Sharon Goodyer speaks out at London’s Peas Please conference – Making a Pledge for More Veg

IOEE member Sharon Goodyer is the founder of Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet; a self-starting business that is devoted to making healthy and affordable food easily accessible to the masses, by bringing cooking back into the hands and hearts of the community.

In October we chatted to Sharon about embarking on this new and exciting professional venture, and she has since taken her business to the next level by speaking at The Vegetable Summit conference as part of the UK’s Peas Please initiative.

The prestigious event was held at The Chamber at London City Hall on October 24th, where some of the UK’s most influential food players came together to make a ‘Pledge for More Veg’; government MPs, including George Eustice and Neil Parish of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the nation’s biggest supermarket Food Policy Advisors, including Tim J Smith from Tesco; and celebrity names, including campaigner and TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Sharon left her job as a Head Teacher in 2000 due to being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and went on to set up an extraordinarily successful cake company with an impressive £5million turnover. However, when the recession sadly put her out of business, Sharon refused to let this defeat her in her new career in food, and so she set up a completely new business and initiative; Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet.

With a recent report from the Food Foundation revealing that 80% of adults and 95.5% of 11-16 years old are not eating enough of the stuff, The Vegetable Summit saw various names from across the supply food chain come together to pledge to help the nation to eat more veg, and we were delighted to see one of our inspirational members take to the stage and spread the word so passionately about the ethos of her business and IOEE Academy.

Sharon spoke about how keeping food production local can make it more affordable, and how rediscovering an often-lost sense of community spirit and working together on this matter can be the key to getting people to eat more fruit and vegetables, and therefore enable the nation to have a healthier diet.

We’re incredibly proud of the work Sharon is doing in her field and support her all the way, and will be catching up with her in the New Year to find out how Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet has been developing. In the meantime, you can show your support too by taking the Pledge for More Veg. It takes only a minute to sign up, and every pledge helps to make a real difference. More information is available on the website: