A MIDDLESBROUGH sustainable food initiative has won recognition with a prestigious national award.
Middlesbrough Food Partnership has received a Sustainable Food Cities Bronze Award for its work in making healthy, value for money food available to all.
The Sustainable Food Cities network works with towns and cities across the UK to help them establish a food partnership and develop a local food action plans.
The Middlesbrough Food Partnership was formed in 2010 by Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC), bringing together local businesses, organisations and community groups with a passion for growing food, eating healthily and ensuring value for money food is accessible to everyone.
Middlesbrough’s first ever Food Action Plan was launched in 2015 and has since worked hard towards achieving its Bronze Award by delivering actions which cover every aspect of food in the town from growing or procuring food to dealing with food related waste.
Notable achievements include:
- The continued success of the MEC-hosted Town Meal which draws around 6,000 visitors each year. The event includes a free meal cooked using contributed vegetables from local community allotments
- A series of Local Food Weekends have been held in the town to support local food businesses which help to boost the local economy by promoting locally produced food in the town.
- School holiday projects offering food and activities for school children during the holidays and slow cooker workshops where low income families can get tips on producing healthy low-cost meals.
There are currently 50 places in the UK who have joined Sustainable Food Cities and Middlesbrough is now one of only eight to have achieved this standard.
MEC Director Mark Fishpool collected the Award on behalf of the Middlesbrough Food Partnership at the Sustainable Food Cities annual conference in Edinburgh on Monday, June 12.
He said: “We are very proud to have achieved this award.
“Food plays an important part of our local economy and access to affordable and nutritious food is vital to the health of our residents.
“Achieving this award will go a long way to help us promote this work to businesses, organisations and residents of Middlesbrough.
“And we’re not resting on our laurels – work is already under way towards achieving our Silver Award.”
Cllr Julia Rostron, Chair of Middlesbrough Environment City said: “This is great news for Middlesbrough and recognition of the excellent work of the Middlesbrough Food Partnership.
“We want Middlesbrough to be a place where local people can eat good quality, healthy food that is easy to buy, offers value for money and is produced locally wherever possible.”
Tom Andrews from Sustainable Food Cities said: “Middlesbrough’s pioneering work on healthy and sustainable food clearly demonstrates the benefits this brings for people’s health, for the local economy and for the wider environment.
“In achieving the Sustainable Food Cities Award, Middlesbrough has become a leading light in the good food movement and an inspirational model for other towns and cities across the UK.”