UK consumers want to reduce their carbon footprint through the food choices they make in 2022. With 35% of the UK’s total carbon emissions directly attributable to the food industry, it’s going to take a monumental team effort to reach net zero by 2050.

‘Ultimately, we all win, or we all lose. It’s a simple as that’, Kate Cawley adds. ‘Knowledge is power, and through the Ally Community we will be upskilling our whole industry and helping make every role a climate role.’

The Future Food Movement Ally Community is the UK’s first food industry network which specifically inspires, upskills and educates individuals on climate. Giving people of all levels in all roles the skills to be able to make a difference on climate in their individual jobs whether that’s on the factory floor, in marketing, accounts or product development, everyone can play their part. 

‘Leading the Future Food Movement Ally Community is the most important thing I have done in my career’, Gizzi said. ‘I hope that I can inspire the next generation and the old school of food to stick with this and move forward together.’

The new Future Food Movement platform will focus on four skills areas – climate literacy, application, technology and communication – as part of its mission to help the industry deliver on net zero by 2050. 

Membership to the Ally Community includes access to pioneering events, masterclasses, and podcasts as well as networking opportunities and mentoring.

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