Churchill Fellowship Project to Tackle Social License
Expectations about how we grow produce and what consumers choose to purchase are changing. Consumers want local food that is produced in an ethically and sustainable manner and are increasingly pushing these demands back on the producers under a social license requirement. Horticultural producers are adopting innovative technologies, intensive and responsible growing methods and standards (such as environmental and best management practice) to provide confidence that their fresh produce is grown sustainably and responsibly whilst balancing increasing constraints on resources, changes in land use and a growing consumer disconnect with farming. In undertaking a Churchill Fellowship to investigate the use of horticultural QA standards to stay ahead of social license demands, our principal consultant Belinda Hazell plans to engage with problem solvers from across the globe.
Her project aims to identify examples in the United Kingdom, Netherlands and New Zealand of where industry has shown proactive leadership in ‘where and how we farm’, and successfully used a combination of compliance standards and marketing tools to bridge the ‘expectation gap’ and stay ahead of consumer and/or community demands.