Food Durham has become one of just a handful of cities to win a prestigious Sustainable Food Cities award.
The award, which was presented at an event in Cardiff attended by representatives from more than 60 UK cities, recognises Food Durham’s work to promote healthy, sustainable and local food.
The organisation’s aim is to tackle some of today’s greatest social challenges, from food poverty and diet-related ill-health to the disappearance of family farms and the loss of independent food retailers.
Local food projects recognised by the award included Growing Durham, which is helping more people to grow some of their own food in community gardens and other settings, and the Durham Food Hub, which is supporting local small and medium food and drink enterprises to grow and diversify and to sell their produce to other businesses such as the hospitality sector and retail.
Dr Liz Charles, Food Durham Manager, said: “Thanks to the efforts of many of our partners, including Durham County Council, we were able to show a breadth of work across the six areas needed to qualify for this award.
“There is still a lot of work to do; we continue to run our Sugar Smart Durham campaign and are looking forward to launching ‘Veg Cities’ later this year, which seeks to improve access and consumption of vegetables.”
Tom Andrews, Director of Sustainable Food Cities, said: “Food Durham has shown just what can be achieved when creative and committed people work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.
“While there is still much to do and many challenges to overcome, Food Durham has helped to set a benchmark for the other 50 members of the UK Sustainable Food Cities Network to follow and we look forward to working with them over the months and years ahead to transform County Durham’s food culture and food system for the better.”
The Sustainable Food Cities programme is led by the Soil Association in partnership with Food Matters and Sustain. It is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and supports cities to transform food culture.
The Sustainable Food Cities programme work across six key areas:
- Promoting healthy and sustainable food to the public
- Tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and access to affordable healthy food
- Building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects
- Promoting a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy
- Transforming catering and food procurement
- Reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system