Sustainable Food Derby has been developing since October 2019 as it looks to ensure the city of Derby becomes a more sustainable city in all aspects of food. During the pandemic in 2020 more partners rapidly came together to initially ensure everyone in our city was supported but long term to develop our own food charter and look at all aspects of food including potential waste, education, procurement, poverty & deprivation, health, environment and promoting a local, vibrant, diverse and sustainable food economy. We believe that every citizen of Derby should have access to a choice of affordable, good quality, healthy food - which will encourage a vibrant local economy and be good for the environment. Food plays a vital role in improving our own and our communities’ health and wellbeing, as well as helping to address Derby’s social, economic and environmental problems. Currently our chair is Paul Brookhouse from Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance and is ably supported by partners across all sectors. We meet on a regular basis and are curently establishing 6 sub groups around our food charter to develop a clear plan of work.
For the last 18/24 months we have been developing various activities together as well as building on some of the amzing things already here in Derby. As the Pandemic hit we quickly developed a universal approach to tackling food poverty by creating a co-ordinated approach so that 11 food banks all offered the same service to it's beneficiaries. This includes having a large storage unit that helps to facilitate donations, purchased items and food at risk of being wasted to be distributed via an online order service to food banks and community groups. We have also opened 3 community shops that promoted dignity, choice and less waste for beneficiaries and will open 2 eco-shops in 2022. We have also established our own Food Charter for Derby which has been endorsed by the local authority and political parties and we plan to develop actions plans for the next 12 months under each of the key heading to promote it's work but also ensure it is a live document. This year was the first year we were able to work with Marketing Derby to award a Sustainability Award through the the Food & Drink awards!!
We are working on a new initiative around fruit and veg, to encourage local produce to be utilised on allotments, promote healthy eating, give people opportunities to cook and taste local and cultural food within their communities as well as support those most in need.
We also want to develop a city wide strategy around potential food waste so that the carbon footprint of food leaving the city to be re-distrubuted is addressed but also that it is fairly distributed within our city for all to access.
We will be looking to actively encourage the Local Authority to set an example over the next 12 months and review all of it's procurement processes around food to align it with the principles of the Food Charter, that will encourage other partners to do the same.
Now we are members of Sustainable Food Places, we can use 2022 to be a platform for expanding the wide scope and ideas.