Its vision is of a world where everyone eats healthily and sustainably, enjoying food that is produced and traded fairly and humanely.
Food Ethics Council is a charity, and its work is not for profit. It is not affiliated to any political party or religious organisation.
Its Council members are all leaders in their relevant fields, and appointed as individuals. They bring a broad range of expertise to its work, from academic research through to practical knowledge of farming, business and policy.
Its staff and volunteers are all committed to its aim of creating a food system that is fair and healthy for people and the planet.
To build fair and resilient food systems that respect people, animals and the planet, by working with food businesses, government and civil society to address ethical concerns at the heart of decision-making about food and farming.
Its particular contribution is to promote ethical considerations in relation to decisions about food and farming and to facilitate deliberative thinking and bold action for a fair food system.
Ethics refers to the values, principles and codes by which people live. Acting ethically means taking values seriously and asking ‘what should I do, all things considered?’
It stands up for its principled ethical approach: respect for wellbeing, autonomy & fairness. It values its independence and are non-profit (a registered charity in the UK). It promotes inclusivity by taking into account diverse perspectives (for example in relation to gender, culture and faith). It takes a long-term view and believe in tackling root causes. It believes in openness and honesty, and it listens to, and learn from, each other.
The Food Ethics Council was established in 1998 with support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Farm and Food Society. It became a company limited by guarantee in 2000 (No. 03901671) and registered as a charity in February 2004 (No. 1101885).
A history of the Food Ethics Council, written by Founder Director Ben Mepham can be found here. Geoff Tansey also wrote a paper giving a personal reflection on the way the Food Ethics Council has approached social justice in the food system.