Plating Up Progress

Plating up progress? A collaborative project to define usable metrics for assessing food industry progress in delivering sustainable and healthy diets.

This one year project, a collaboration between the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) and the Food Foundation, has two main aims.  It will scope out the potential for developing a set of actionable, verifiable and industry-relevant metrics that define sustainable and healthy eating patterns; and it will build a multi-stakeholder partnership to advance the uptake of these metrics by those assessing food industry performance. This project is the outcome of an earlier workshop hosted by The Food Foundation and FCRN to discuss the benefits of metrics to assess food industry performance and who might be interested in these metrics as a means of improved decision making.  You can read the report from that meeting here.

The project will undertake preliminary scoping research to understand what metrics are currently being used, by whom, and to what effect.  If necessary, it will further investigate the potential for developing new metrics that could provide more effective ways to measure progress in the food industry.  An important part of this work will be to understand who is most able and willing to use such metrics and why: for example civil society in order to measure food industry progress, the investment community in order to aid investment decision making, businesses in order to measure their own progress, or policy makers.  The scope of this project will most likely confine itself to one sector within the value chain, for example retail, the out of home sector, or food manufacturers, although over time it may be possible to define a comprehensive family of metrics that can be applied across the entire food value chain.

Building the multi-stakeholder partnership will be a major project priority.  The initial engagement phase will guide the work of defining the metrics and help identify both the target audience and target sector within the industry.  The resulting partnership, comprising actors from civil society and research institutions, the investment sector and potentially – although to be decided – the food industry itself, will act as a coalition that can drive forward the use of meaningful metrics in the industry.

The outputs from the project will include the collaborative partnership, a written report on the scoping study and recommendations for action, and a proposal for future initiatives to build on this work.

If you would like to hear more or are interested in the multi-stakeholder partnership, please get in touch at or 07949 337556.

Will has spent the last 6 years in Scandinavia, integrating food sustainability metrics into business practices in the food industry, working with a range of operators including contract caterers, hotels, independent restaurants and retailers.  He has a Masters in Green Economy from Bournemouth University, and a diverse background in analysis, business consultancy, restaurants and social enterprise initiatives around food and social impact.


Project funding

We are very grateful to the following sponsors for supporting this project: