#WomenWeSalute2018: Vicki Hird, Campaign Coordinator, Sustain

In the fourth instalment of #WomenWeSalute2018’ we speak to Vicki Hird, campaign coordinator for food and farming policy, Sustain

Vicki Hird is an award-winning author, expert, strategist and senior manager who has been working on environment, food and farming issues for over 25 years. As part-time sustainable farm campaign coordinator at Sustain, Vicki manages the farm policy and related campaigning and provides comment and guidance on these issues.

Her previous roles include director of campaigns and policy at War on Want, and a senior campaigner heading up the land use, food and water programme for Friends of the Earth, as well as a policy director of Sustain.

She has also been a valued expert consultant for an array of organisations including for RSPB, WSPA, The Sustainable Development Commission and Greenpeace.

Having launched many major local and global food and environment campaigns, and published numerous reports and articles on the sustainability of food systems, her passion for the sector and its sustainability is clear. Her passion, combined with her dedication and experience, has enabled her to also run an independent consultancy undertaking campaigning and research.

A loyal member of WEN and an ambassador for our work, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her. Here are her answers to our #WomenWeSalute2018 series:

What do you envisage to be the biggest environmental challenge of 2018?

Amongst all the morass of Brexit politics, debates and rhetoric we will have a new food regulatory and support system emerging with new laws to protect the land and natural resource on which food production depends.

The huge challenges will be to not only make certain the public can and do engage in the process but also to ensure government is listening to them and to experts so they make the big shifts in policy and finance needed to protect public health, environment and wildlife whilst ensuring decent lives for farmers and workers in the food system.

I also did a blog on the 4 big challenges in 2018:

What is your top piece of advice for young female entrepreneurs in the green industries?

My advice would be to try, once a month, to shake off your normal strategy/tactic or how you talk/write to those you want to influence. Try a new tactic or style of communication (for instance one you’ve admired) and see if it gives you a better response.

And if it doesn’t work ask yourself, your target or critical friends what may have been done differently. I know I stick to much to my usual way of working. When I shift the results are often surprising.

And avoid fact/data-heavy stuff!

Finally, which woman, friend, family or famous, has inspired you most?

I am surrounded by amazing women in my work and family so too hard to choose one.

So I’m choosing a ‘famous’ person which is Lucy Siegel the broadcaster and journalists who constantly challenges business as usual when it hinders greener, fairer, healthier consumption, lives and livelihoods. She does not let things lie or allow shallow to go unexposed. She also makes going environmental and fair both accessible and fun and that is quite an art!

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