Follow the Money: Investor power and the Future of Food
Dan Saladino finds out how groups of influential investors are using the trillions of dollars they control to shape the future of food.
It's argued that it is their decisions, not those of governments which will determine if we can solve the biggest challenges we're facing, from climate change to obesity.
These funds, including our savings and pensions, are invested in the global food system. This money makes it possible for fast-food chains to expand, for supermarkets to grow and farming businesses to survive. How that money is allocated, and which food businesses are now seen as carrying too much risk, is an increasingly important factor in deciding how we will farm and eat in the future.
Dan Saladino meets Jeremy Coller, a Chief Investment Officer who controls billions of dollars of assets about the power of investors. In 2016, Coller has set up the FAIRR Initiative (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return), a source of data and analysis of business performance in the meat industry. Coller, a vegetarian, argues that future global risks such as pandemics and climate change are being increased by factory farming.
Instead of waiting for governments to act, he believes networks of investors, and their decisions on meat based businesses (from processors to burger chains), entirely based on risk, will transform the food system.
Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Best Food Producer of the Year: Meet the Finalists
What does it take to bring home the title of Best Food Producer in the Food and Farming Awards 2021?
This year, Sheila Dillon and chef Angela Hartnett visit a local nose-to-tail butchery, a community cooperative farm and an enterprise employing ex-offenders to make delicious pasties and pies.
H.M.Pasties was set up by Lee Wakeham to ‘bring out the good inside’ by employing ex-offenders like himself to make and sell handmade Cornish-style pasties and baked goods to customers across Greater Manchester while adding real social benefit to the community.
Locally sourced meat, nose-to-tail eating and artisanal butchery are the terms that define Lizzy Douglas’s The Black Pig, whose philosophy is to use only naturally-reared, free range meat to support the local economy and supply customers with fantastic quality Kentish produce.
Growing with Grace is a farm dedicated to supplying sustainably grown produce to local people and businesses. Growing in nearly two acres of glasshouses, they pride themselves on producing the best quality organic vegetables, salad, and fruits in the region using a community supported agriculture model.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced by Robbie Armstrong
Oz Clarke: A Life Through Wine
Oz Clarke, the popular man of wine, has enjoyed success in wine writing and broadcasting for four decades. First appearing on our screens on BBC2’s Food and Drink in the 1980s, he helped lead a wine drinking revolution in Britain.
Visiting Oz to share a glass or two from his collection, Jaega Wise hears about his varied career and lifelong passion for wine, as well as how he’s never been afraid of introducing controversy into the wine world. Oz also shares his thoughts on the natural wine movement and how the industry will need to adapt to climate change.
We also hear from fellow wine critic Jancis Robinson on Oz’s impact on our wine drinking culture; and we visit winemaker Emma Rice at Hattingley Valley to hear how the English wine industry is faring, which Oz has long been a cheerleader for.
Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Prue Leith: A Life Through Food
She might be best known as the colourfully clad host of the Great British Bake Off, but Dame Prue Leith's accomplishments during her six decades in the food industry are vast and varied.
She's enjoyed success as a cook, restaurateur, businesswoman, broadcaster, campaigner, food writer and novelist; and in conversation with Sheila Dillon, on a balmy summer afternoon on the terrace of her Cotswolds home, Prue shares the lessons she's learned from her career so far.
We also hear from Prue's niece Peta Leith, a pastry chef and food writer with whom she recently collaborated on the book 'The Vegetarian Kitchen' - and from Dr Rupy Aujla, the NHS GP who started the Culinary Medicine UK programme teaching doctors to cook, and creator of the podcast 'The Doctor's Kitchen' linking better health to good cooking and eating, who is Prue's co-host on the television series ‘Cook Clever, Waste Less’.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol
High Spirits: A story of vodka
Vodka is a spirit with a rich cultural history in a host of European countries including Russia and Poland, where it’s been distilled for centuries.
In the west, it's traditionally been considered either a base for other flavours, or something to be knocked back as quickly as possible. But the recent craft spirits boom has seen more distillers experimenting with vodka, showcasing the subtle flavours of base ingredients or trying out quirky botanical additions; and now, a growing vodka fan club is eager to prove it has more to offer than some might think…
Jaega Wise sets out to learn more about the most neutral of spirits - visiting 2021 BBC Food and Farming Awards finalist Black Cow Vodka in Dorset to hear about distilling with milk, and trying some food pairings courtesy of local chef and restaurateur Mark Hix.
She also visits Ognisko Polskie, one of London's oldest Polish clubs, for a masterclass in tasting with Ognisko Restaurant director Jan Woronieki, also the founder of vodka brand Kavka; and Veronika Karlova, a drinks writer and consultant, chair judge for the World Vodka Awards and founder of GirlsDrinkVodka.com.
We also hear stories of slightly different vodka ventures from Arbikie Distillery in Scotland and Bakon Vodka in the United States – and get the mixologist's perspective, courtesy of Norwegian bartender Monica Berg: a founder of the non-profit industry discussion hub P(OUR) and co-owner of the London bar and restaurant Tayēr + Elementary.
Presented by Jaega Wise
Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol