First Cardiff Food Summit Tackles Food Inequality

Food Cardiff’s first Food Summit brings together more than 50 organisations to ‘crack food inqualiaties.’

CS 1Thank you to everyone who helped to make Food Cardiff’s first Food Summit a success. The feedback we’ve recieved from the event has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re looking forward with you all to reduce food inequalities in our city.

Representatives from more than 50 public, private and third sector organisations attended the event Cardiff University on the 20th October 2014 to share information and coordinate actions plans that tackle food poverty in the city.

Speakers from the Centre of Food Policy, Sustain, Riverside Market, South Wales Police and Cardiff and Vale Public Health Board highlighted the issues around food poverty; and in breakout groups, the attendees worked together to share resources and suggest solutions.

Martin Caraher of the Centre for Food Policy, City University London said after the event:

“It’s great to see institutions brought together in such a comprehensive way. What’s needed is practical planning – we need to get to the underlying reasons behind the issue of food inequality, not just the symptoms. That’s what this summit and Food Cardiff’s action plan offers,” he said.

CS3At the summit, academic speakers outlined the main issues around food inequality and food poverty before delegates were challenged to create a number of action plans including the formation of an independent working group to monitor and tackle food inequality in Cardiff, increasing the availability and affordability of healthy food and improving food knowledge.

Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University School of Planning and Geography told me:

“A city that respects its food, respects itself. It’s so important that the key institutions in the city – in education, health and government – which can really make a difference to promoting a healthier food system are all here together tonight. They all recognise that they can achieve together, what none could achieve working alone – and the collective power of purchase can create more market demand for healthier food.”

Over dinner I spoke with Jane Forshaw, Director of Environment, Cardiff Council. She said:

“This is the most important event in the history of tackling food inequality in Cardiff. Nearly 30% of 4-5 year olds in the most deprived areas of Cardiff are overweight or obese – if we’re going to reverse statistics like this, we have to work across all sectors in a focussed way for example, in considering a tax on sugary drinks.”

After the event, Jenny Rathbone AM praised the energy of the people who had come and said:

CS4“We have to have the ambition to make Cardiff an exemplar of healthy, affordable, sustainable food. The group of people who met here tonight have the vision and determination to make that happen.”

Katie Palmer who runs Food Cardiff added:

“The event has brought together a wide range of private, public and third sector organisations to work on how best we deliver Food Cardiff’s 10 point Fair Food Charter. From the workshops held this evening, working groups have been formed which will now take specific actions to help us crack the issue of food inequality in the city.”

At the end of the night, a number of the attending businesses and organisations signed up to the Food Charter – a a guide that identifies key areas where life in Cardiff can be improved through fairer food, impacting health, communities, businesses and the environment. If you couldn’t attend, you can still sign up – contact Katie Palmer for more details.

The event was hosted by Cardiff University whose catering team had worked with Welsh producers to serve a meal which met the gold standard Food for Life catering mark.

Cracking Food Inqualities
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