Belfast Food Network (BFN) was set up in 2014 to join Sustainable Food Places (formerly Sustainable Food Cities) and make food a defining feature of the city. The network comprised of 60 organisations across six working groups that secured a bronze award in 2016. It became clear that a regional approach was neccessary and we have been building a sustainable food movement across the province for three years, resulting in the emergence of four new food partnerships that we are supporting to develop plans and embed sustainable food.
During the covid pandemic BFN has been busy tackling many of the food related issues that are affecting our communities, environment and economy. We helped people to build their food knowledge and skills by turning our Nourish programme into an online resource (https://www.facebook.com/watch/468789536478461/837743740050444), provided micro grants to 27 small businesses and food initiatives to help them adapt their business models to covid, recruited 35 veg advocates for Peas Please in Northern Ireland, who will help to increase people's veg consumption in thier local areas.
We are also running a sustainable fish campaign with Ulster Wildlife to promote sustainable fish through procurement; a healthy start campaign with Food NI and the Food Foundation (funded by Food Power) to increase the number of shops that accept the vouchers and secure added value in-store; providing support to the Now Project through Ready, Healthy Eat, to increase understanding of sustainable food in the organisation, with sevice users and customer base.