Growing your own food plan to go out to public consultation

A strategy which includes supports communities to start and maintain growing their own food is to be put out to public consultation after agreement at city growth committee today.

The public will be asked for their feedback on Granite City Growing: Aberdeen Growing Food Together strategy which has written with the views and priorities of local organisations in mind.

The report to committee said the demand for food-growing opportunities is likely to increase as more people seek to improve their health and wellbeing, access fresh food, reduce their environmental impact and engage with their local community.

In the 43rd City Voice survey in March 2019 for example, 31.8% of panellists (277 people) who are not already growing their own fruit and vegetables would be prepared to in order to reduce their climate impacts.

The Granite City Growing strategy sets out a city-wide vision for collaborative working to increase food-growing awareness, skills and opportunities and describes how land will be identified in priority areas from the Open Space Audit.

It was developed with stakeholders and seeks to build on the many local food-growing actions and initiatives that are already delivering multiple benefits in the city, and is aligned to Aberdeen’s ambition to be a Sustainable Food City.

The strategy was informed by the community food growing programme which Aberdeen City Council put £145,000 to in 2017, and this has been used to fund 25 food-growing projects across the city.

In developing Granite City Growing: Aberdeen Growing Food Together, the views and priorities of local organisations and community groups were gathered during stakeholder workshops facilitated by greenspace scotland. In addition, individuals were consulted through a Citizen’s Space survey in February 2018 and in the 43rd City Voice survey in March 2019.

A food-growing steering group has guided the process consisting of representatives from Aberdeen City Council’s Place, Operations and Customer clusters, the Hutton Institute, Community Councils, the Allotment Market Stall, Powis Residents Association, the Civic Forum, and from the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE).

After agreement at committee today, a business case will be brought forward internally by Aberdeen City Council relating to supporting food-growing on Housing Revenue Account (HRA) land. HRA is raised through rent on council properties and the money is ringfenced to improve those properties.

Granite City Growing has identified priority areas where the distribution of existing food-growing opportunities is least and the potential demand greatest. These priority areas tend to align with the distribution of HRA land and a business case will seek to redirect HRA funding from maintenance costs to support food-growing projects on HRA land.