Peterborough shortlisted as a sustainable food city to tackle obesity, food poverty and climate change

One million pounds is to be invested in the UK’s first ‘Sustainable Food Cities’ programme, which will use healthy and sustainable food to address some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems including obesity, food poverty and climate change.

In recognition of its pioneering work transforming food culture, and commitment to creating the UK’s Environment Capital, Peterborough has been selected as a founding member of the UK-wide Sustainable Food Cities Network launched today. The Network will enable cities to learn from each other and work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of their city.

As part of the Sustainable Food Cities programme – which is led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain and funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation – Peterborough now gets a chance to be one of six cities to receive funding to become a model Sustainable Food City and to receive the national recognition of being formally awarded Sustainable Food City status. More than 100 urban areas across the UK are expected to have joined the Sustainable Food City Network by the end of the 3 year programme.

Karen Lawrence from Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) is leading Peterborough’s bid to be a Sustainable Food City, she said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted; this is testament to the innovative work already being undertaken in the city by a range of partners to encourage healthier eating and living. This programme complements the work already being done and would allow us to roll out some of the most successful initiatives more widely across the city. We’ll be working in schools and communities to get people making simple but vital changes for better health and wellbeing. We’ll help people learn about fresh ingredients, healthier options for meals and packed lunches, cooking from scratch and growing fruit and veg.”

Speaking about the project, Tom Andrews, Soil Association programme manager of Sustainable Food Cities said: “The Sustainable Food Cities programme is about using food to improve people’s health and wellbeing, creating new businesses and jobs and reducing our impact on the environment. Food is not only at the heart of some of today’s greatest challenges but is also a vital part of the solution. The Sustainable Food Cities Network will create cities where every school, hospital, restaurant and workplace canteen serve only healthy and sustainable meals; where everyone has access to affordable fresh, seasonal, local and sustainably produced food no matter where they live; and where people of all ages and backgrounds have opportunities to learn about, grow and cook food.  It is about creating cities where good food is visible and celebrated in every corner and where people’s right to eat healthy and sustainable food is embedded into every relevant policy and strategy.”

The Sustainable Food Cities Network is an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations using food as a vehicle for driving positive changes. The Network helps people and places to share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice in all aspects of sustainable food.

Peterborough will find out in October if it has been chosen as one of the six cities to become a model Sustainable Food City and to receive the national recognition of being formally awarded Sustainable Food City status.