Saving a Planet

By Conor Spacey posted 06-09-2018 15:30


Sustainability, Local food, Seasonal, Fresh, No waste, Education, better farming” These are all words that we hear about every day in our kitchens, read about in newspapers, magazines and social media.

Sometimes you can feel that they are just buzz words that people use and with very little practice or in some cases chefs would like to do more but can’t, depending on where they work and how that business is managed.

But what if I said that the planet is running out of time and chefs can play a major part in fixing a broken food system?

Would you then want to do more?

As chefs, we can influence the public in what to eat, when to eat it and why. We are the link between the farmers and food producers to our everyday customers.

The United Nations World Food Programme has a set of Global Goals, 17 in total. One of the goals we as chefs are working on at the Chefs Network for Global Goals is SDG2, which sets out to end world hunger by 2030. Think about it… that’s only 12 years away and with more conflict and severe changes in weather patterns across the globe, to obesity and non-sustainable food practises we are actually in a worse place now than when the UN developed the goals. The Chefs’ Manifesto has formed a global community of chefs (the Chefs Network for the Global Goals) with 150+ chefs from 38 countries who work together to deliver a better food system for all. This chef community has created a Chefs’ Manifesto- a thematic framework that identifies food issues that matter most to chefs that are summarized in 8 thematic areas. More can be read about this project in the following link:

Conor Spacey - Chef Network

The Chefs’ Manifesto explores how we can help deliver a sustainable food system. As chefs bridge the gap between farm and fork, the Chefs’ Manifesto empowers chefs with a framework tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This framework consists of simple, practical actions chefs can take and are grouped in the following 8 areas:


  1. Ingredients grown with respect for the earth & its oceans;
  2. Protection of biodiversity & improved animal welfare;
  3. Investment in livelihoods;
  4. Value natural resources & reduce waste;
  5. Celebration of local & seasonal food;
  6. A focus on plant-based ingredients;
  7. Education on food safety, healthy diets & nutritious cooking;
  8. Nutritious food that is accessible & affordable for all.


These 8 areas are nothing new to chefs; there is already a lot of great activity happening in these areas. The Chefs’ Manifesto seeks to profile their work, shared learnings and best practice as well as empower chefs everywhere to be advocates for a sustainable food future.

In June, we launched the London Action Hub- a geographically located and focused space for driving contextualized action- with a week of events at Omved Gardens. Coinciding with World Sustainable Food Day, these events pushed forward ideas on sustainable food development with wide-ranging content.

Already there are Action hubs launching in Copenhagen, India, South Africa, LA & New York between now and the end of the year.

We will be launching in Ireland in early 2019!!

For me as a chef I feel that it is our responsibility to make changes. Working in busy kitchens, being creative and cooking great food is really only a part of a chef’s role. We have responsibilities to farmers, growers, producers, customers and the planet to help save it…


Conor Plating a Dish

Conor Spacey - Chef Network
About the Author: Conor Spacey
Conor is a very passionate chef who works with the seasons. Always seeking out great Irish produce, foraging and meeting great Irish producers. Also behind popup restaurant spiltmilk, which showcases Irish ingredients with a contemporary twist. Conor has trained in all areas of kitchens from bakeries,  butchering, classical cooking, contemporary cooking, large banqueting, fine dining and bistros. He is now learning about farming and wild foods. Conor is heavily involved in food development and always pushing the envelope.....striving for better. He enjoys working with like-minded people who have a  passion and respect for food. Proud Member of the World Gourmet Society. Member of the judging panel for Blas Na hEireann. Chefs for global goals.  The World Food Program Chefs Manifesto, SDG2


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