Food and farming affect many issues of political and public concern, ranging from climate change to animal welfare to human health. Civil society organisations play a vital role in addressing these, through a wide range of activities including high-profile national campaigns, setting nutritional standards and growing local food. In 2011, the first food issues census was conducted to measure the extent of civil society’s work, the breadth of issues, and the strengths and vulnerabilities of the sector as a whole.

This second census provides an overview of the work of civil society groups in the UK, based on a census which 138 organisations responded to in Summer 2016. It provides updated insights on the size, shape and strategies of the sector. It shows that there is still a rich diversity of approaches and activities, but that food and farming remains underfunded by grant makers. It reveals that the sector is at risk from ongoing public spending cuts and the impacts of the 2016 EU referendum. The report sets out the challenges that these facts pose for NGOs, government and grant-makers.

The second edition of the food issues census was commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, JMG Foundation and The A Team Foundation, and was also supported by the Environmental Funders Network and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. The work was conducted by the Food Ethics Council.

You can also use this website to explore the data in more depth, and to draw charts that you can use in your own priority-setting, including in applications to grant-makers. You can also download an anonymous version of the raw data.