We have over 15 years’ experience providing consulting and advisory services across sectors, including public agencies, businesses, not-for-profits, and research institutions, to develop and deliver research, strategies, policies, and programs, to drive food system transition.
We believe that there are four ways of contributing to the transformation of food systems (right). Each approach has inherent limits and possibilities, yet all are integral to system change.
Historically, much of our work has been grounded within reform of the dominant model of the corporate food system. However, in recognising the limits and possibilities of change within that model, and being mindful of the ways in which the system resists and adapts to such pressure, we increasingly find our work is shifting us to the left of this framework.
Today, we find that much of our time is taken up in working with others to reimagine what food systems could look like if they were built on the nourishing foundations of social and ecological justice, and we work on projects that actively seek to recreate our foodways with the right to good food at their heart.
Food system transformation framework adapted from Spirit in Action
Regenerative Food Systems for Planetary Health
Even though rates of food production have risen faster than population growth, the number of people affected by malnutrition are at their highest ever. More than 820 million people are still hungry, 2 billion people are overweight or obese, and 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.
Ultimately, the challenges facing our food system are only likely to intensify in the coming years with the growing climate crisis, demographic changes and the pressure of diet-related ill health on healthcare systems and society more broadly.
Vanessa A. Clarkson
B.Sc., Dietetics (first class honours), M.Sc., Food Policy (distinction)
Vanessa is a public health nutritionist, food system expert, network weaver, and facilitator with extensive experience working across sectors to co-create a better food system. In her roles with some of the world’s largest food businesses, she has led the charge on developing, implementing and evaluating initiatives that genuinely make a positive impact on population health outcomes.
Vanessa’s recent pro bono work includes leading Australia’s reformulation efforts at a Federal Government level as part of the Healthy Food Partnership. She was also an independent member of the Health Star Rating Advisory Committee.
Vanessa has specialist interests in behavioural economics, behaviour change, and sustainable foodways. Her expertise in maternal, infant and child nutrition has recently led to her award-winning first book with Murdoch Books – Real Food for Babies and Toddlers – containing over 80 whole food recipes, and a wealth of evidence-based information, geared at fostering a lifelong love of real food in children.
Our Way of Food
The term foodways is used to describe our way of life in relation to food, or rather, our way of food. Our foodways are the shared values, beliefs, attitudes and practices that separate and unite us; shaping everything we understand about food and what it means to our communities.
From which foods are harvested and in what way, right through to how foods are prepared and eaten. Our foodways are dynamic, changing over time and place, person to person, community to community.