Future Food Movement (FFM), a pioneering climate-first industry network on a mission to accelerate climate action in the food industry from observation to meaningful action, has partnered with VotesforSchools to co-create an innovative food and climate focused Youth Advisory Board.
The FFM Youth Advisory Board is the first of its kind in the UK that focuses specifically on the food industry’s impact on the planet.
It will give a megaphone to young people in Generation Z to speak directly to senior leaders of the UK’s biggest and most influential food businesses and enable them to voice their thoughts and challenges about the future of the food industry.
The food industry is the second largest carbon emitting sector and consequently has the opportunity to play a huge part in solving the climate crisis.
Kate Cawley, founder of the Future Food Movement said: “There is a great deal of climate anxiety with the younger generation so it’s our responsibility to actively listen to their concerns and act on them. Learning what young people think and feel about our food system and the role of businesses today is an area that is currently lacking informed input from younger generations.
The FFM Youth Advisory Board will be made up of 17 young people aged 13-18 who have been specifically recruited by VotesForSchools. The board will meet monthly to discuss relevant issues and each term will meet directly with senior leaders from the food and drink industry to voice their concerns, ideas, and challenges.
Monthly insights from the meetings will be shared with FFM business members which will provide unique insights on climate issues affecting young people.
Sean, 17 from the FFM Youth Advisory Board said: “We’re seeing the impacts of climate change now, but we will see it get worse. It’ll be our generation who will have to live through the consequences. If everyone’s opinion and everyone’s outlook on the world is taken into account now, we can try to help limit the change that is happening.”
Chris Kirke, President at Moy Park, a business member of Future Food Movement said: “It’s so important to connect with young people, to give them a platform to speak about the climate-related issues that affect them now and an in the future – and importantly – for us to listen. Connecting with this generation gives us an incredible opportunity to listen to new perspectives, ideas and challenges, but also to engage and attract this talent of the future into the food industry to help us address these issues in the longer-term.”
Tess Kelly, Head of External Engagement at Quorn Foods, business member of Future Food Movement said: “There is clearly a huge disconnect between generations on issues around the climate. We think it’s critical to listen to young voices and take them into account as we try to solve the challenges we face. We’re excited that the Youth Advisory Board is giving young people a ’seat at the table’ and we look forward to hearing their ideas on the future of the food industry and the implications for our business.”
Kate Harris, CEO & co-founder of VotesforSchools said: “Children and young people are incredibly passionate about the environment and have a huge amount of insight and opinion to offer the food industry to help make it fit for the future. The Future Food Movement has an essential role in upskilling everyone in how the climate will affect the food system and inspire businesses to develop strategies to mitigate global warming. Tapping into the youth voice is incredibly important in this journey so we’re looking forward to sharing their opinions with business leaders.”
The Youth Advisory Board will be an active and engaged member of the Future Food Movement, growing and engaging with the community and encouraging food business leaders to review their ongoing climate strategies.
Kate Cawley adds: “It’s key to nurture tomorrow’s workforce and demonstrate the climate job opportunities that the food industry offers. If you care about the climate and society, there is no greater sector for impact than the food system.”
Annual Business Membership unlocks the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to become agents of change and support food businesses in becoming a climate smart food leader. Fees depend on the organisations number of employees and include exclusive benefits including access to the Youth Advisory Board, for all details click here.