Chris co-founded the Kindling Trust in 2007. Why? “A group of like-minded people came together to explore solutions to our increasingly industrialised food system and the ever-more apparent health and economic inequities it results in. I see good food as a fundamental human right and a powerful force for positive social change”.
On a daily basis his work consists of working closely with Helen to co-ordinate Kindling’s many projects. Having been instrumental in its establishment as a Kindling enterprise, Chris is also an active worker-member of Veg Box People.
Chris is an accomplished social entrepreneur and pre-Kindling, co-founded Bridge 5 Mill eco centre (Kindling’s current home) and Fairfield Environment Services, which annually diverts around 6,000 tonnes of food waste away from landfill. He continues to serve The Mill as a director and is a trustee of the Fairfield Environment Trust, which supports organisations making Greater Manchester greener, healthier and more equitable.
Chris shares his many capabilities with others in the sector, sitting on working groups for the Enlightened Agriculture Fund and Sustain’s Waste Management Social Enterprise group. In 2013 Kindling generously sent him on long term loan to Australia’s Open Food Network, where he spent five hot weeks sharing information on some of Greater Manchester’s pioneering co-operative food solutions.
Chris comes from a long line of farm labourers and was the first member of his family to attend University. He studied Physics, which might not qualify him terribly for farming and the food sector but it has equipped him with a scientific rigour that helps us to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Chris enjoys meeting people who have not heard of us and explaining our approach, “seeing people’s eyes light up when they realise that we don’t have to do things that way, and yes perhaps Kindling and its approach has huge potential”.
Chris’ biggest frustration is watching our city’s leaders move from one excuse to another when it comes to their inaction on climate change and food inequality. “Their dogmatic belief that economic growth and global inward investment will solve these two ingrained problems is a challenge to organisations like ours”.
Chris enjoys eating food that has been grown and cooked with love by friends and family.