Food Tank spoke with Ruth Richardson from the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, who will be speaking at the Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C.
Ruth Richardson is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a unique coalition of foundations committed to leveraging their resources to help shift food and agriculture systems towards greater sustainability, security, and equity. In this capacity Ruth serves on the Steering Committee of TEEB for Food and Agriculture led by UNEP, and on the Advisory Committee of the Global Urban Food Policy Pact. She also sits on the Board of Ecojustice – Canada’s only national environmental law charity with a 25-year track record of winning legal victories for people and the planet.
She brings nearly twenty years of experience in the philanthropic sector to her role at the Global Alliance, and of particular relevance to this undertaking, has extensive experience starting new and complex things. These include being the first Director of the Unilever Canada Foundation, Founding Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and the first Environment Director at the Metcalf Foundation providing a cornerstone to the Ontario sustainable food systems community. Her tenure at the Metcalf Foundation also included acting on the Advisory Committee of the City of Toronto, Board of Health, Toronto Food Strategy to develop an action plan to improve the food system of the Toronto city region.
Ruth also served as the lead consultant to establish The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and has worked with private-public partnerships on sustainability issues and cross-border collaborations, such as coastal fisheries management. She sat on the founding advisory committee of the Laidlaw Foundation’s Children and Environmental Health program helping to initiate a key program on toxics reduction in Canada and she was the Founder and past-Chair of Small Change Fund, a web-based vehicle for micro-philanthropy in Canada.
Ruth has lived in Europe, worked on an agricultural kibbutz, and has traveled widely in Africa and the Middle East. She and her husband own a small farm just east of Toronto, ON, where they have been known to run a small organic garlic operation and she writes her own food blog.