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Sustainable food policy on the menu for Cambridge

News release from 22/08/2018

CAMBRIDGE City Council has adopted a new policy aimed at turning Cambridge into a leader for promoting sustainable food and tackling food poverty.

The new Sustainable Food Policy will further support work already being done in the city by organisations led by Cambridge Sustainable Food, including implementing the aims of their Food Charter for Cambridge, which pledges to:

  • Ensure all people regardless of income have access to nutritious, affordable, sustainable food
  • Help people increase food-related knowledge and skills
  • Support workers in the food industry
  • Encourage a diverse range of independent food enterprises
  • Bring people together to celebrate culinary diversity
  • Support community food projects
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and increase recycling and composting

The council will further the aims of the charter in a number of ways, some of which build on existing council policies such as the Anti-Poverty Strategy and the Climate Change Strategy.

Future work to be carried out by the council will include:

  • Investigating the possibility of incorporating sustainable food principles in council catering and at city events;
  • Developing a water bottle refill scheme around the city;
  • Promoting sustainable food practices to local businesses;
  • Working with low income households to help reduce food poverty as part of the Anti-Poverty Strategy;
  • Encouraging food employers to become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation;
  • Promoting the take-up of existing allotments and including new plots in new developments where feasible.

Cambridge Sustainable Food is an umbrella organisation which brings together many groups working to promote sustainable food in Cambridge within the National Sustainable Food Cities Network.

In 2016 Cambridge Sustainable Food achieved a national Bronze Award on behalf of the city, and will now work with the council to earn the Silver award.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre, said: “Food can play an important role in tackling issues facing the city, such as poverty, ill-health, waste and climate change.

“This new policy will build on work we are already doing, including providing free holiday lunches for low-income families, holding cookery skills workshops, increasing food waste collections, managing and promoting allotments, and raising awareness of recycling and waste reduction.

“We also recognise the brilliant leadership carried out by Cambridge Sustainable Food, and look forward to continuing to work closely with them to ensure Cambridge becomes a true leader in promoting sustainable food.”

Sam Dyer, Food Partnership Coordinator for Cambridge Sustainable Food, said: “It’s fantastic that Cambridge City Council has adopted this new policy. We’re excited to be working alongside the council to address issues such as food poverty and environmental impact.

“By combining our efforts we will be able to achieve even more than we are already doing. The council is in a unique position to support citywide projects. We look forward to Cambridge being a Sustainable Food Cities Silver Award holder.”

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