Beccy Whittle celebrates the region’s success in the national Sustainable Food Places Awards and invites you to join in too!

By the time you’re reading this, you may or may not be aware of some pretty big news: in late 2023, North Lancashire received a Silver Award from the national Sustainable Food Places (SFP) programme!

Rather than second best, the Silver SFP Award is something that is aspired to and worked towards in collaboration with many people and organisations from across a region.

Run by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain, the Award scheme (and wider support network) was started to encourage place-based collaborative approaches to tackling some of the big challenges linked to our food system: from rising food poverty and climate change through to poor pay, declining biodiversity, and health challenges.

It has taken North Lancashire four action-packed years to achieve Silver after having received a Bronze Award in 2019, and the region’s detailed application highlights the amazing progress and work that has made this possible. From the Our Food Futures community food strategy for North Lancashire and the themed working groups that are taking forward the work to bring this about; through to a huge arrange of community-led growing, cooking, and sharing projects that have sprouted across the district. North Lancashire’s Silver Application provides evidence of progress made across six different areas of the food system: from action on food waste and food poverty through to up-scaling sustainable local food production and the introduction of procurement policies that support healthy, fair, and local food.

Initiatives which particularly impressed the SFP judging panel included the Plot’s FarmStart training programme which provides aspiring market gardeners with the horticulture and business development skills they need to run a successful growing business.

The work of the Lancaster District Food Justice Partnership was also commended. They work to overcome food insecurity across the district through a number of approaches: from emergency support available through food banks through to our region’s unique food buying co-op and network of food clubs which allow people to pick up a shopping bag of food at very low prices.

To celebrate North Lancashire’s Silver Award, FoodFutures is hosting A Pots of Possibility Networking event and a Silver Award Celebration on 20 April 2024. This will be followed by a series of Spring into Action events from the 21 – 28 April. For more information and to join the festivities, visit: foodfutures.org.uk/spring-into-action

To read North Lancashire’s Silver Application and learn about the great work going on in our region, visit: foodfutures.org.uk/north-lancashire-wins-sustainable-food-award

 

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