Rhondda Cynon Taf Food Partnership Wins National Sustainable Food Places Bronze Award
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are delighted to announce that the RCT Food Partnership has won a prestigious national Sustainable Food Places (SFP) Bronze Award. The award recognises the excellent community partnership work undertaken throughout the County Borough to promote healthy, sustainable, and local food. Additionally, the award highlights the Council’s commitment to addressing significant social challenges such as food poverty, diet-related illnesses, the decline of family farms, and the loss of independent food retailers.
Councillor Bob Harris, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are proud to accept the SFP Bronze Award on behalf of the RCT Food Partnership for their outstanding work in promoting sustainable food practices within our community.
“The Community Development Team’s commitment to promoting healthy and sustainable food has contributed towards positive social change across the County Borough and towards a healthier future.
“I send my congratulations to the team, and the partnership, for being recognised with this well-deserved award.”
This Sustainable Food Places Award is a national, evidence-based award and a celebration of establishments taking a joint, integrated approach to sustainable and healthy food. Awardees have demonstrated activity and impact across their food system to create a local ‘Good Food Movement.’ The Bronze Award is a recognition of the excellent work of the food partnership and of stakeholders across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Thanks to the endeavours of the Council’s Sustainable Food Co-ordinator, the wider Community Development Team, and the vast range of community partners, there has been a remarkable transformation. All have played a key role in successfully connecting stakeholders, initiating community-based food projects, and have continued to develop the strategic and operational RCT Food partnership.
Community Grants managed by the Community Development Team, such as the Food Support Fund, supported by SFP and Trivallis, along with the UKG Shared Prosperity Fund and RCTCBC Community Grant, have played a crucial role in supporting community organisations in delivering food-related projects locally.
The Sustainable Food Places’ assessment feedback included areas of excellent practice within the establishment of a good food movement, including community connection and asset access, as well as work with growers, land, and collective buying. The application was also praised for its ability to emphasise a positive journey towards integrating food systems in an area that is heavily impacted by poverty and health inequalities.
The Council plan to continue this vital work with the ambition of reaching the Silver Award before March 2025, and the Gold Award in time, both of which will continue to make significant contributions to the Climate Change and Corporate Plan commitments.
Rhondda Cynon Taf are currently one of only four Welsh local authority areas to receive the SFP Award since their inception in 2015.
Leon Ballin, Sustainable Food Places Programme Manager, said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the RCT Food Partnership has shown just what can be achieved when creative and committed people work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.
“While there is still much to do and many challenges to overcome, RCT has helped to set a benchmark for other members of the UK Sustainable Food Places Network to follow.
“We look forward to working with them over the months and years ahead to continue to transform RCT’s food culture and food system for the better.”
The Sustainable Food Places programme is a partnership between the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain. It is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund and supports places to transform food culture. Food Sense Wales is Sustainable Food Place’s national partner in Wales and is supporting Wales’ nine current members – Food Cardiff, Food Vale, the Monmouthshire Food Partnership, RCT Food, Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership, Bwyd Powys Food,Bwyd Sir Gâr Food in Carmarthenshire, Bwyd Abertawe in Swansea and the Torfaen Food Partnership.
The Sustainable Food Places programme work across six key areas:
- Taking a strategic and collaborative approach to good food governance and action
- Building public awareness, active food citizenship and a local good food movement
- Tackling food poverty, diet related ill-health and access to affordable healthy food
- Creating a vibrant, prosperous, and diverse sustainable food economy
- Transforming catering and procurement and revitalizing local supply chains
- Tackling the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming and an end to food waste.
For more information about Sustainable Food Places please visit https://www.sustainablefoodplaces.org/