Phil Haughton, founder of multiple award-winning organic retailer Better Food, has been made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to sustainable food initiatives and to the community of Bristol
The honour recognises a life’s work devoted to creating a better and fairer food system.
From becoming a Soil Association member at age 14, to establishing four stores championing the best organic, local and ethical food and products, Haughton has been a prominent figure in communities, farming and business in the South West.
Fighting for food justice, supporting organic farmers and producers and advocating for the balance of food and nature have been at the heart of Haughton’s mission – and passion – for over 40 years.
Haughton started working the land in 1974, farming organically in a community in Scotland before moving to Bristol in 1981 and working at Windmill Hill City Farm. For several years, he worked with children and adults, teaching them about food and farming. He has since devoted his life – embedded in farming, retailing and spreading the organic word – to building a community engaged in creating a better, fairer and more sustainable world. He has served on the Soil Association Council, was a founding member of The Community Farm in Chew Magna, and has helped support several other Bristol-based food and farming projects.
Better Food was born in 1992 as ‘Phil’s Better Food Campaign’, an organic delivery box scheme. In 2002, he set up Better Food in its current home and first store in St Werburghs. Whiteladies Road, Wapping Wharf and Gloucester Road stores all followed, expanding Haughton’s mission of bringing a fairer and more sustainable shopping experience to many. He brings his commitment to community building and social justice to Better Food, through the company’s support for Square Food, Heart of BS13, The Community Farm, and many other causes over the decades.
Haughton says: “When I think about what has always got me out of bed, it’s really simple. Justice. I hold a huge passion to see justice done, for our soil, our farmers, our children and all communities.”
“I’m delighted to receive this MBE. I have so much gratitude for our farmers, the Better Food team and our customers for supporting me on this journey of championing sustainable food in Bristol and beyond. I’ve been inspired by many people along the way and it’s an honour to be recognised for the work that I’m so passionate about.”