This role statement was developed by members of the Food systems and environmental sustainability Interest Group.

It lists the knowledge and skills of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) working in food systems and environmental sustainability.

Knowledge

  • Understanding of practices within industrialised and local food systems
  • Policy intervention opportunities and challenges to achieve food system reform at each of the food system phases; agricultural production, processing, distribution, retail, consumption and food waste
  • Behaviour change theory and its application to identify key motivators and drivers for encouraging healthy and sustainable dietary behaviour and food practices
  • Limitations of our knowledge and seek expertise from agriculture, environmental science, engineering, food science and technology, consumer research, etc

Skills

  • Collect, assess and interpret relevant information on food system resilience, planetary health and environmental sustainability and translate it into effective interventions/practice
  • Source highly credible evidence, identify suitable policies or practice intervention, identify key stakeholders, frame an advocacy ‘ask’ and create a win-win scenario to advocate for change
  • Engage key stakeholders across a range of sectors and establish and maintain collaborative partnerships for action on identified food systems and environmental sustainability issues
  • Tailor written information for various purposes including reports, funding acquisition, advocacy and media engagement
  • Adapt communication styles to a range of audiences, including professional and community stakeholders from a diverse range of disciplines spanning agriculture, food industry, retail sectors as well as funding bodies

Activities entry level APDs would conduct:

  • Promote healthy and sustainable food practices (see Appendix 1)
  • Facilitate skill development and training to build food system resilience and environmental sustainability capacity across sectors e.g. agriculture, food industry, retail sectors
  • Engage key stakeholders in collaborative action on food system and sustainability issues
  • Advocate for policy interventions/procedural changes within contained contexts
  • Monitor the impact of diet-related food system and environmental sustainability initiatives, analyse results and report on findings
  • Support implementation of diet-related food system and environmental sustainability initiatives

Activities APDs working at a higher level would conduct:

  • Provide leadership and supervision to staff and students undertaking food system and environmental sustainability activities, including research and evaluation
  • Develop food system and environmental sustainability service specifications, policies, standards and guidelines and/or review existing documentation
  • Implement capacity building initiatives and manage advocacy campaigns
  • Lead collaborative practice and manage inter-sectoral partnerships with high-level stakeholders
  • Assess the impact of public policy on food system and environmental sustainability outcomes

For more, download the full role statement. The full statement includes a list of document references.

Our role statements describe the skills and knowledge of an APD working in a particular area of practice.
Dietitians treat a range of health conditions. They understand how nutrition affects the body and will give you expert nutrition and dietary advice.