Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor for Communities, Equalities, and Public Health and Chairperson of the Going for Gold Steering Committee.
You may have noticed some eye-catching billboards popping up like mushrooms across Bristol this week, heralding our new status as a Gold Food Sustainable City.
As the Chairperson of the Going for Gold steering committee, I know this exciting accolade is the result of our 18-month long Going for Gold campaign which included the whole city.
The Going for Gold movement was about a collective ambition to make Bristol’s food system better – better for our people, our city and the planet.
It builds on the incredible work of over 120 organisations supporting a Good Food Movement (GFM) in our city that led Bristol to receiving a Silver Sustainable Food Cities award in 2016.
As only the second city in the UK to achieve Gold (Brighton and Hove were awarded Gold last year), the Sustainable Food Places Board recognised us for our innovative approach towards tackling food inequality, reducing waste and increasing urban growing.
The accolade also acknowledged Bristol’s GFM and our efforts in tackling the impacts of food on public health, nature, and climate change.
Sustainable Food Places leads a growing movement of people and organisations across the UK, who are working towards making healthy, sustainable, local food, a defining characteristic of where they live.
The bid was a One City collective effort led by Bristol City Council, Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Resource Futures, as well organisations, citizens and food outlets across the city who logged almost 2,000 positive food actions on the Going for Gold/Bristol Bites Back Better website.
Now we have achieved Gold it is not the end of this journey. The pandemic was a powerful catalyst in heralding in a much-needed change in how we feed our city.
This work has rallied a powerful momentum in Bristol and sown the seeds for a decade of building a diverse, inclusive, resilient and flourishing food community that can bring real change by 2030.
Our focus is now the One City Food Equality Strategy and Action Plan and the Bristol Good Food Plan 2030. On World Hunger Day, the Mayor reaffirmed our city’s commitment to help over 10,000 households in the city that are experiencing food poverty.
Working with a number of partner organisations and in a One City collective approach, we are developing a Food Equality Strategy and a Bristol 2030 Good Food Action plan. The pandemic has increased levels of food insecurity in our most vulnerable communities and our success as a Gold Sustainable Food City has given us the added momentum to tackle food insecurity head-on.
To continue our journey towards a resilient food system in Bristol, we all need to be involved, at home and at work, in communities and through our institutions and I am excited to see the next phase of this work take shape.