Support for local food growing initiatives, the development of a city centre food plan, fast food ‘exclusion zones’ around Cardiff’s schools, extending the roll out of a programme offering healthy meals to children during the school holidays, and more restrictions on junk food advertising are some of the ideas included in a new food strategy by Cardiff Council.
The new strategy, which has been approved at the Cabinet meeting last week, has been developed to support Cardiff’s food partnership vision to enable everyone in Cardiff to have access to good quality, affordable food.
It aims to celebrate Cardiff’s food culture, address health and inequality issues, contribute to lowering the city’s carbon footprint and, via the city’s local food partnership, Food Cardiff, help the city to achieve Silver Sustainable City Status.
A council spokesman said: “Cities are defined by the quality, availability and affordability of their food. It’s a fundamental issue for everyone who lives here, or visits here.”
“There is already a lot of good work being done within the council – for example the provision of allotment and community garden space, the School Holiday Enrichment Programme providing healthy meals over the summer break to children in areas of social deprivation, and our recent Veg Pledge to increase the amount of vegetables served in our venues – but food can potentially do so much more.”
“Food can impact on tourism, inequalities, health and well-being, economic development and play a part in Cardiff’s response to the climate emergency – that’s why we want to lead by example, help stimulate change across the city and ensure Cardiff has the good quality, affordable and sustainable food it needs.”
Pearl Costello, Food Cardiff’s co-ordinator said: “Cardiff Council is a founding member of Food Cardiff, alongside Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, universities, grassroots community groups and local businesses. We are delighted to see Cardiff Council’s new food strategy, which has the potential to have a significant positive impact on our local food system and will support our aims to achieve Silver Sustainable Food City status.”
The strategy focuses on 5 key areas for action – fostering food partnerships, tackling food inequalities, increasing local food production, eating out well, and food as a driver for prosperity.
Actions identified in the strategy include:
- Developing a clear plan for food growing in spaces where the Council has control (e.g. allotments, parks, Hubs, schools and ‘meanwhile use’ land).
- Developing a city centre food plan with a focus on providing a diverse and vibrant food economy – identifying appropriate locations where street food will be hosted, revamping Cardiff Market as a sustainable food market (with eat in, takeaway and cook at home options).
- Developing and implementing a policy to restrict junk food advertising across the city (on Council controlled advertising space).
- Mapping the city’s food deserts (areas, usually in deprived communities, lacking food shops, markets and healthcare providers) and areas of fast food outlet saturation.
- Producing a planning guidance note around fast food outlets – considering saturation limits for areas and exclusion zones around schools.
- Integrating policy / standards on the provision of space for local growing within planning policy for major developments.
- Rolling out the successful SHEP (School Holiday Enrichment Programme) across more Cardiff schools.
- Trialling a pop up ‘sustainable food option’ street vendor selection for major events.
- Making water freely available for staff and visitors at refill stations in council buildings.
- Reviewing current school lunchbreak provisions and support schools to adopt a whole school approach to food.
- Developing a food city prospectus.
- Supporting the strategic roll out of community pantries in Cardiff.
- Assessing options to develop a food park – a hub for food bringing together advocates for food, from famers to food entrepreneurs, chefs and business leaders.
- Increasing commercial food growing and production opportunities in the city.