Last week, Brighton & Hove, Cardiff, Plymouth and the London Borough of Lambeth became the first places in the UK to be awarded Sustainable Food City status, recognising pioneering work promoting healthy and sustainable food.
A rapidly growing movement is mobilising people in towns and cities across the UK transforming access to affordable and sustainable food as members of the Sustainable Food Cities Network.
The taste of success
Brighton & Hove is the first city in the UK to have food growing written into planning guidelines for new residential developments and to require all Council food procurement to meet minimum health and sustainability standards.
Cardiff is improving availability of land for allotments and encouraging community growing in unusual spaces, while Lambeth has developed edible bus stops and Plymouth has created a cooperative of 30 local food producers that delivers affordable healthy and sustainable food to residents across the city.
Each of the awarded cities is an inspirational example of what motivated people can do to make healthy, sustainable and local food a defining characteristic of where they live.
Food for thought
Through partnership with local authorities, charities, businesses and community groups, cities within the Sustainable Food Cities Network are using good food as a vehicle to tackle some of biggest social, economic and environmental issues today. These vary from food poverty and obesity to the decay of our high streets, the disappearance of family farming, the loss of wildlife and the pollution of our soil, rivers, oceans and atmosphere.
The awards were presented at a two-day international Sustainable Food Cities conference hosted by Bristol, the 2015 European Green Capital, which included representatives from 70 towns and cities from across the UK and Europe.