Launch of food partnership
A partnership which is aimed at promoting healthy and sustainable food across Aberdeen through different organisations has been launched.
The Sustainable Food City Partnership Aberdeen (SFCPA) group will look at six key areas including promoting healthy and sustainable food to the public, tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and access to healthy food, building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects, promoting a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy, transforming catering and food procurement, and reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system.
The SFCPA brings together key stakeholders to drive positive change whilst making healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of the city, and is part of the UK-wide Sustainable Food Cities Network.
SFCPA chairperson Aberdeen City Council Councillor Lesley Dunbar said: “The Sustainable Food Cities approach is about recognising the pivotal role that food can play in driving positive social, economic and environmental change.
“The Sustainable Food Cities model for transforming food culture includes establishing a cross sector food partnership, developing and delivering a food strategy and action plan, and embedding healthy and sustainable food in policy.
““From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and declining prosperity, food is not only at the heart of some of our greatest problems but is also a vital part of the solution.”
Members of the partnership includes Aberdeen City Council, Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), NHS Grampian Public Health Directorate, Aberdeen Health & Social Care Partnership, The Allotment Market Stall, Enscape Ltd, Robert Gordon University, and Tillydrone Community Flat.
Chris Littlejohn, interim deputy director of Public Health at NHS Grampian, said: “The launch of the partnership is hugely welcome at a time when diet-related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, are making ever greater demands on the NHS.
“Nutritious food is the foundation of good health, as well as for recovery from illness, and I wholeheartedly commend the stated ambitions of the Sustainable Food Cities agenda.”
Dave Simmers, CEO of Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), said:“CFINE is delighted to be a partner of the Sustainable Food City Partnership Aberdeen, and to be hosting the co-ordinator within our organisation. It is an exciting and much needed partnership with the potential to create positive change across Aberdeen.”
Angela Mitchell, acting director, Soil Association Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with the SFCPA as the members set out to make Aberdeen a Sustainable Food City.
The partnership will be building on the strong foundation established by Aberdeen City Council, which recently achieved a Food for Life Served Here award at Silver level for its school meals service, making it the first local authority in Scotland to do so for both secondary and primary schools, and showing its commitment to providing fresh and healthy school food whilst also using more local, organic and ethically sourced ingredients.’
Following a successful funding bid to the Esmee Fairburn Foundation with match-funding from NHS Grampian Public Health Directorate and Aberdeen Health & Social Care Partnership, a Sustainable Food City Coordinator was appointed in June 2017, based at local charity Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE).
During the launch at the Town House, partners were invited to sign their names to a Sustainable Food Charter, indicating actions that individuals and organisations could take to show their commitment to driving forward the Sustainable Food agenda in Aberdeen. This Food Charter will be available online, and the SFCPA plan to gain city-wide support via this pledge.
L-R: Cath Pilley, The Allotment Market Stall (TAMS); Dave Simmers, Cfine; Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing; Laura Penny, SFCPA co-ordinator; Fiona Young, Tillydrone Community Flat, Dr Flora Douglas, RGU; SFCPA chairperson Aberdeen City Council Councillor Lesley Dunbar; Chris Littlejohn, NHS Grampian; Brian Menzies, Enscape