Jobs That Promote Food Sustainability
There are many jobs that promote food sustainability, including becoming a farmer or restaurant manager, working as a chef who prioritizes local and organic ingredients, or managing a farm-to-table distribution business. Other career options include being a nutrition educator or advocating for policy changes.
A career as a food sustainability teaching assistant at the elementary, high school or graduate level provides you with an opportunity to make a huge impact within our community.
The farmer’s job, which focuses on growing crops and raising livestock using sustainable farming practices that protect the environment and public health, is at the heart of the global food supply chain. This blue-collar role is a great option for professionals who enjoy physical labor and have the desire to operate their own business.
Other sustainability jobs at food establishments include working as a hygiene service representative, whose duties involve cleaning and maintaining facilities in order to adhere to strict sanitation standards. This position isn’t as high-paying as other sustainable food jobs, but it is a good entry point into the industry and helps maintain the safety of the world’s food supplies.
Non-profit and grassroots sustainable food organizations also hire sustainable food advocates to help spread awareness and fundraise for green projects. These roles often don’t require a college degree, and they can allow you to work around your own schedule to support the cause.
Restaurant managers are responsible for overseeing both the front and back of house. They can help chefs choose local and organic ingredients and make sure that restaurants comply with food safety regulations. They can also use their management skills to implement green practices like reducing food waste and implementing water conservation measures.
They often need to work long shifts and wear multiple hats when needed – such as taking over a wait station or lending a hand to other staff members. They need excellent customer service skills and the ability to motivate others. Those who excel in this role usually have previous restaurant experience, especially in fine-dining and upscale restaurants.
Restaurant managers should also know how to use data to improve restaurant operations. This can include evaluating point of sale systems or selecting new software that helps restaurants run more efficiently. They can also mediate conflicts between restaurant employees to create a positive team environment.
Whether they’re working to spread awareness, gather support or inspire institutional change, professionals in the media and strategic communications play an important role in sustainable food advocacy. Nonprofits, farmers, businesses and community activists often work together to make their goals a reality through strategic campaigns, social media, public speaking and more.
While a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree may be necessary for some positions, many sustainability-related jobs don’t require formal qualifications to apply. In fact, earning a certificate in sustainable food practices and joining an industry-related professional association is a great way to network with other like-minded professionals and access valuable resources.
From chefs and restaurant managers who choose to purchase local ingredients, to agronomists who study crop genetics, sustainable agriculture is a worldwide movement. With more programs geared towards sustainable agriculture launching all the time, students can pursue careers in the field that fit their passions and skill sets. Copywriters specializing in farming, agriculture and food sustainability writing can find freelance and full-time roles with blogs, print or broadcast news outlets, NGOs and corporate communication offices.
Policymaker or Legal Professional
Many of the jobs in sustainable food focus on advocacy, education or research and development. These positions are suited for professionals with a variety of skill sets. For example, working as a copywriter for a sustainability marketing agency may allow a professional to earn a high salary while also spreading awareness about the need for greener farming practices, safe food handling, and uninterrupted international food supply chains.
Teaching is another common job within the field of sustainable food. This includes working as a teaching assistant at elementary, middle or high school levels as well as undergraduate and graduate classes. In addition to this, nutrition educators play a crucial role in helping people make more informed choices about the foods they eat.
A career as a food policy campaigner allows you to influence the direction of the industry in a specific region or country. In this role, you may work for non-profit and grassroots organizations as well as governmental agencies.