Those of us working to transform the food system know that we need to address the inequities and disparities that exist in the way it is structured and the way it works today – all the way from how food is grown, how it is distributed and sold, right down to what we eat. Race and racism play an enormous role in shaping these differences in how people get to access, eat and enjoy food. Our work at SFP requires us to challenge these inequalities based on race and work to build a fairer food system for everyone.
SFP is committed to the journey and transformation needed to become an anti-racist programme. This begins with an acknowledgement that currently the UK food system, and our programme and Network of members, fails to reflect the diversity in our communities and fails to address inequalities based on race. We need to drive change within our programme that recognises and redefines our culture, practice and representation viewed through the lens of race, equity, diversity and inclusion. We will strive to transform our ways of working both within the core SFP programme team as well as in the UK-wide Network of SFP member partnerships, including action in policy, in practice, and in the way we communicate.
We recognise that our food system mirrors and entrenches racial oppression and exclusion in our wider society. It’s why race has a huge influence on people’s experience of the entire food system, from food access to food sector work, to inclusion in food policy spaces. Addressing culture and practice on race is therefore essential in delivering the SFP programme and the core work of a food partnership.
We need to be wary about who holds power within our partnerships, our programme and the UK food system, as well as trying to understand why certain demographics do not have a voice. With food as such a cross-cutting issue, decision-making in the food sphere must be inclusive, diverse and accessible.
We believe that intentional action based on the following principles is a concrete way forward:
Working within the UK’s food sector we are guided by reflection on and response to the following questions:
What we are doing
REDI for Change is SFP’s process for integrating an anti-racist ethos across our programme. It provides a set of principles and a methodology for understanding how representative, equitable, diverse and inclusive our organisations and food partnerships are. It also helps us to explore how our embedded practices engage with, represent and impact the experiences in our communities.
REDI for Change focuses on self-reflection and learning leading to organisational growth and strengthening viewed through the lens of Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Following the launch webinar in September 2020 discussions and learnings have provided an opportunity to listen to and share knowledge across the SFP Network leading to the co-production of the REDI Review Tool.
The REDI Review Tool
The REDI Review Tool is a self-reflection and assessment tool designed to help SFP food partnerships and other food sector organisations review and reflect on their current behaviour. It focuses on 12 review topics representing:
The Tool is designed to be used as a basis for discussion and the sharing of perspectives on progress, and to help identify where effort needs to be focused or where support is required.
The REDI Review Tool is not the only resource or approach that can help organisations to reflect on their structure and practice. However, the Tool has been developed in direct response to key outputs from the launch session in 2020, discussions that followed, and through a co-design process with a team comprising SFP Network members and individuals from other food sector organisations. The Tool is particularly relevant to SFP food partnerships but can also be used by any organisation seeking to reflect on its culture and behaviour with respect to Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
REDI and the SFP programme
The SFP programme is committed to embedding REDI for Change principles across the programme and the Network. The REDI Review Tool is one way to explore how this can be achieved and lessons from pilot initiatives using the Tool will be shared across the Network and included in refreshed versions of the Tool. SFP will also develop a series of REDI sessions, delivered by SFP and external anchor organisations leading work on anti-racism in the UK, aimed at sharing best practice and tangible, practical responses to racism in the UK food sector.
The Good Food Movement Guide also includes a section on meaningful action on diversity, anti-racism and inclusion, including considerations at the early stages of food partnership, as well as project and campaign development, and why this work is necessary at the outset.
Where we look for inspiration
The development of REDI for Change has been informed by our own experience and participatory process within SFP as well as by the thinking and work of others. Included in the REDI Review Tool is a list of resources: useful reports, guides and glossaries; recommended reading on antiracism; and anchor organisations in the UK providing leadership, training and inspiration.
Within SFP we commit to continued learning and guidance from others who inspire us, exploring potential collaboration with them, whilst signal-boosting their work.