The Food Ethics Council has joined 30+ food and farming organisations, academics and experts to sign the Sustainable Food Places letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick. The letter highlights the important work 60 local food partnerships across the country have done to respond to the food implications of COVID-19 and calls on government to support one food partnership in every local area in the UK.
Re: Tackling food-related challenges in current and future crises
We are writing to you on behalf of the Sustainable Food Places Network, a growing movement of over 60 food partnerships in cities and other municipalities across the UK. Through these cross-sector food partnerships, local authorities and other public bodies are working together with third sector, business and academic organisations to transform their local food system with the aim of improving public health and wellbeing; fostering community connection and resilience; building prosperous and diverse local food economies; and helping to tackle the critical sustainability issues of waste and the climate and nature emergency.
Local Food Partnerships are also playing a pivotal role in driving and coordinating effective community food responses to the coronavirus pandemic. The necessary measures taken in response to the pandemic have hugely exacerbated the problems of food poverty and food access for the most vulnerable in our society and are likely to do so for many years to come. At the same time, they have created an existential threat to food businesses and social enterprises, as well as to the voluntary and community sector organisations that are so vital in responding effectively to the immediate crisis and
in rebuilding our communities and our local economies as the crisis passes.
Establishing, mandating and supporting Local Food Partnerships in every local authority area would, we believe, make a huge contribution to effective coordination and delivery of short, medium and long term food responses to the current crisis while at the same time ensuring that integrated local food policies and strategies are in place to build food resilience and a healthy and sustainable food system in a post-Covid world. This would reduce the long-term cost burden on local and national services and contribute to key social, economic and environmental goals through improved health and wellbeing, strengthened local food economies and a reduced environmental footprint. (cont)”