Green Jobs: what does a Food Policy Coordinator do?

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Jack Simpson
Food Policy Coordinator at Westminster

Food Policy makers play a crucial role in how the food industry is impacting climate change and the environment. A Food Policy Coordinator is typically responsible for developing policies and initiatives based on research which can help to tackle carbon emissions within the industry. Having a passion for sustainability and the desire to positively impact the environment is key to the role. The decisions a Food Policy Coordinator make have direct implications on how food and drink companies behave. Given the current climate crisis, these decisions made at the top can be influential.

What are the job responsibilities?

  • Undertaking research
  • Gathering and analysing data and information
  • Staying informed on social, political and economic developments, and briefing others on these
  • Provide advice to senior managers, stakeholders and decision makers
  • Write briefings, reports, and speeches
  • Carry out consultations with internal and external stakeholders – including colleagues, customers, or members of the public
  • Work with a range of people and organisations, including senior managers, public office officials and members of the public
  • Manage and track the delivery of political or organisational priorities

Some of the required skills for the role may also include:

  • An interest in policy and bringing about change
  • Knowledge of the food supply chain
  • Good written and verbal communication skills, to absorb complex information and present it to different audiences in a clear and accessible way
  • Interpersonal skills, to work and build relationships with a range of people holding different views
  • The ability to understand diverse perspectives and to be able to successfully influence and negotiate
  • Effective research and analysis skills (including quantitative and qualitative), needed to build an evidence base from which you will work
  • Good organisation skills, to track priorities, work to deadlines and manage projects
  • A flexible and adaptable approach, in order to respond to shifting priorities and a rapidly evolving external environment
  • The ability and desire to acquire and maintain knowledge of a policy area or areas

What qualifications do you need?

An undergraduate degree is usually required, but degree level and subject requirements will vary.

A degree in one of the following may help:

  • Public administration and social policy
  • Economics
  • Anthropology
  • Philosophy
  • Politics and internal relations
  • Psychology
  • Sociology.
  • Nutrition

Policy work can be a competitive field, so it’s advisable to gain work experience. Volunteering, internships and building a network in the sector will increase your chances of securing a position. Consider volunteering for a charity, political party, or MP. It’s also possible to secure an internship or work experience placement at a local council.

What is the salary like?

  • Starting salaries for policy assistant or officer roles range from £22,000 to £30,000.
  • Senior policy advisors can earn between £32,000 and £40,000.
  • Progressing to the role of policy manager, you could earn a salary of £40,000 to £50,000 or more.

Where will you be working?

  • Government buildings
  • Council premises
  • Offices of organisations in the private sector

Who might your employers be?

The role of a Food Policy Coordinator is very mobile because as you gain experience, you are able to move into various roles in and out of the private and public sectors. The job offers individuals to make critical decisions at the top which can instigate positive change regarding sustainability within the food industry and in-turn benefit the future of the planet. There are very few jobs in which you can say directly improve the future of the planet, but a Food Policy Coordinator is one of them.

Find out more about green careers in the food industry at Food Matters Careers.

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