Public Affairs Officer – Sustain UK

Jun 18, 2020

Sustain are seeking a Public Affairs Officer with fantastic team working skills who shares their commitment to improving the food system.

Sustain is the alliance for better food and farming. It is a campaigning charity that advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. We represent around 100 national public interest organisations working at international, national, regional and local level.
Sustain is a small and friendly organisation (around 30 staff) working on a variety of projects. We pride ourselves on being a supportive, engaging and great place to work. 

About Sustain’s parliamentary work

There are a number of critical legislative and policy-making opportunities for food policy coming in the next two years. The current Government has reiterated its manifesto commitments to environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards and we want our new Public Affairs Officer to help us hold them to their word.

We want to shape and change the national debate and policy making on food. We are passionate about issues of justice and equality and want Parliamentarians to see that good food and good food jobs can play a key part in the answer to some of the biggest questions facing the nation including climate change, nature recovery and biodiversity, sound urban and rural economies, good local jobs, promoting good health and delivering food security.

Role is office-based in Cambridge Heath, London. Initially remote in line with the government’s COVID-19 guidelines.

4 days a week / 28 hours a week.

2 years fixed term with a 6-month probation period.

When assessing applications, we make decisions based on the quality and relevance of the examples and evidence you provide for how you meet the person specification (see below).

Tasks and responsibilities

Working directly to Sustain’s Head of Public Affairs, the Public Affairs Officer will have a varied and exciting workload and also work in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management and team. The Officer’s responsibilities will include: 

  • Assisting with and leading on research, policy and data analysis and contributions to policy briefings
  • Engaging with stakeholders, Sustain alliance members, professional organisations and other key contacts to ensure our work is well informed and relevant
  • Writing briefs for the Sustain team and external contacts where appropriate
  • Responding to ad hoc requests on Sustain’s parliamentary work from parliamentarians
  • General parliamentary work such as submitting Parliamentary Questions on key issues
  • Media, parliamentary and governmental monitoring,
  • Researching parliamentary representatives and contacting them for meetings/communications where relevant
  • Maintaining and updating Sustain’s parliamentary database
  • Supporting events, stakeholder and internal parliamentary meetings
  • Note-taking, managing online surveys and evaluation

Diversity matters to us. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual’s unique contribution. Diversity helps us identify where change is needed and what is required to promote equity as well as reflect the concerns of our wide alliance of members.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire.

Our Public Affairs Officer will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted.

Personal specification 

Sustain is seeking a Public Affairs Officer with fantastic team working skills who shares our commitment to improving the food system, and who has the following skills and experience: 


  • Knowledge of politics, policy making and government
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent relationship building and team working skills,
  • Good project management, time management and organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines
  • Passionate about issues of justice, equality and political change (with particular regard to health, environment and poverty)
  • Energy, enthusiasm, creativity and tenacity 
  • Availability to commence work promptly following the recruitment process  
  • Good IT skills and understanding of social media
  • Educated to degree level


  • Relevant experience in policy or parliamentary work
  • Experience of working with a range of stakeholders and professional organisations
  • Experience of working within a network or coalition 
  • Knowledge of issues on food and farming

To apply for this position, please email your CV and a covering letter telling us about your experience and what you think you could bring to Sustain, to to arrive by 2nd July 2020. As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please add Public Affairs Officer to the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

For full job description click here.

Interviews for this position will likely take place virtually (via Zoom) on Thursday 16th July 2020.

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