World Food Day

Today’s blog comes from Joy Carey, strategic coordinator of Bristol Going for Gold, a collaborative initiative led by Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Bristol City Council.

What is World Food Day?

Today, 16th October 2020, is World Food Day. It marks the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. This year, with countries around the world dealing with the widespread effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, there is a simple message: it is time to take action together to make a better food future – every single one of us has an important role to play.  World Food Day is calling for global solidarity to help all populations, especially the most vulnerable, to recover from the crisis; to make food systems more resilient and robust; to deliver affordable, sustainable, healthy diets for all; and to ensure decent livelihoods for food system workers. 

What is the call to action?

We all have the power to influence change, individually and through collective action. There are everyday practical actions that all of us can take to make healthy food and sustainable habits a part of our lifestyles.

– Choose healthy, diverse, local and seasonal food

– Use our own positive powers of influence in our social media posts or in our conversations

– Support food-related initiatives in our local neighbourhoods and communities

– Learn to grow food at home

– Respect food and the environment by wasting less

How does World Food Day relate to what’s going on in Bristol?

A signatory to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (a global city network) and a member of the UK’s Sustainable Food Places network, Bristol is in the vanguard of the move towards the World Food Day goals but it has to be a collective effort.  As Bristol recovers from the immediate effects of the pandemic, we can all contribute to building a better food system that works for the future of our city.

  • Better for our communities: a food system that is local – supporting the local food economy, maintaining diversity on our high streets and putting the power in the hands of community food initiatives to make food work for them.
  • Better for each one of us: a food system for better health – enabling people to cook from scratch and grow food for their own wellbeing; and ensuring that everyone has access to good food.
  • Better for the planet: a food system where we all value food by reducing food waste and making the most of the food that we have; eating less meat and dairy; prioritising nature-friendly food and growing; and choosing local, seasonal food.

Becoming a ‘Gold’ Sustainable Food City and the road to 2030…

The second UK city to gain a silver award in 2016, Bristol aims to become recognised as one of the UK’s first ‘Gold status’ Sustainable Food Cities by 2021. By doing so, we’ll lay the foundations for the next decade of building a diverse, inclusive and resilient food community, and demonstrate that Bristol’s individuals, communities, organisations and food businesses are acting together to make real change by 2030. This year we’ve all been made more aware of the strengths of our food system, in particular the inspirational community-based emergency food response during lockdown, as well as its flaws. Now we’re asking Bristol to #BiteBackBetter now to support a greener recovery, to help us reach our Gold ambitions, and to pave the way for a decade of transforming food in our city. You can learn more and be part of the city’s movement to build a more resilient food system that benefits all by getting involved here.

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