The Belfast Sustainable Food Partnership has been born out of the amazing work that the Belfast Food Network (BFN) did in the city since 2014 as one of the early partners on the Sustainable Food Places (formerly Sustainable Food Cities) network, with the aim to 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 BFN has been building a sustainable food movement across the province for three years, resulting in the emergence of seven new food partnerships that are supporting the development of plans and embed sustainable food. Nourish NI now supports a regional effort across NI to coordinate sustainable food with the new emerging partnerships.
The Belfast Sustainable Food Partnership is now being energised in 2023 with a new approach and governance and coordination being provided by Belfast City Council's Cliamte and Inclusive Growth and Anti-Poverty teams.
During the covid pandemic BFN tackled many of the food related issues that are affecting our communities, environment and economy. It 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.
BFN is 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.