What is the Big Food Redesign Challenge?
The Challenge aims to catalyse and inspire the food industry to produce food that helps nature to thrive. By applying the principles of circular design, participants will explore the potential of our food to regenerate nature, tackle biodiversity loss, and address climate change. The Challenge will celebrate and showcase successful food products that have been created using circular design principles. By the end of the Challenge, in 2024, we aim to have uncovered pathways to success for businesses to embrace circular food design.
What type of organisations have joined the Challenge?
The Challenge pathway is designed for food businesses, large and small, and for retailers.
Entries to the Challenge have now closed, but you can still apply the Circular Design for Food Framework, as outlined in The big food redesign study.
I am a retailer, how can I get involved?
You can support the Challenge as a potential retail outlet for successful Challenge products. We’d love to hear from you.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a farmer or producer, how can I get involved?
Food businesses taking part in the Challenge will seek to connect with farmers, growers and suppliers who are prioritising outcomes for nature, whether by adopting agro-ecology, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, or other approaches that support regenerative outcomes for nature. If you are applying these approaches we encourage you to register on the HowGood platform so that you can be identified by Challenge participants.
I am a food business, can I still get involved?
I am interested in the Challenge, can I stay updated?
Circular Design for Food, and a circular economy
What is circular design and how does it apply to food?
Food design shapes what we eat, which ingredients are grown, and how they’re produced. Design decisions impact the concept, taste, texture, price, nutritional status, and packaging. Circular design for food is about rethinking product concepts, ingredient selection and sourcing, and packaging and putting nature at the heart of these decisions. It’s about developing food products that regenerate nature, restore biodiversity, enhance soil health, and prevent waste. It can also help us tackle climate change and pollution.
How does food fit into the circular economy?
Circular design is the starting point for the circular economy, which is a system where products and materials are designed to be circulated, thereby eradicating waste and pollution and regenerating nature. It’s inspired by our natural world – in nature, there is no waste, everything is part of an interconnected cycle that constantly regenerates.
Food is part of this system. But we have disturbed its natural cycle. Industrial farming has turned agriculture into a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. On top of this, we waste almost a third of the food we produce, while nearly 10% of the world’s population goes hungry.
Bringing food into the circular economy means we can restore nature’s cycle, which in turn helps biodiversity to flourish, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
Why is biodiversity so important?
When we talk about biodiversity, we’re referring to all the different plants and animals – including us humans – working together to maintain a healthy balance that supports life on our planet. In short, it’s fundamental to our existence. Biodiversity provides us with the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the medicines we take, the materials we use to make stuff and many more things that are essential to making life possible and worth living.
How is our food system linked to climate change?
Our food system is responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Over 70% of those emissions come from agriculture and how we use the land, with the rest coming from further down the supply chain, such as transportation, retail, waste management, processing etc. If we shift to regenerative agricultural production practices, eliminate food waste, and use lower-impact or upcycled ingredients, we could halve emissions from our food system by 2050.
What can we, as shoppers, do to help nature thrive?
We see a future where when you shop there are no bad choices. Sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on the Challenge and be the first to know when the products hit the shelves. In the meantime there are a few actions you can take:
whenever you can, choose products that use regeneratively-grown ingredients, that make use of by-products or ‘upcycled’ ingredients, or that use lesser-known varieties of grains, fruit and vegetables.
think about buying locally grown, seasonal produce if possible.
limit your food waste, from both packaging and leftovers – and recycle appropriately, you could even get a composter.
What are businesses currently doing to support nature?
Right now, not enough – that’s why we’ve initiated the Big Food Redesign Challenge, to inspire them to develop foods that support nature to thrive. On a smaller scale, we are seeing more companies source ingredients from regenerative farm systems – which help support biodiversity – as well as looking at using by-products from other industries as ingredients and switching their packaging away from plastic to biodegradable materials. We hope this Challenge will inspire the wider food industry to develop ambitious action plans that place nature at the heart of food product design.