Phil Haughton has had a great food adventure over many decades. He has just written a book ‘Food for Thought’ that brings together this journey, combined with recipes and producers he’s met along the way. Phil’s current business is the Better Food stores and cafes dotted around Bristol. That combination of combining the hospitality of a cafe drawing people into the building and then hopefully inspiring them to leave with some exceptionally ethical and delicious food and drink is the evolution of a lifetimes learning for Phil, and now his wider team.
Despite Phil’s desire for all organic he is pragmatic enough, particularly after previous insolvency, to recognise you do also have to sell what the customer is willing to buy. Perhaps rather than seeking ethical perfection, we must take people on a journey in smaller steps. An upgrade to free range may sometimes be more palatable than fully organic for some products.
Phil has travelled the country finding the best suppliers, has set up and invested in community farms, has lived in a practical commune in Scotland learning how to live off the land, has set up and closed a veg box delivery business, has found the takings from his business in the bottom of a freezer and has defended the ethics to sell meat in a considered and informed way. In essence through a lifetime of learning and business Phil no longer has to think about the provision of food and farming and hospitality in the UK, he really knows how it works. He can see the challenges, but has some great, informed perspectives on what and how we can be better.