Bristol has scooped the top award from the Sustainable Food City Network, recognising the pioneering work in the city to promote healthy and sustainable food.
The Sustainable Food Cities Award is designed to highlight and celebrate the success of those places taking a joined up, holistic approach to food and that are achieving significant positive change on a range of key food issues.
Bristol is just the second city to be awarded silver status – at present the top award possible - following on from Brighton and Hove who picked up the award last year. No city has achieved gold yet as the standard is still being developed.
Entrants are judged around six themes: healthy and sustainable food, food poverty, the local food economy, community activity, public sector food and waste.
Bristol has been working towards making its food system healthier and more resilient for over two decades and collaborative working is at the heart of the city’s success. The Bristol Food Policy Council prepared and submitted the application on behalf of the city. The Food Policy Council brings together a wide range of stakeholders from businesses, community groups and public bodies who want to improve Bristol’s food system. Bristol City Council also contributed to the bid.
Simon Wood, Chair of the Food Policy Council and a director of North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “By working together, organisations across the city have already achieved great things. It is outstanding and a credit to so many people that Bristol has gained a silver award, showing that it is a place where people really care about their city and its people are motivated towards being a Sustainable Food City.”
Becky Pollard, director of Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “As a city we are working to change the way people think about food, waste and sustainability, to make Bristol a better place for everyone.
“There are currently hundreds of initiatives across Bristol that are changing the way people relate to food and food production. These projects are hugely varied and many are run independently, yet they’re all joined behind a shared vision.
“Everyone in Bristol will be able to take part through dozens free events in the Bristol Food Connections Festival which is coming up in May.”
Some of the key projects which demonstrate the work Bristol has done to become a sustainable food city include:
• The Healthy Schools Programme, which has embedded healthy and sustainable food as a curriculum-wide issue in many primary and junior schools, reaching all parts of the city. The ambition is to get every school in the city on board.
• The Food Connections Festival - a project from Bristol Food Network that aims to change the way we think about food. The 2015 festival in May saw more than 130 events across the city and over 115,000 people participating.
• The Edible Parks Policy actively encourages city residents to use parks, open spaces, housing estates and other areas to grow food for the community.
• Public Health Bristol supports community-led food projects including community food co-ops, vegetable and fruit box schemes, community food shops, cooking skills classes, ‘cooking from scratch’ campaigns, fruit and vegetable promotions. Encouraging more citizens to maintain a healthy weight is a priority.
• One Tree Per Child - planting a tree for every primary school aged child in the city, including fruit trees and giving children the chance to plant fruit trees at home
• Bristol Fairtrade run Fairtrade Business Awards incentivising local businesses to buy and promote Fairtrade products.
• The public sector is working together and sharing good practice about managing contracts, which means universities, colleges, schools and children’s centre are now benefitting from a shift towards healthier, more sustainable food.
Further info on the award can be found at: http://sustainablefoodcities.org/awards
Note to Editors:
• The award is from the Sustainable Food City network which is a joint body of the Soil Association, Sustain and Food Matters.
• The award is for the City of Bristol as a whole; the work of hundreds of organisations and individuals is cited in the evidence, and the bid was put in by Bristol Food Policy Council.
More information about the Food Policy Council can be found here: http://bristolfoodpolicycouncil.org/