Bwyd Sir Gâr Food

Empowering communities through a co-productive approach, our vision as a strategic local food partnership is to enable social, cultural, environmental, and economic regeneration. Inspired by the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, we are working for a thriving, sustainable, resilient, diverse and equitable local food system. 

Our partnership includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services, Hywel Dda Unitary Health Board, Social Farms & Gardens, Natural Resources Wales, Castell Howell Foods, University of Wales Trinity St Davids, Carmarthenshire Public Services Board and Carmarthenshire Food Network.   

Just over one year into our membership of Sustainable Food Places, bringing together a strong stakeholder group, we have started to lay the groundwork for an exciting journey to make Carmarthenshire more sustainable through transforming our local food system.

What we do

  • Using funds obtained by the Welsh Governments Local Food Partnership Development Grant we are working to develop more community growing, cooking and meal sharing linked to food poverty alleviation projects across the county, employing a new Carmarthenshire Food Network Officer to work alongside our Sustainable Food Places Officer.
  • We are working with Hywel Dda Unitary Health Board's Community Health Improvement team to embed Nutrition Skills for Life training for staff and volunteers in community food settings across the county.
  • We are developing a 'library of things', combined with training for nature and climate friendly growing techniques, to assist small-scale growers to scale-up production.
  • We have been working with our Public Services Board to develop a food strategy for the county.
  • We are putting in place plans to build on our learning aggregating produce to supply to the public sector with a school meals pilot, working with Carmarthenshire County Council and funded by the Backing Local Firms Foundational Economy Fund. Working with local producers, this will be focussed on menu redesign around seasonality, local availability, reducing the environmental impact of food production and benefiting the local economy. 

Areas of expertise

Partnership & Collaboration

Awareness and Engagement

Tackling Food Poverty

Promoting Healthy Eating

Good Food Procurement

Transforming Local Supply Chains

Climate & Nature Friendly Food

During the covid-19 lockdown from Feb 2021, facilitated by Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services, we developed a grassroots food network in cluster groups including sustainable producers, community growers, chefs, community food providers, wider support organisations working to alleviate factors that lead to food poverty. Our aim for the network was to 'connect, support and share' for a more joined up, resilient, healthy and inclusive food system, and we now have over one hundred members across our local food system.

We have been working between our cluster groups to increase access to fresh food at emergency food services across the county. The first stage of this work, funded by Wales Poverty Alleviation fund, concluded in May 2022 and the final report can be found here.

We developed a strategic steering group to take forward the work as a member of Sustainable Food Places (Bwyd Sir Gâr Food). Our group has successfully worked with the local Public Services Board to ensure that equitable access to healthy food is a key objective for the county's Wellbeing Plan for the next 5-years.

After engaging across Carmarthenshire Food Network and through a county-wide survey of residents, town and community councils, organisations and businesses, we developed a plan for the next stage of our work to foster more 'wrap-around wider support' for those experiencing food poverty and accessing services including better sign-posting, the opportuntity to get involved with community activities and skills building including growing, cooking and meal sharing. We are working with partners at the local authority to identify suitable green assets for community, as well as commercial food production.

Over the last year we have worked with Social Farms & Gardens through the Resilient Green Spaces programme to develop a sustainable procurement food hub to supply locally grown sustainable fruit and vegetables to the public sector. We have built relationships with the catering and procurement teams at the local authority to supply to a residential care home for the elderly, a primary and secondary school as well as a leisure park visitors cafe. The project was a great success giving confidence to our fledgling edible horticulture sector in the county and enabling plans to be made for the next steps to supply more sustainable Welsh veg into school meals. Watch the explainer film here.

This summer we will be working with Food Sense Wales and the local authority to support the Food & Fun holiday enrichment programme by supplying a diverse range of local seasonal fruit and vegetables for the programme, as well as organising local farm visits for the children.