Are you collecting data, commissioning polling or planning other research in response to Covid-19? If so, let’s coordinate!

Alongside the story submissions we’re collecting as part of The Road to Renewal, we are also collecting quantitative data on household, community and small business responses to the pandemic in the UK and other countries.

We recently held a workshop of UK groups doing food-related Covid-19 research and are keen to continue coordinating efforts to make best use of resources and to create the most rigorous and coherent evidence base that we can. We’re obviously particularly interested in food, farming and rural communities but keen to coordinate with wider research too.

Colleagues at the World Pandemic Research Network have created a great tool for sharing work. We’ve uploaded our recent polling findings to the database and we’d urge you to upload your work too – it only takes 5 minutes. Please do also contact us by email at

What do we want to count?

  • How people’s food shopping and eating habits are changing
  • How supply chains and communities are adapting
  • Changes in behavior that affect people’s health or carbon footprints
  • Social attitudes to government intervention
  • …and much more. We want to hear from you!

Although we’re focusing on households, communities and small businesses, as we they are less likely than large institutions to be recording data by default, if you work in a big business or institution involved in the food and farming sector’s emergency response, please also get in touch if you can spare a moment, so we can align our methods where relevant.

Recent research

We conducted UK-wide polling with the Food Foundation and YouGov to understand the impact of Covid-19 on food behaviors and attitudes. The poll finds a majority (85%) want to see some of the personal or social changes they have experienced continue afterwards, whilst just 9% want everything to go back to how it was before the pandemic.

It also identifies significant changes to our relationship with food, family and the environment:

  • Social bonds are stronger, with 40% feeling a stronger sense of local community and 39% more in touch with friends and family
  • 42% say the outbreak has changed how they value food as an essential, and one in ten have shared something like food or shopping with a neighbour for the first time
  • More than 19 million of us (38%) say they are cooking more from scratch and 17 million are throwing away less food (33%). 6% (and 9% of Londoners), 3 million people, have tried a veg box scheme or ordered food from a local farm for the very first time
  • 51% say they have noticed cleaner air, and 27% more wildlife since the outbreak began
  • Although 9% feel fitter and 27% are getting more exercise, more people (36%) say they are getting less exercise than before.