Leeds Hosts a Low Carbon Lunch

On the 29th of Sept, FoodWise Leeds and Leeds City Council hosted the ‘Leeds Low Carbon Lunch’ at Kirkgate Market. The event was part of the Sustainable Food Places day of action for commitments to the Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration, of which Leeds was an early signatory.

The event brought together partners across the food system in Leeds including the City Council, FoodWise Leeds, University of Leeds, FairShare Yorkshire, ReThink Food, Feed Leeds, Zero Waste Leeds, Swarthmore College and the Ministry of Food.

Food Champion Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung announced a trio of commitments to reduce the impact of food procured across the Council’s services.

  1. Buy local, serve local. We’ll increasingly source more of the food we serve from producers based in Yorkshire and surrounding counties, to support local businesses and cut food miles.
  2. Ban air-freighted imports. Where we use ingredients that can’t be produced locally, we’ll reduce the impact of transporting it by using boat, road or rail
  3. Halve the carbon footprint of meals served by 2030. We’ll review and update all of the meals we serve to cut their environmental impact, without sacrificing flavour, variety or nutrients.

These pledges are significant as Leeds is the first local authority to make such commitments. They build on the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration – a commitment signed by Leeds and many other cities and local areas around the globe to tackle the climate emergency through integrated food policies and a call on national governments to act.

The reductions in emissions will be calculated from the 2019 baseline by a team of academics from the Consumer Data Research Centre at Leeds University.  The data will provide catering staff with an easy way to compare carbon footprints of meals and enable them to adjust menus to achieve the desired reduction in carbon emissions.

There were also Low Carbon Lunch events hosted in the community by Zest LeedsSpace2 and Gipton Fire Station using produce grown on site by members of the Gipton Growers gardening group.

Building Food Resilience Toolkit is Now Available!

FoodWise is pleased to announce the Building Food Resilience Toolkit is now available to download!

The toolkit introduces the idea of ‘building food resilience’ and provides an overview of options available for people who require food access support. It also offers useful information and signposting advice to help organisations explore people’s longer-term food options and to deliver effective food aid provision.

The toolkit has been co-produced with food aid providers, building upon existing partnerships to ensure a city-wide approach to providing compassionate, practical help to support people who are experiencing food insecurity, to build resilience, so they are less likely to need food support in the future. 

Leeds Wins the Bronze!

Here is the press release:

Bronze Birthday Present for Leeds Food Partnership

After just one year, the Leeds Food Partnership (LFP) is celebrating winning a prestigious accolade, The Sustainable Food Cities Bronze award.

Set up in 2018, the partnership celebrates good food and helps address health inequalities by reducing food poverty, supporting local food businesses, reducing the environmental impact of food, influencing the trade and consumption of food and promoting growing and cooking skills.

The LFP is delivered by Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds, and a range of local food networks, businesses, NGOs and community partners.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“This is a great recognition for a really important cross-sector partnership of public agencies, businesses, and academics in Leeds, helping us agree a city vision for food and develop a food action plan which doesn’t just improve nutrition, but also builds into our vision of a more sustainable environment and climate.

“We’re working hard to make it easier for people in Leeds to have access to healthier food which doesn’t cost the earth, so they can benefit from the benefit of better nutrition.”

Sonja Woodcock, Sustainable Food Cities Co-ordinator, said:

“The partnership is raising the profile and exploring solutions to food issues, including promoting healthy and sustainable food, tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and access to affordable healthy food and building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects.

“Working together we’re keen to promote a vibrant, diverse and sustainable food economy, while helping transform catering and food procurement, reducing both waste and the ecological footprint of the food system.”

Professor Les Firbank, University of Leeds, said:

“Food is both at the core of some of the city’s biggest challenges, but also a vital part of solutions. The evidence-based, partnership approach recognises food action is needed and we are glad to be working alongside partners to help make the most of this.

“The LFP is just one of a range of positive health and nutrition areas of work across the city which is attracting attention for delivering positive outcomes. The award will help us to target obesity, other diet-related ill-health, nutritional care, poverty and waste; promote businesses, innovation, and food tourism, as well as linking to climate change, urban sustainability and public safety.”

Tom Bliss, Chair of Feed Leeds, said:

“It’s been a long journey since Feed Leeds, which represents community food growing across the city, kick-started the creation of the LFP back in 2012, and we’re hugely proud and delighted to see Leeds rightfully recognised as a leading Food City. But we’re not resting on our laurels! We’re confident that Leeds is already a long way towards Silver – so watch this space!”

Sustainable Food Cities is a nation-wide initiative which promotes cross-sector partnerships of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs who are committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. The Sustainable Food Cities Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the success of those places taking a joined up, holistic approach to food, and that are achieving significant positive change on a range of key food issues.

Key Project areas:

The recently launched “Food Wise Leeds” campaign, promoting food action in the city.

The Refill campaign – a grassroots movement which aims to reduce plastic pollution at source by making it easier for people to reuse and refill their bottle with free tap water, rather than buying a new one.

The Sustainable Fish Cities pledge organised by conservation and sustainable food organisations. The pledge encourages buying, serving and promoting only sustainable fish.

The national Out to Lunch campaign led by the Soil Association aims to make it easier for families to eat healthy food outside of the home in restaurants and visitor attractions.

Increasing vegetable consumption, with The Soil Association’s Veg Cities campaign and the new Veg Power “Eat them to defeat them” advertising aim to increase vegetable consumption nationally.

Leeds Rotters – a city-wide composting initiative.