Women in The Food Industry were delighted to host this event at Cookery School at Little Portland Street (London’s most sustainable cookery school). In June 2019 they were hosts for a popular event on Sustainable Gastronomy Day and the initiative wanted to build on the appetite and lively discussions this event led to.
The evening began with some demonstrations by Ros Rathouse founder of Cookery School who had stopped using plastic in the school way before it became trendy to talk about going plastic free. A big campaigner for going back to basics, turning back the clock and showing what we could learn from the past, Ros shared her story of sustainability and how a simpler past meant we were naturally more sustainable than we are now.
A packed audience then heard the fascinating journeys into sustainability and the future of food from the panel. Starting with Stephanie Wood founder of School Food Matters we learnt how her personal campaign to improve food in her own children’s school, led to a national mission.
Next up was Catherine Flood Curator at the V&A Museum who curated their hugely popular Food Bigger Than the Plate exhibition. With over three years research Catherine worked with May Rosenthal Sloan to curate a powerful exhibition to help us re-evaluate our connection with food. She discussed how the aim was to take food beyond a commodity and think of it as a key part of our sustainable futures.
Corinna Hawkes Director of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, has a incredible background and sits on range of national and global think tanks relating to our diets. However, what drew her to studying food and one of the things that keeps her going in this area was the fact that her late mother had tried to improve Corinna’s schools meals. “The fact she failed to get her message through during my childhood made me determined to carry forward her vision for improving the way we eat”, Corinna said.
Edwina Hughes Head of Engagement for the Cool Food Pledge at the World Resources Institute, also echoed that we all have a role in reducing climate change and how food is an important part of this. As Head of Engagement she is helping to sign up institutions, restaurants, cities and companies that serve food to consider climate change on a daily basis.
Finally on the panel we heard from Juliet Davenport, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Good Energy which is a 100% renewable energy company with a mission to power a greener, cleaner future together. As with the other women on the panel, Juliet aimed to make us re-think and challenge perceptions. She spoke of how we often take light and power for granted, and both are so important in the food chain.
At the end of the evening the audience received goodie bags with “surplus” vegetables from Waste Knot, sustainable samples of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern pastes and tapanades from Belazu Ingredients Company, beer from Small Beer Brew Co London’s first B Corp beer company and plantable sprout pencils from drinks sponsor Prosecco DOC.
Visit Women In the Food Industry for the full recap of the Sustainable Food Futures Event for International Women's Day.
"We covered huge topics that went beyond sustainability such as food insecurity, the importance of education both amongst children and adults and equitable systems within food"