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Food issues census 2017

In 2011, the Food Ethics Council researched and published the first Food Issues Census. Five years on, the Food issues census 2017 was published, assessing how the landscape has changed.

Our latest survey indicates that the challenges faced by the food system are getting worse. And despite the best efforts of CSOs, the sector’s response is not commensurate with the scale and urgency of the challenges.

The census reveals the dependence of the sector on EU funding, and the increasing constraints on third sector funders in uncertain economic times.

However, it also details a diverse sector populated with tens of thousands of committed and passionate volunteers and staff members, working on a huge range of issues, from food poverty to fish stocks, from sustainable farming to social inclusion.

 ‘Food issues census 2017’ findings include:

  • One in five civil society organisations working in food and farming relies on European Union funding;
  • Food poverty moved from 15th place in 2011 to 2nd in 2016 in terms of number of organisations working on the issue;
  • However, food poverty was the issue that the largest number of respondents said needed more funding;
  • 41% of respondents said the government was the biggest hindrance to addressing food and farming issues;
  • The environment was the top motivation for the majority of CSOs who responded to the survey.

The survey was conducted by the Food Ethics Council on behalf of charitable funders Big Lottery Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, JMG Foundation and The A Team Foundation, with support from the Environmental Funders Network

The information contained in the report is designed to help the sector’s organisations – big and small – in their strategic planning and grant funding applications. It will also help current and potential grant funders make strategic funding decisions.

Please visit the Food issues census website to download the report, and to access our online tool that enables people to explore the survey data in more detail.