Our Work 2013
Looking back on the last year I’m very encouraged by what we were able to achieve. It feels like we have started to turn the strategy into action rather than words, and that we’re making real progress through inspiring and enabling people to eat and farm better.
We took the decision in 2011 to focus our activity in three broad strands of work: Good food for All, Facing the Future, and Enabling Change, and 2012/13 saw our activity in each of these areas gather momentum. You can read all the details in the review itself, but some of my personal highlights have been:
Good food for all. Our work with the Food for Life Partnership has gone from strength-to-strength. Despite the initial five year programme funding ending in March 2012, we were able to continue the work, attract new funding, welcome the Royal Society of Public Health as a new partner, and this summer we saw the Government’s school food plan reflect our approach, clearly inspired by some of the great results in Food for Life schools.
Facing the future. Our ambition to invest in and support on-farm research in organic and ecological farming techniques has started to be fulfilled with the Duchy Originals Future Farming programme completing a successful first year; over 1,000 farmers have been involved already, and the first tranche of research grants have been announced.
Enabling change. It’s been a tough few years for the organic farmers and businesses that are delivering change on the ground, so the upturn in organic sales we have seen in 2013 has been very welcome. Although external factors such as the horsemeat scandal, and growth in the economy have undoubtedly helped, we’ve also put a lot of effort into supporting organic businesses, and communicating the benefits of organic to the public. Long may the upturn in sales continue.
We’ve had a busy year, but there’s still so much more to do. This year, we will be focussed on taking the Food for Life approach into new settings, such as hospitals, workplaces and care homes. We aim to influence the manifestos of all political parties as the next election looms, campaigning for a joined up ethical food policy and more support for organic research funding, amongst other things. Thank you so much for your support as we work to transform our food and farming systems.
Helen Browning, OBE
Find out more
To find out more about our work in 2013, please download our full annual review below.