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Anna Richert is the SLU alumna of the year 2023

Published: 20 February 2023
Anna Richert SLU alumna of the year 2023. Photo: Marie von Zeipel.

Anna Richert helps us choose what to eat, consciously and sustainably. This is one of the reasons why she has been awarded the SLU Alumna of the year 2023 award.

Anna has been responsible for food issues at WWF since 2014 and is one of Sweden´s most renowned food experts. Anna has a strong driving force and she has a genuine commitment to achieve a more sustainable food system.

In her role as food expert, Anna has and taken the lead and participated in many successful projects, such as the Meat guide, the Vego guide, One Planet Plate, World Class Veggie and Sustainable Supply Chain for Food in Sweden, of which all have contributed to spread knowledge about sustainable foods to a large number of constituents in Sweden and abroad. The Meat Guide and the Vego Guide would not have come about without the solid scientific basis from SLU, says Anna.

Anna has worked as a research leader, consultant work, and a project leader for LRF. Anna’s competence has a wide span – from drain, waste cycle, fertilizers and plant nutrient balances to climate measures in agriculture. She has also taken part in developing a climate certification for Swedish food.

“I was completely floored, and so happy that my alma mater remembers me!” says Anna when surprised during a department meeting at WWF’s office at Ulriksdal’s castle, just outside of Stockholm. Anna graduated from the horticultural program at SLU in 1997 and has often collaborated with SLU in different fields during her career.

We took the opportunity to ask Anna some questions.

In what way have you benefitted from your education at SLU in your work?

To me, the education has meant that I have gained a broad view of the food system and many valuable contacts for my work, and a strong scientific base. I have often reached out to researchers at SLU for guidance in projects and in decision-making, and to formulate strategies. I have also been in contact with SLU for discussions on developing the food system by creating links between research and application in my work.

What is the most important thing to do within the area of food, to save the planet?

We have so much to work to do to reach a sustainable food system. The researchers at SLU also think that we need to improve both production and consumption, it is not enough to work with either. Less but better meat is a key issue, as well as production that is better for biological diversity, independent from fossil fuels and creation of storage of carbon in soils.

What is your advice to young people who wants to live a climate smart life?

Become politically active, be a conscious consumer, make demands towards the food industry, and contribute by making your voice heard!


Jury's motivation for the award

Anna Richert has had an outstanding career as a specialist in sustainable food systems. She has made a significant impact by elevating complex issues around food and the environment in a pedagogic way, always based on scientific rigour, pragmatism and with great humility toward various goal conflicts. In her genuine commitment to achieve a more sustainable food system, she translates research into comprehensible activities. Anna’s work has made it easier for Swedish consumers to make conscious and sustainable food choices.

SLU alumnus of the year award

SLU Alumnus of the Year is awarded to a prior student who is an inspirational role model for our students and employees at SLU, has had a prominent career, or made important contributions in their field, someone who creates opportunities for a sustainable, living and better world. A jury consisting of SLU representatives, as well as a former alumnus of the year, selects the winner from the nominees.

More information and a list of prior awardees

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