Talking Aspiration and Action with Food Cardiff

Hello everyone,

In this post I’m sharing a summary of the conversations we had with people about a Food Manifesto for Wales at the Food Cardiff meeting on 8th July 2015.

The Food Manifesto will provide the Welsh Government with a short list of practicable actions it can take to create a better and fairer food system–and show how these actions will increase the well-being of future generations.

We asked people to share their thoughts about food in Wales and to suggest points we might include in the manifesto’s first draft. Here’s what they told us:

Food waste and food packaging

  • We need to ban surplus food waste, like France have with their supermarkets.
  • We should explicitly address environmental sustainability in our conversations about food.
  • We need to think more about the environmental impact of packaging and where we can safely reduce it – i.e. so that health and product quality isn’t negatively affected.

Local food & regional groups

  • We need to make fresh fruit and vegetables more widely available
  • We should support communities make good decisions about their priorities for local food by highlighting useful examples and tools like Our Food Plan toolkit.
  • We should re-establish and convene regional groups, like Local Food Talks, to deliver a Food Plan for Wales, generate peer-to-peer support and inspire collaborative ways of working.
  • We need to recognise the health and social benefit of shared meals as a unifier of communities, and support shared food experiences like lunch clubs and communal eating at refugee centres.

Procurement

  • We should publicise tools like the i2i CAN DO toolkit, helping organisations procure food sustainably and identifying the benefits and opportunities they can create for disadvantaged communities.
  • We should help organisations commit to purchasing food using local currencies and support this at a community level by linking local currencies and time credits (SPICE).

Health

  • We need to engage each of the 7 directors of Public Health and show the cost benefit analysis of addressing current and future generations’ health through food.
  • We should encourage workplaces to take responsibility for employees’ health through food by supporting healthy choices at work and increased visibility of ethical procurement decisions.

Education

  • We need to increase cooking classes in schools, inspiring children’s connection with food and their understanding of food’s role in good health, thriving nature and strong communities.
  • We must support innovative food solutions, like Bridgend College’s Breakfast Club, which supports educational achievement through nutrition and pastoral support, whilst creating learning and work opportunities for students and generating income.

Next steps for our manifesto

Over the coming weeks we’ll develop our first draft of the Manifesto. If you have ideas or comments you’d like to share, please get in touch.

Could you write an article or blog for us?

We’re on the lookout for blog posts, so if you have an opinion about food in Wales and how we can create a fairer, more sustainable food system, we’d love to include your written contribution (750 words approx. in Welsh or English).

Please contact us with your messages/posts at the addresses below (please copy us both in and we’ll be sure to reply):

Rosa – rosa@workwithmeaning.org.uk
Jane – jnp@aber.ac.uk

The Manifesto is an un-funded project being developed by a community of people who care about fairness in food. The more people who getting involved the better. If you have skills or support to share, please get in touch – everyone is welcome.

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