Vale citizens unite to shape a sustainable local food plan

Twenty-five citizens from across the Vale of Glamorgan – representing local food producers, food poverty project leaders, independent businesses, food activities and community food growers – came together last week to put forward their ideas for a sustainable local food system in the Vale.

The session – which took the form of an online collaborative workshop – began with an opportunity to look at examples of other sustainable food activities from across the country, before splitting up into break-out rooms to discuss ideas that would be best-fit for the Vale. The break-out rooms were organised according to Food Vale’s three key priority areas: a good meal for everyone every day, thriving independent businesses which are supported and valued, and think global, eat local.

On the topic of ‘a good meal every day’, there were some interesting discussions around nutrition and the need for training and education on cooking skills, seasonality – particularly early interventions with younger generations. The break-out room on ‘thriving businesses’ considered the challenges faced by local businesses who often have to develop lots of new skills to be able to perform the tasks necessary to run a food business, and identified a potential solution to create more opportunities for connecting and networking with other businesses to share learning and resources. The final topic on ‘think global’ put forward some great ideas around composting and increasing opportunities to buy local, fresh produce.

“This is the first meeting of its kind in the Vale. It was fantastic to see such great representation of different groups across the Vale. I’m confident that with this level of engagement, the good food movement will continue to go from strength to strength”

– Louise Denham, Food Vale Coordinator

The next steps will be to review these ideas and combine them to form a sustainable local food plan of action for the year ahead – building on the great work that is already being done across the Vale. The Action Plan will include short- and long-term activities that will demonstrate the thriving local good food movement, as well as contributing towards our application for the Sustainable Food Places Bronze Award next year.

The meetings – which will occur once every three months – are a chance for people to connect with one another and form a collective voice for positive change in the Vale, as well as delivering on actions to bring about this change. To stay up to date on future opportunities, sign up to our newsletter.