Sustainable Food City Lancaster’s REFRESH event was well attended by a cross-section of people that included city and county Councillors, representatives from our local hospital, community food projects, academics, local farmers and food retailers. Together we discussed our hopes for food in Lancaster; drawing out key outcomes and work priorities across six key themes: food and health, food access (including food poverty), food economy, food provision, food and environment and food skills. You can read about the day in detail here: SFC LANCASTER REFRESH
At the start of the event we asked the question: ‘How joined up is work around food issues in Lancaster?’ Although those attending the REFRESH event were relatively well connected, it was felt that a strategy was lacking that identified what we were working towards, and what priority areas we should focus on (raising the need for a sustainable food strategy for the District!). People felt joined-up within specific work areas, but less well connected to those working on other food issues. It was also noted that we rely on volunteers to drive the sustainable food ‘cart’ forwards and that institutions now need to ‘pull the cart’ more. We need to create paid posts to drive forward sustainable food work in Lancaster.
We explored the question ‘What would you like to see happening in Lancaster around sustainable food in 10 years time?’ A great vision was created: ‘A reversal of current food bank trends: reduction rather than growth in use. Greater income equality and redistribution of wealth so that everyone can afford local, low-intensity food. A small and diverse local farming sector developed that has a positive impact on the environment, with local people making a living from small-scale farming. Flexibility with policies and legislation to allow small businesses to freely grow and sell produce. Micro-dairies delivering door step milk in glass bottles. Collaborative working by all agencies to beat food poverty. Locally grown seasonal food available from a number of places in the city in a plastic free system. Local institutions prioritising local and sustainable food sourcing in procurement, increasing the amount of money circulating locally. Meat becomes the minority option at every food retailer. All new builds have space for growing and sharing food. A ring of small scale growers surrounds the city that are well connected to local food producers and retailers. Affordable organic local veg delivered by bicycle and widespread veganism. Depot with storage (chilled) on Lancaster’s Canal Corridor. Accessible spaces around Lancaster to grow, cook and eat together. Producers paid a fair price for their produce…
Read SFC LANCASTER REFRESH to find out more about the day.