‘Proud’ Cambridge Sustainable Food Partnership collects silver for city-wide initiatives
Cambridge Sustainable Food Partnership is proud to announce that the city of Cambridge has received a Sustainable Food Places silver award, recognising the city-wide commitment to positive change across key sustainable food issues.
Since achieving a bronze award back in 2016 Cambridge Sustainable Food Partnership has been working hard towards silver and have now joined five other areas in the UK to have achieved this prestigious standard and are one of only two to be awarded this year.
Sustainable Food Places is a partnership programme led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.
The programme brings together 48 pioneering food partnerships from towns, cities, boroughs, districts and counties across the UK that are driving innovation and best practice on all aspects of healthy and sustainable food. Award decisions are made annually by a national panel of experts and are judged on progress across six key issues:
● Taking a strategic and collaborative approach to good food governance and action
● Building public awareness, active food citizenship and a local good food movement
● Tackling food poverty, diet related ill-health and access to affordable healthy food
● Creating a vibrant, prosperous and diverse sustainable food economy
● Transforming catering and procurement and revitalising local supply chains
● Tackling the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming and an end to food waste.
The award recognises and celebrates the success of areas and cities achieving significant change on a range of key issues. The award was presented to the mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Russ McPherson, and the chief executive of Cambridge City Council, Robert Pollock, on behalf of the city on Friday (July 2) outside Guildhall.
Sam Dyer, CEO of Cambridge Sustainable Food, the lead organisation for the partnership, said: “Cambridge’s silver award has been five years in the making and showcases the city-wide commitment to an environmentally and socially just local food system that is good for us and good for the planet.
“This is an award we all need to be proud of. From the individuals pledging to take personal action by signing the Cambridge Sustainable Food manifesto, to the businesses and organisations adopting sustainable food policies and reducing food waste, the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance and Community Food Hubs supporting people through the pandemic, and the allotments and community groups establishing a thriving food growing culture.
“As a city we have achieved an extraordinary amount in such a short time, a credit to the commitment of everyone involved. The partnership looks forward to further collaborative work with businesses, organisations and community groups across the city, as we build on the city’s achievements and begin our journey to gold.”
The silver award puts a spotlight on all the fantastic work happening across the city including the food justice programme; local awareness raising campaigns such as Veg Cities, Sugar Smart and the Cambridge Climate Change Charter, the launch of CoFarm – the city’s first community farm – local businesses like Cambridge Food Hub who are putting fair access to good food and sustainability at the core of their mission, and the actions across Cambridge University to develop healthy, climate-friendly menus. All of these initiatives and more are fundamental to the city’s attainment of the silver award.
Cambridge City Council has played a central role in promoting and developing a sustainable food culture in Cambridge. In addition to creating the role of ‘executive councillor for sustainable food’, the city council has also endorsed and supported the city’s sustainable food action plan and adopted a sustainable food policy, as well as including food as one of its six key objectives in the climate change strategy.
Cllr Alex Collis, executive councillor for open spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing, said: “This is real recognition for the hard work put in by local organisations and businesses over several years.
“I can remember conversations about this back when we were just starting the cookery workshops, so it’s great to see Cambridge gaining silver status. More than ever, over the past 15 months, we’ve seen just how strong the links are between a system that gives people access to good food, as well as the opportunities to grow it, and communities’ health and wellbeing.
“That’s something we are fully committed to supporting as a council, and we look forward to working with Cambridge Sustainable Food into the future – and hopefully towards gaining gold status.”