Food Equality Strategy

Today’s blog is by Councillor Ellie King, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities, and One City

The One City Food Equality Strategy sets out a vision for a more equitable food system in Bristol. Designed with input from across the city, it reflects the desire to ensure that food is a right and not a privilege.

Food equality exists when all people, at all times, have access to nutritious, affordable and appropriate food according to their social, cultural and dietary needs. They are equipped with the resources, skills and knowledge to use and benefit from food, which is sourced from a resilient, fair and environmentally sustainable food system.” – One City Food Equality Stakeholders, 2021

We know that people in Bristol have unequal access to nutritious, affordable and sustainably sourced food. Food inequality has been made worse by COVID-19 and is further threatened by impacts of Brexit and climate change.

It is the people who are already most disadvantaged who will feel the impacts of food inequality first and most severely. It is vitally important that we tackle this issue, for our city, our climate and our future. We must act now to ensure an equitable local food system is established.

The draft Food Equality Strategy has been developed in collaboration between Bristol City Council and Feeding Bristol. We have worked with more than 60 organisations to develop the Strategy.

The draft Strategy sets out the strategic aims that we think are needed to achieve food equality in Bristol and sets out five priorities:

  • fair equitable access
  • choice and security
  • skills and resources
  • a sustainable local food system
  • food at the heart of decision-making

We also plan to develop a Food Equality Action Plan which will set out clear and accountable actions to deliver the Strategy for food equality in the city. We intend to develop this Action Plan in early 2022.

Right now, we are asking for the public’s views on our draft One City Food Equality Strategy for Bristol 2022-2032. We are also asking for your ideas about what this will look like as we begin to design an action plan.

The Food Equality Strategy works to identify and tackle the issue of rising food inequality in our city. Informed by community conversations with people who have lived experience of food inequality, it is a legacy of the ‘Going for Gold’ Sustainable Food Places campaign, and builds on work and research that has been carried out over the last two decades in Bristol.

Working alongside the Bristol Good Food Plan 2030, and other One City initiatives that tackle poverty and inequality, its ambitious aim is for a food system that is just and fair. Its scope is far reaching to ensure that food is placed in the heart of communities; looking at issues of access to nutritious, affordable and appropriate food, to our relationship with the land and food production, through to the need to ensure that food is considered as part of city planning and decision making.

This strategy represents an opportunity for Bristol to take a national lead on tackling issues of food insecurity and food inequality more broadly, and with the help of everyone in the city, we have no doubt that this can be made a reality.

The strategy is now out for public consultation until the 23rd of December, and you can click on this link to share your views and opinions now.