Firm foundations laid for sustainable food culture

Firm foundations laid for sustainable food culture

A healthy sustainable food systemAs this stage of CLS comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on the value and impact of CLS support to the development of sustainable food culture in Bridport. By providing a timely opportunity to start new conversations about shifting towards sustainable food production and sustainable diets, CLS has also succeeded in bringing local stakeholders to the same table who otherwise may not have coincided.

CLS has engaged people in a range of activities:

i CLS promoted healthy and sustainable food to the public

  • Messages about sustainable diets and shopping were developed, tested and promoted to raise awareness of food issues and to highlight the availability of local food.

  • “Foodfuture Bridport” was created as a channel for communication and information sharing.

  • The ‘foodfuture challenge’ invited the public to make pledges to change behaviour by shifting spend

  • A ‘people’s wishlist for the future of food’ was crowdsourced.

  • Hundreds of delegates from diverse fields were attracted to public meetings, which helped establish common ground and pointed to ways and means for collaboration, plus provided opportunities to raise awareness about some of the urgent issues about the dominant food system and climate disruption.

ii CLS helped to build community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects by supporting existing community food initiatives and improving links between different groups.

iii CLS contributed to tackling food poverty and increasing access to affordable healthy food by supporting pioneering community projects, especially the HOME edible garden at St Mary’s primary school.

iv CLS supported sustainable food enterprises and a sustainable food economy by profiling and celebrating local producers, suppliers, stockists and hospitality providers.  A Bridport food map was published, and pioneering community food enterprises were supported to get established, e.g. the Charmouth Dragon and the Kitchen Collective

v CLS opened a dialogue about transforming catering and food procurement with Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board.

vi CLS supported the reduction of waste and the ecological footprint of the food system by commissioning a Good Practice Guide for the Sustainable Kitchen and supporting Community Soup’s awareness-raising surplus food giveaways.

Read the full report and recommendations here.

Building Bridport’s sustainable food culture

Building Bridport’s sustainable food culture

There is huge potential to maximise sustainable food as a defining USP for Bridport. With some great foundations laid, partnership working in Bridport can now go from strength to strength.

These recommendations emerge from Communities Living Sustainably’s programme of work to develop a “network of food networks” and to promote messages about sustainable eating 2013-16.

1. Take the People’s Wishlist to heart and let it guide future development of an holistic, sustainable food culture in Bridport.
2. Debate the future of our food to raise public awareness of the urgent need for sustainable food production and consumption.
3. Offer great vegetarian and vegan cuisine in our eating places to demonstrate understanding that we need to eat better quality and less meat for our own health, animal welfare and for the planet
4. Support the re-publication and expansion of the Bridport food map: a visually striking guide for residents and visitors alike to the businesses doing their best to source locally and sustainably.
5. Build up the foodfuture website, e-news and social media to spread the word about sustainable eating.
6. Keep advocating for local and national sustainable food policy development

Support the calls for a major review of food and farming policy by the Square Meal Coalition and the Landworkers Alliance.

Here comes Kitchen Collective

Here comes Kitchen Collective

Kitchen Collective BridportBridport’s latest sustainable food initiative launches at the end of April and will be a whole new concept in fast food takeaway. Be sure to look out for the distinctive new van on the streets and at festivals across the area this summer.

“Bringing together forward thinking chefs to link the producers of sustainable food with diners hungry for an alternative” – that’s the mission of the new co-operative enterprise putting locally sourced and healthy ingredients onto the takeaway menu in Bridport and around.

Reclaiming a former mobile kitchen, the aim of the new member owned and member run business is to increase access to nutritious and healthy food through innovative events, while continuing to build capacity for local smallholders, providing another outlet for their produce.

Led by Stir to Action, CLS commissioned Jonny Gordon Farleigh to develop a feasibility study for the project which has attracted involvement from a number of progressive chefs including Andy Tyrell from River Cottage, Chris Onions from Trill Farm, Dom Brown of Bearkat Supper Club plus Tia Perella and Rosie Gilchrist, both growers and chefs.

“CLS were keen to support the Kitchen Collective because the mobile kitchen makes the crucial links between all the elements – producers, chefs and regular diners. It makes shorter supply chains and healthier food a reality for the whole community in Bridport, demonstrating just how possible it is to eat sustainably and to eat well,” says food project officer, Linda Hull.

As well as a street food operation, the vehicle will also be a business incubator for new and young entrants to the food trade and available for educational workshops and private parties. To make a booking or find out more, send a message to thetakewayproject@gmail or visit our facebook page.