A Food Partnership for Shropshire?

Shrewsbury Food Hub are excited to be developing a shared vision for a resilient, sustainable and equitable local food system by 2030.

 

During Spring 2021 we are carrying out a scoping exercise to engage people, organisations and local government across Shropshire to create a food system, that

 

  • Ensures everyone has access to sufficient nutritious affordable food

  • Drives environmental regeneration and shift to net zero carbon

  • Builds community, connecting people through food to each other and the land

  • Creates livelihood opportunities, building local economy to directly link producers and consumers

Due to the complexity and interconnectedness of these issues, it needs a systems approach that involves and connects key actors at all levels and across all parts of the food system. Its important that this builds on what is already happening, recognising shared values and commons goals and then supporting initiatives by promoting a joined-up holistic approach.

 

We think that the role of a food partnership would be to:

 

  • Take a cross sector approach, bringing together the public, private and community sector to build a shared vision for shaping the food system in their area.

  • Take into account the whole picture- food that is good for us, the planet and the economy.  

  • Keep track of what is happening across Shropshire, make connections, mapping the food system in the county, building relationships and helping to gain a deeper understanding of local need.

  • Find evidence of what works and share it, creating peer learning opportunities and a support network.

  • Motivate and inspire everyone across the county to make positive choices which build new approaches to food. 

  • Advocate for longer-term and systemic changes to food, land and welfare systems in ways that will address the root causes of food insecurity and unsustainable production practices.

 

This may be achieved as an alliance of local groups or as a county network or independent organisation.

 

What do you think? If you would like to know more or share your ideas, please contact jenny@shrewsburyfoodhub.org.uk

 

 

What is a food partnership?

We are exploring how a Shropshire Food Partnership can be aligned with the Sustainable Food Places approach. This is an initiative to support the establishment of cross-sector food partnerships to transform local food systems managed by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain.  We will apply the Sustainable Food Places toolkit to Shropshire and look at how such a holistic and integrated perspective can lead to effective solutions.

The Scoping Initiative will explore the following six key areas to outline a framework for action:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the coming months we will be researching best practice from other areas, engaging local stakeholders and producing a food system overview for Shropshire. We will work with people and organisations from across the county to come up with a proposed partnership structure, terms of reference, strategy and workplan.  It is important that this builds on what is already happening, adding value and addressing gaps.

For years, Ludlow have run a food partnership that tackles the big picture on food, bringing together businesses, statutory organisations and communities.   Shropshire Climate Action Partnership is spurring action on how food and farming in the county can contribute towards reaching net zero carbon by 2030. There are many inspiring and determined people setting up local food growing and sharing initiatives.

We want to explore how these can be scaled up, so that everyone in Shropshire can access healthy food despite the challenges of recession and climate change.  Other areas like Brighton, Bristol and Oxford already have vibrant food partnerships which are working to create a more resilient food system in their area. Seeing these partnerships have success in urban areas has led other counties, such as Buckinghamshire, to start working towards a county-wide model.

 

 

 

Our starting point

We have funding from Shropshire Council to scope out how a Food Partnership can add value to the amazing work that is already happening in the county.   Shrewsbury Food Hub are acting as an incubator for the Food Partnership while it defines its role and finds its long-term home.  

We really want to hear from everyone involved in all aspects of food growing, sharing and eating in Shropshire.

 If you would like to know more, or would like to share your ideas, please contact  jenny@shrewsburyfoodhub.org.uk

 

In May we'll come back to everyone, drawing together everything we've heard with suggestions for how we could get  a Partnership started here in Shropshire.

Why are Shrewsbury Food Hub involved?

Shrewsbury Food Hub are acting as an incubator for the Food Partnership while it defines its role and finds its long-term home.

 

At Shrewsbury Food Hub we believe food is central to everything. The way it is grown, distributed and sold all have massive implications on the health and well-being of people, the planet and the economy. Over the last year we have seen how crucial community food projects are as they work tirelessly to plug gaps and provide a support network during these challenging times. We recognise that the work we do, redistributing surplus food and co-ordinating the Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance, is just one small piece of the picture. Our motivation in trying to get a Food Partnership off the ground is that a lot of the ideas and obstacles we come across increasingly don’t fit under the banner of food waste or food poverty reduction, but need to be seen as part of the larger food system. The pandemic has highlighted the value of working collaboratively, with new mutual aid groups and areas like Wem, Bishops Castle, Shrewsbury and Ludlow working together to ensure people can get healthy food.

 

We believe that if we join together we can connect people and ideas across the county and enable a more integrated approach across the food sector.   Please contact jenny@shrewsburyfoodhub.org.uk if you'd like to share your views or find out more.

 
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