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Becoming a sustainable food city means we should make every effort to grow more food locally and not rely so much on imports

Firstly, a sustainable food city sounds a bit sci-fi doesn’t it? Food-related problems in the UK have been a feature of many a news publication in recent years.  Secondly, from the importance of healthy food to families that are struggling with food poverty. There have been many critical issues that have made headlines.

One of the organisations dedicated to helping with these issues is the Sustainable Food Cities Network. Alongside food poverty and the importance of sustainable and healthy food, the organisation focuses on other key issues. These include: the ability to buy low-cost healthy food and the establishment of a sustainable food economy. Reducing food waste and sharing knowledge about food within communities are also two other key concerns.

The problems that the Sustainable Food Cities Network are out to tackle are environmental, economic, and social. They encompass much of the food system and the culture around food. To spread the knowledge about sustainable food and enact a change, the Sustainable Food Cities Network has supported many cities. They have helped them in becoming more sustainable and earning the right to call themselves a ‘Sustainable Food City’. Yes, Doncaster is not a city, as people keep saying. However, the concept is to help organise aspects of the community through food. We can help communities thrive when we use food as a way to bring people together.

What is a sustainable food city? Can Doncaster benefit?

What is a sustainable food city? Can Doncaster benefit?

Becoming a Sustainable Food City

The original phase of the Sustainable Food Cities Network’s plan saw six cities being supported in the mission to make food more affordable and sustainable. The  key focus is always  on local food. This began in 2013. Now the organisation is in the second phase.Here plans are being put into motion to expand what the six cities originally achieved.

There are three Sustainable Food City awards that can be granted to a city: bronze, silver and gold.

However, becoming a part of the Sustainable Food Cities Network is not just restricted to cities. Counties, districts, boroughs, and towns are able to apply to join the network. This enables them to work in partnership to transform the culture and system surrounding food within their communities.

Throughout many towns and cities in the UK, you can now see the results of the national campaigns supported by the Sustainable Food Cities Network partnership.

The first campaign was ‘Fish Cities’. This focused on the promotion of sustainable fish. The latest is ‘Veg Cities’. This has been tailored around the improvement in vegetable consumption and availability. Past campaigns have also tackled the important issues of sugar consumption and food poverty.

Why Is Sustainable Food Cities Such an Important Cause?

The key issues that the Sustainable Food Cities Network are focused on are problems that affect the lives of everyone in the UK. It’s ironic as they might not realise there are problems. The sustainability of food can drastically affect the cost of food. Illness related to diet can have serious consequences. Also food poverty is a growing problem all around the UK.

The network is improving health

By spreading awareness of food and encouraging cities across the UK to change their food procurement systems. The aim is to introduce sustainable practices. Therefore the network is helping to improve the health of the whole population. In addition, as well as making sure that those people who don’t have access to affordable healthy food, are given more opportunities.

The Sustainable Food Cities Network has helped to create partnerships between businesses and public agencies to increase food awareness across the UK.

Today, there is an extensive list of cities and locations within the UK that have started to embrace the idea of food sustainability. This is changing the way that many people look at food. As the partnership continues to grow, more cities jump on board with the idea. The results will become even more noticeable across the UK. Doncaster is involved and if you want to know more check out our sustainable cities page right here.

What next?

Good Food Doncaster is very keen on improving all aspects of food production. It also includes food retail, food transport and access to local, healthy food for anyone wherever they live in the borough. We are excited by the opportunities that are being developed. We also support those fantastic projects we are already so proud of in the area. Certainly we want Doncaster to step up to the plate when it comes to dealing with the post Brexit fallout.  The Government has recently published their no deal preparation document that’s worth looking at. If there are potential increases in food prices, difficulties in getting salad crops over from Spain etc. this is the time that South Yorkshire increases production surely? Once upon a time we used to grow a lot more than we do now. We used to eat seasonally. However now, rely almost 100% for our supplies from supermarkets. Perhaps it’s time we started to be a little more creative and seize the opportunity to supply ourselves. Is this too naive? What do you think? We’d love to hear your views.


Would you like to be a Good Food Doncaster Contributor?

If you would like to contribute to the Good Food Doncaster blog we’d love to hear for you. If you have an opinion about: food security, diet, food and health, food production, eating seasonally, animal husbandry or anything at all to do with the politics of food, logistics, waste etc. then let us know. Contact our editor with your idea. Contact her here