Pledges wanted to make Cardiff one of the most sustainable food places in the UK

A new campaign hopes to set Cardiff on the path to becoming one of the UK’s most sustainable food places.

Food Cardiff, a city-wide partnership of more than 200 individuals and organisations – is asking people from all walks of life to ‘make a pledge’ and take action, to help Cardiff achieve Gold Sustainable Food Places status by the year 2024.

It is hoped that the pledges will empower Cardiffians to create a thriving local food economy, where everyone has access to food that is both healthy, and environmentally sustainable.

A Sustainable Food Place

Last year, Cardiff was awarded Silver Sustainable Food Places status – becoming the first place in Wales (and one of only six places in the UK) to achieve the prestigious accolade; the scheme is based on bronze, silver and gold achievements across six key sustainable food issues.

Independent businesses, cooperatives, third-sector organisations, and major institutions (such as Cardiff Council and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) now want to see Cardiff strive for the gold standard, to become one of the UK’s most sustainable food places.

In support, they feature in a series of films which highlight some of the pledges in action; the first looks at the benefit of shopping and eating with sustainability in mind.

Case Study: Shopping & Eating Sustainably

Riverside Farmers’ Market was founded more than 20 years ago and has since grown to become one of the best known in the U.K. With markets taking place in Rhiwbina, Roath and Riverside on a weekly basis, the basic rule for all traders is that they must have grown, raised or made everything they sell themselves.

Riverside founder Steve Garrett explained how farmer’s markets can offer a more sustainable way of shopping: “From low food miles, to lower levels of plastic, farmers markets cut out a lot of the waste. Fruit and veg comes out of the fields and it’s straight into the back of a van – that’s as fresh as it can possibly be. When people come to our markets, people can trust where the food has come from, but not only that – it tastes fantastic, too.”

But it’s not just farmers’ markets where produce comes fresh from the field; Ieva grows food from scratch at her allotment in Birchgrove. She said, “A lot of what I do and how I do it is to ensure I’m not disturbing the ecosystem, but contributing and enriching it. And in the summer months, I don’t even need to go to the greengrocers.”

Ieva also donates any surplus she has to the local community. She explains, “I was conscious that for people who might have to rely on foodbanks, they might not have access to fresh, healthy food; I give whatever I have extra so that they can have a better chance of a good, nutritious meal from produce which has been grown sustainably.”

Further case study videos will highlight the ways that people can pledge to make Cardiff’s food scene healthier, more connected, more empowered, and more locally-focussed.

The campaign to make Cardiff a more sustainable food city is being co-ordinated by Food Cardiff, the city’s rapidly growing food partnership which has evolved into a dynamic and inclusive city-wide network.

Food Cardiff’s Sustainable Food Places Coordinator Pearl Costello explained, “Food Cardiff believes that the food we eat has a huge impact on life in Cardiff – not just on people’s health, but on communities and businesses, farmers and food producers, and the environment too. Good food creates strong, healthy, resilient communities which thrive. We are so excited to launch this campaign to give every single person – and organisation – in Cardiff a chance to make a pledge – or a few – and put Cardiff on the path to becoming one of the most sustainable cities in the UK.”

Food Cardiff is part of Food Sense Wales, which aims to influence how food is produced and consumed in Wales, ensuring that sustainable food, farming and fisheries are at the heart of a just, connected and prosperous food system.

The Food Cardiff strategy board also includes ten volunteer members from a range of organisations including Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Riverside Farmers’ Markets, Public Health Wales, Action in Caerau and Ely as well as many others.

Through this network, Food Cardiff is driving change at a city level and is working to tackle some of today’s biggest social, economic and environmental issues.