The Sustainable Food Lab was launched in 2004 as a non-profit organization to create a sustainable food system by helping organizations turn ideas into action.
“Sustainable Food Lab brilliantly brings together diverse stakeholders to develop actionable solutions. They strike the balance between realism and idealism, pushing us to stretch our thinking and willingness to collaborate for shared benefit.”
—Anna Swaithes, former Head of Water & Food Security Policy, SABMiller
From its founding, the Food Lab has sought to create positive, and often, unlikely partnerships as the basis of our work. Our efforts are centered in collaboration with the long-term goal of bringing about large shifts in sustainability in mainstream supply chains. Our staff utilize science and performance based measurement tools to foster impactful change whether making recommendations for entire sector, a specific landscape or an individual company. Our initiatives often start with the interest of one individual and grow to include entire companies, regions and sectors. Our learning journeys, summits, and fellowship program aim to foster and inspire professional leadership.
The Food Lab has a small, permanent staff that provides ongoing project initiation and support, facilitation, consulting, training, and convening. The partnerships and strong relationships that the staff have with people working “on the ground” are critical to continued success. In addition to fostering the “laboratory” in which living examples of a sustainable food supply can be developed, the Food Lab is also working to institutionalize the conditions needed to support such activities within organizations, conditions that include formal targets and incentives to meet those targets.
The key aspects of our work include:
- Facilitating pre-competitive collaborations to address large scale challenges across regions and sectors
- Offering professional development through systems leadership training, immersive events and convenings;
- Building and utilizing tools for quantifying impacts and implementing best practices; and
- Conducting values driven consulting to develop and implement sustainability initiatives;