The Day Talkaoke Came to Town

The Day Talkaoke Came to Town

talkaoke-bridportFood Festival goers of all ages – including several canine punters – had great fun exploring all kinds of issues at the dynamic, interactive Talkaoke at this year’s Food Festival.

Host Mikey Weinkove from The People Speak energetically juggled opinions, rants and shy whispers from guests at the Table of Chat on everything from the EU referendum to population growth, globalisation, kindness and the sugar tax. Thanks also to members of Transition Town Bridport who helped make the Talkaoke a great success.

If you took part, you’ll know how much fun it was and if you didn’t, you missed a treat.

See cameraman Rick Sleiman’s pictures and watch live footage of the Talkaoke here!

What does Brexit mean for Eating Better?

What does Brexit mean for Eating Better?

Eating Better is one of 85 organisations that have written to Prime Minister Theresa May and new Secretary of State for exiting the European Union, David Davis, urging the Brexit Government to take control of food, farming and fisheries for public good.

The impact that the EU referendum will have for our food and farming is hugely uncertain. With many of the UK’s food and farming policies and subsidies being defined at EU level, the UK government now has an opportunity to reshape these to ensure that taxpayers money is spent for public good.

In the letter, organisations representing the health and long-term interests of millions of British citizens have called on government to adopt common-sense food, farming and fishing policies that are good for jobs, health and the environment, when they plan the UK’s post-referendum strategy.

The letter, co-ordinated by Eating Better partner organisation, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, has been co-signed by over 80 food, farming, fair trade, poverty, animal welfare, wildlife and environmental organisations.

Our joint statement points out that better food, farming and trade policies can help to cut greenhouse gas emissions from farming and food industries by 80% by 2050, and promote healthier diets to combat heart disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity, saving the NHS, and ultimately taxpayers millions. Such policies can also support a vibrant and diverse economy, supporting good jobs and working conditions, in the UK and overseas.

Further, the UK could prioritise ethical and sustainable production methods, improved animal welfare, more farmland and marine wildlife, a healthy future for bees and other pollinators, as well as enhancing the beauty of the countryside and protecting the environment, whilst also providing a safe and traceable food supply.

“The British public has given no mandate for a reduction in food and farming standards, a weakening of protection for nature, nor a reversal of the UK’s commitment to lifting millions of the poorest people in the world out of poverty through trade. We are seriously concerned that such vital considerations may be over-run by a drive for new trade deals at any cost.” says Kath Dalmeny, head of Sustain.

The signatory organisations also ask David Davis MP to ensure that the advice the new unit provides to Government is drawn up in consultation with people with science, health and sustainability expertise in relation to food, farming and fishing, alongside economic concerns. Further, the signatory organisations urge that food, farming and fishing make up one of the Options Papers being developed by the unit, to advise the PM and the Government.

Read the full press release here.

Elena Salazar, Campaigns and Communications Associate, Eating Better

How can Bridport feed itself?

How can Bridport feed itself?

Bridport is known for its vibrant food culture, serving residents and attracting visitors from far and wide. However, many producers and employees in the food sector still operate on low profit margins and low wages. The How Can Bridport Feed Itself? project sets out to quantify the current value of our local food economy, identifying the number and types of jobs in food, and weighing up the economic benefit to the town if our food system was even more local.

“We lack hard, contemporary data on the real economic value of Bridport’s food sector,” says Candida Blaker, project co-ordinator. “Where do people spend their money on food? How much of this is local food from local businesses? And what’s the potential to shift towards a more circular economy? This would keep more of the money we spend on food circulating locally, thus increasing levels of income and creating more jobs. These are the kinds of questions we will be asking.”

Building on existing research, and on community engagement work by Linda Hull on the People’s Wishlist for the Future of Food and the Spend a Tenner Locally campaign, CLS partners are now seeking to engage businesses directly on what would make the food economy healthier.

“In particular, we’re keen to examine how the lively food sector here could offer more high quality opportunities for the youth,” says Jonny Gordon Farleigh, project researcher. “There is great potential to stem the flow of our young people away from the area by investing in strengthening our local food system.

How Can Bridport Feed Itself? aims to:

  • Provide evidence for strategic plans for food and drink locally;

  • Publish baseline data and a set of indicators to show change over time;

  • Identify activities to take advantage of economic opportunities within the next 3 years;

  • Strengthen and enhance local supply chains;

  • Build a coalition of partners to turn these opportunities into reality;

  • Help to secure investment.

“The “How Can Bridport Feed Itself?” study will put the food economy and food security firmly on the town agenda and dovetail into Bridport’s new Economic Plan,” says Linda Hull, project researcher. To answer this question and others, CLS will be staging a Stakeholder Forum in mid-September in central Bridport to hear from various unique perspectives and to pool expertise. “It’s very timely work as we begin to grapple with the post-Brexit implications for food and we hope it will generate project initiatives for inclusion in future funding bids.”

If you have access to data that could be useful, or to get involved or find out more, please contact Candida.blaker@dorsetcommunityaction.org.uk or Tel: 07917 476196