Future Food Movement Partners With Bite Back To Launch Food Systems Accelerator

The Future Food Movement (FFM), the food sector's climate upskilling partner and food industry disruptor, and Bite Back, a youth activist movement working to make the food system healthier and more sustainable for future generations, have partnered to launch the UK's first industry-leading business programme to create meaningful change for child health and planetary health.

The Food Systems Accelerator is a bold two-year programme which will challenge senior leaders of leading food businesses to collaborate and find evidence-based solutions to healthy and sustainable diets that will ensure the UK leads on both the climate and health agenda.

It mixes youth voices from Bite Back activists, who are demanding food and drink companies take action to make it easier to eat healthily, with experts in food system transformation to guide participants to develop a future of food which delivers win-win for health and business success.

Right now, our food environment is flooded with unhealthy food and drinks resulting in poor diets that are risking the future health of one in three children by age 11. There is also an increasing appreciation that sustainability strategies must be paired with a focus on healthy diets if the food industry is to hit net zero targets. This ESG + Nutrition approach is emerging as the next frontier for the food system. Creating sustainable healthy diets without a trade-off is the only way to tackle the climate issues with our food system and the health of our nation.

Bite Back piloted a health only version of the Food Systems Accelerator programme in 2022 with seven food businesses - Tesco, KFC, Deliveroo, Costa Coffee, Danone, the Jamie Oliver Group and Chartwells – which included reformulating menus to improve the nutritional composition of products, and testing marketing tactics to increase sales of healthier options. Bite Back has taken learnings from the pilot to build out the second phase bringing in sustainability alongside the health focus.

Becky Odoi, a youth activist at Bite Back said: "To perpetuate change in the food system we need to work together. Young people's perspectives through our real lived experiences are essential for food and drink companies to make the changes necessary to protect child health."

Kate Cawley, founder of Future Food Movement said: "We can't deliver net zero without delivering on health. We need the food industry to be bold and adopt a braver approach to shift consumers towards healthier and more sustainable diets. This isn't about winning over consumer hearts and minds; it's about putting competition aside to find solutions that work for the next generation to build a healthier and climate smart food system.

"Our Food Systems Accelerator will give businesses a commercial advantage to help build strong sustainable businesses able to ride the wave of a changing environment, upskill their teams and integrate youth insights into their thinking to help inform, shape and support their sustainable diets journey."

The Food Systems Accelerator is a collaboration between young people and food and drink businesses, designed to support, set or operationalise strategic health commitments that are evidence based, informed by youth insight and evaluated by Nesta.

James Toop, CEO Bite Back said; "This programme is an opportunity to connect with and understand a demographic that businesses have historically found hard to engage with. Just like we're seeing with the climate movement, young people are looking at businesses and they're looking at the leadership decisions being made which will influence how they will thrive and succeed in the future.

"We're super-charging our mission in 2024 by working with Future Food Movement and Nesta to help co-create these commitments."

Kate Cawley adds; "Consumers expect the products they buy to be healthier, without having to change their eating and drinking habits, and with benefits for everyone, regardless of income, ethnicity or education. The Government is looking for the industry to step-up and be on the right side of history. Brands that successfully navigate these issues will ultimately reap the commercial rewards."

The Accelerator programme launches with a full day workshop at Waddesdon Manor where businesses will hear from young people, collaboratively work through insights and discuss strategic health commitments with health and climate experts.

It also includes Bite Back Youth Board visits to businesses, online facilitated group sessions, individual mentoring, Future Food Movement Community Membership and opportunities to integrate and share learnings with cohort 1.

Ali Morpeth, Registered Public Health Nutritionist and FFM's lead on healthy sustainable diets said; "We are facing a dual challenge of illness driven by poor diets and undernutrition in the UK while the systems that produce our food impacting on the environment. A healthier diet is also more sustainable, but we are currently in a situation whereby the average UK diet does not meet the criteria our government set out as healthy. This Food Systems Accelerator programme is pioneering in its approach on working at the food system level to impact the whole supply chain and drive better outcomes for people and planet."

To find out more about the Future Food Movement, visit www.futurefoodmovement.com