Anna Clayton, FoodFutures Coordinator, celebrates the culmination of more than five years’ collaborative working.

North Lancashire was one of seven places across the UK that received a prestigious Sustainable Food Places (SFP) Silver award; recognising the outstanding efforts of individuals, organisations, businesses and community groups from across our region in promoting healthy, sustainable and local food to tackle some of today’s greatest social challenges; from food poverty and diet-related ill-health to the disappearance of family farms and the loss of independent food retailers. 

Jamie Murphy, the FoodFutures Partnership Chair and a Community Connector at Lancaster City Council commented: “Receiving the Silver SFP Award is a testament to the broad range of diverse and creative projects and initiatives developed by the FoodFutures Partnership and wider community. Congratulations and thanks go out to the fantastic, committed, and inspired individuals, groups and organisations who have dedicated time and effort to improving our local food system for all. The strength of our Food Community across the district is essential in making this happen and I’m looking forward to achieving Gold in the near future”.

The SFP Award is a national, evidence-based recognition and celebration of places taking a joined-up, holistic approach to sustainable and healthy food. Awardees have demonstrated activity and impact across their food system by the food partnership and their stakeholders to create a local ‘Good Food Movement’. 

The SFP Award Panel were particularly impressed by the wide range of stakeholders involved in North Lancashire’s sustainable food network, and they praised the work of the Plot’s FarmStart programme, Lancaster District Food Justice Partnership and the Closing Loops project. 

North Lancashire’s work was thought to meet and go beyond the SFP Silver criteria, with FoodFutures and the North Lancashire region more generally being encouraged to aim for Gold in the near future.

Leon Ballin, Sustainable Food Places Programme Manager, said: “North Lancashire has shown just what can be achieved when creative and committed people work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. While there is still much to do and many challenges to overcome, North Lancashire’s FoodFutures Partnership has helped to set a high benchmark for other members of the UK Sustainable Food Places Network to follow. We look forward to working with them over the months and years ahead to continue to transform Lancashire’s food culture and food system for the better.” 

FoodFutures is planning a silver celebration in Spring 2024 where next steps will be explored. As part of this, they will question: should we go for Gold?

 

To learn more about North Lancashire’s sustainable food work, read the Silver Award Application here.  

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