To manifest a new food system that contributes to planetary recovery, we need to think about what each of our roles is: farmer, butcher, chef and citizen. And design our impact into it.
We love speaking about what we do. And this week has been no exception.
On Monday we were invited to lunch with the Shadow DEFRA Minister to discuss food system change.That evening we spoke to a room of 240 farmers about the groundswell of interest in regenerative agriculture beyond the farm gate. And on Thursday we were in London speaking to chefs, restauranteurs and the public about regenerative farming.
Regenerative agriculture doesn't start and stop in the fields. It requires new ways of working across the whole supply chain.
We're talking about system change. And that means we have to envision what we want the new world to look like. But it also means we need to break free of current systems, and that’s really hard. And in so doing, figure out all the steps needed to move from old to new. This requires change at all levels.
We automatically think regenerative farming comes down to getting farmers to do things differently. But really this is about finding businesses at every stage of the supply chain who share values and are willing to co-operate, think differently, take risks and be pioneering together.
Most brands don’t buy enough from each farm to incentivise them to do different things. Their lever is too small. You buy 300g steaks, farmers sell 600kg animals. This also makes genuine traceability (and storytelling) very difficult.
COLLABORATE FOR LEVERAGE
That’s why we spend a lot of time helping businesses change what they buy (including menu or recipe redesigns) or linking them into a community of other businesses who, by working together, can form buying partnerships direct to farm level.
More co-operation, bigger levers, more change.