Responsible Investment Engagement Lead – The Food Foundation

Neera Shah
Neera Shah13th December 2022

Responsible Investment Engagement Lead

Are you passionate about the role of the private and financial sectors in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and supporting the transition towards a more sustainable and healthy food system? Do you have experience of working with investors on a range of food sustainability issues? Do you understand the power of data and collaboration for driving positive change within financial markets?  Are you an excellent collaborator with well-developed communication, influencing and interpersonal skills?

If the answers to these questions are yes, we would love to hear from you!

The Food Foundation is building a movement to measure and incentivise business impact towards a sustainable food future that works for everyone. The investment and business sectors have a crucial role to play in advancing healthy, affordable, and sustainable diets and the SDGs. That is why we are assessing the progress of the UK’s major food businesses through publicly available data on corporate commitments to health and sustainability. Our benchmark and briefings are used by investors, civil society, governments, and companies to accelerate a race to the top when it comes to health and sustainability commitments.

This post will support the use of our benchmark Plating Up Progress data by the ESG investment community, leveraging the insights and learnings from our dashboard to drive action and impact by investors. You will lead our work as the secretariat for the UK investor coalition for food policy, driving forward progress and supporting the work of the coalition which currently has over £6 trillion of assets under management.

You will also play a key role internally, to build understanding of investor priorities and needs across the Food Foundation, so our work is relevant to the investor audience. Part of The Food Foundation’s Business and Investor engagement Team, you will provide a link between our work and the investment community, and make sure that their voice is heard as part of wider discussions with policy makers on food system change.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL JOB PACK HERE

Hours: Full time or Part time (hours are negotiable)

Salary: £36,050 to £40,100 (pro rata and dependent on experience)

Contract: Permanent

Place of work: Brixton, London

Working pattern: Hybrid working options available (1-2 days in the office)

Job requirements: Two references required

Responsible Investment Engagement Lead

The Food Foundation believes investors can be a key driver of change in the transition to healthy, affordable and sustainable diets helping to tackle food system issues such as rising levels of diet related disease, climate change and biodiversity loss. Our work on this has three key focus areas:

Benchmarking: Our Plating Up Progress dashboard assesses major UK-operating food businesses. We produce data and analysis on the actions which they are taking to secure healthy and sustainable food and what this means for investors.

Investor engagement: Together with key investors we have built the Investor Coalition for UK Food Policy (now grown to 20+ investors representing £6 trillion in assets under management) to provide a collective voice from the finance sector for public policy and government regulation to incentivise change in the food industry in the UK. For example, the Coalition recently wrote a letter to the UK government in support of introducing mandatory reporting requirements for food businesses.

Collaboration: We collaborate with other food industry benchmarking organisations to coordinate investor engagement with businesses and policy-makers – both in the UK and at a global level. Over the next few years we are aiming to build this investor coalition to drive change in the UK food industry as well as contributing to the improvement in food industry disclosure more generally and the consensus on metrics that the industry should be reporting.

About you:
The ideal candidate is highly motivated to create positive food system change through financial sector action, thrives in a dynamic, multi-stakeholder environment, enjoys thinking holistically and creatively as well as working on implementation and delivery. The role is flexible and requires an understanding of financial markets as well as sustainability and/or ESG issues facing the financial sector and broader food system. You will utilise your skills in project management and analysis to help develop our investor coalition and resources and guidance.

Your experience:
Your experience does not need to come from the charity or nutrition sector. A keen interest in food systems and responsible investing/ESG is a must. We are looking for experience of working with senior stakeholders on issues related to food system transformation (for instance at a consultancy firm, an Asset Owner or working directly with investors at an ESG service provider). Alternatively, you may have experience working for an NGO that engages with investors and the finance sector on responsible investing and sustainability or health issues.

A week in the job will look like:
Hosting investor coalition meetings to identify priorities and opportunities for investors to make their voices heard with policymakers; reviewing our Plating Up Progress dashboard and scrutinising where progress is (and is not) being made; working with the wider business and investor engagement team to ensure the Plating Up Progress dashboard is up to date and continuing to deliver impact; collaborating with our partner civil society organisations to make sure we are well coordinated; writing a brief on food companies’ progress towards Net Zero.

Main responsibilities:
Strategy development

  • Driving forward and shaping the future of the Investor Coalition for Food Policy, a group of investors and other NGOs working to shift food businesses and policymakers towards sustainable and healthy business practises in the UK.
  •  Working with the Senior Business and Investor Engagement Manager to develop our programme of work and strategic focus for engaging with investors going forward on the transition towards healthy and sustainable diets

Reporting and Benchmarking

  • Leading the development and evolution of the Plating Up Progress dashboard as a tool for benchmarking targeted UK food companies and identifying where change needs to happen within the sector. This will involve collaborating with team members to analyse collected data and produce insights for use with businesses and investors looking to measure business progress across a set of holistic food system metrics.
  • Writing briefings and reports for investors and businesses using the Plating Up Progress dashboard and analysis of the data
  • Producing quarterly investor briefings on topics such as the food industry and net zero, data gaps in food industry disclosure, and risks and opportunities across the food system

Stakeholder management 

  • Keeping our funders updated with investor engagement progress and working with the team leader to manage funder relationships
  • Supporting with project management of Plating Up Progress, including managing project budgets and funder reports
  • Maintaining and fostering productive relationship with external stakeholders a part of our work on investor engagement, including investors, NGOs, funders and policymakers.

Communications and events

  • Working with the wider Food Foundation team to ensure the investor voice is part of any relevant advocacy campaigns undertaken by the team targeted at UK policymakers
  • Working with the wider team and coalition to plan roundtables and events that develop a community of like-minded investors working in this space

Deadline to apply: Midnight, Tuesday 10th January 2023.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL JOB PACK HERE

Please apply as soon as you can: we will interview candidates as appropriate applications are received.

Please apply to office@foodfoundation.org.uk (with ‘Responsible Investment Engagement Lead’ in the subject line) with a cover letter and up to date CV (include contact details of two references in CV). Please use your cover letter to describe how you meet the person profile.

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