Fresh Ideas (East Brighton New Deal for Communities)

Brighton beach October 2002

Brighton beach October 2002 (Photo credit: What’s the rush)

The initiative has set up several clubs, activities, workshops, and a fruit and vegetable voucher scheme, in order to increase access to a healthy diet and contribute to reducing levels of obesity. eb4U is a Government funded regeneration organisation for East Brighton. In 2000 the area was awarded £47.2 million of New Deal for Communities funding, which is to be spent over the next 10 years to help regenerate the area. Decisions about how the money should be spent are made by various boards and panels, which are made up in the majority by East Brighton residents.  The work is being lead by the health4all team, which is made up of a range of people from voluntary and statutory organisations in Brighton and Hove, and their role with local people and local organisations is to look at new ways of improving health in the area.
The Fresh Ideas worker has the responsibility of promoting healthy eating and developing access to fresh food products. The main aim is to increase access to a healthy diet and contribute to reducing levels of obesity (with access referring to affordability, awareness, acceptability and availability). The work carried out is based on the issues and concerns of local residents and these are conveyed  via a Food Interest Group (FIG), which has been set up. The Group consists of local residents, health visitors, and statutory representatives and during their meetings various requests and ideas are suggested upon which work is based.
For example one request was for a local affordable slimming club, and another was more accessible, affordable fruit and vegetables. These projects and others are listed in more detail below. At the end of each year the success of the projects is evaluated, also taking into account the results of MORI polls, which measures the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the area.

For more info on this project, just visit FOOD VISION

Food Vision toolkits

English: Local food cartoon created for Transi...

English: Local food cartoon created for Transition Town Worthing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food Vision toolkits provide more detailed information and guidance about specific types of initiative, such as farmers’ markets or local food strategies, or settings for food work such as schools or workplaces. They draw together good practice from a number of local and regional initiatives in delivering a particular project. In general the toolkits aim to provide an overview of what is involved in setting up a food project, covering areas such as benefits, policy, legislation, as well as links to other useful websites.

Just visit them here!

A Web App to Empower Urban Food Communities

English: A small urban agriculture project in ...

English: A small urban agriculture project in Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CITIES is a European urban research institute who, in late 2010, began work on a pilot project which aimed to ‘empower and support the creation of a local food system’. With the pilot deemed a success, CITIES have unveiled – an online tool which showcases urban agriculture projects in Amsterdam.Projects are displayed on an interactive map alongside case study information. This includes type of project (commercial, community, innovation), status (start-up, on-going, completed) and position within the local food system (sourcing, preparation, distribution, consumption). Farming the City aims to encourage the development of local food systems:
Local food systems build place-based, self-reliant food economies in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption come together to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place. They provide employment, generate income and support social equity.The broader issue of urban land use is also integral to the project, with detailed information on trends and local issues available on the site. By addressing common challenges and providing a venue for urban agriculture information, Farming the City aims to encourage knowledge sharing among urban farmers.
Food prices in Europe hit a record high in 2011, yet urban agriculture opportunities are still not being maximised. By reimagining green space and neglected areas, we can create more sustainable cities. Farming the City is currently Amsterdam-specific, but the concept clearly has potential for global application. If you’re based in Amsterdam and have an urban agriculture project to contribute, click the image below to join in. The wealth of information and inspiring case studies are enough of a reason for non-Amsterdam residents to visit too, so check it out – it might just encourage your own urban agriculture revolution.


The Plymouth Food Charter

Good food is vital to the quality of peoples’ lives in Plymouth. By promoting healthy and sustainable food as part of a thriving food economy, the Plymouth Food Charter aims to improve health and wellbeing for all and to create a more connected, resilient and sustainable City. Signatories to the Charter – which include public, private and community partners – are committed to promoting the pleasure and importance of good food to help create a vibrant and diverse food culture. We will work together to increase both the demand and supply of delicious and affordable, fresh, seasonal, local and organic food throughout Plymouth in order to achieve:
  • A thriving local economy
  •     Encouraging a greater number and diversity of food enterprises and jobs, making the most of Plymouth’s rich land and sea resources.
  •     Sourcing healthy and sustainable food from local producers and suppliers, keeping value within the local economy.
  • Health and wellbeing for all
  •     Raising awareness of the importance of a nutritious, balanced diet and improving the availability of affordable healthy food.
  •     Providing a wide range of community growing and other food-related activities to improve physical and mental health for people of all ages
  • Resilient, close-knit communities
  •     Promoting and celebrating the food and culinary traditions of all cultures  through a variety of public events, such as Plymouth’s Flavourfest.
  •     Supporting local and city-wide food  initiatives that bring communities  together and help them to improve their neighbourhoods.

    Plymouth Hoe

    Plymouth Hoe (Photo credit: Arcturus Aldebaran)

  • Life long learning & skills
  •     Giving everyone the opportunity to learn about good food – how to grow it, how to cook it, how to eat it and how to enjoy it.
  •     Inspiring and enabling organisations such as schools, hospitals,  businesses and other caterers to transform their food culture.
  • A reduced eco-footprint
  •     Supporting food production that protects wildlife and nature; reducing food miles, packaging and waste; and increasing composting and recycling.
  •     Maximising the use of greenspace and brownfield sites in and around Plymouth to produce food for local people.

More info HERE

South West Food & Drink (SWFD)

An overcast day in Plymouth, south-west England

An overcast day in Plymouth, south-west England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The South West of England is at the forefront of the UK’s food and drink industry. Rooted in a rich and varied landscape, and drawing on its tradition and heritage, the sector is now one of the most advanced in the country, if not Europe.
South West Food & Drink (SWFD) works with the sector to help it do better business and in turn generate more jobs and build a stronger local economy.
We do this through:
•…developing new approaches to solving supply chain issues;
•…improving workforce skills, from leadership and management to the shop and factory floor; and
•…through helping businesses to promote their products to new markets.
We are here to add value to the sector, foster innovation and investment, help to create new jobs (and safeguard existing jobs), and help the sector achieve sustainability – all key policy threads of the coalition Government.
We are ideally placed to work with Local Enterprise Partnerships and provide specialist expertise to the food and drink sector; together we can support local economic development, generate new investment and improve employment.
As a direct result an extra 750 jobs have been created; and that figure could be as high as 1,900, according to research and evaluation undertaken by Ecotec.

A definition of Local Food Systems

A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

A single week’s fruits and vegetables from community-supported agriculture share: peppers, okra, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, garlic, eggplant, squash. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In contrast, Local Food Systems (LFS) are networks of small local businesses, charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups driven by ‘bottom-up’ innovation at a local level. They include a diverse range of initiatives (such as box schemes, farmers’ markets, community growing and Community Supported Agriculture) intended to develop closer links between consumers and producers. Local Food Systems have their roots in society and their strength lies in the people who create and manage them; the goodwill of consumers and producers; and in the strong motivation that lies behind them. They can help reduce the use of fossil fuels and other resources (through less food miles and lower use of agricultural inputs) and improve biodiversity (through a variety of organic, agro-ecological, low-input or permaculture farming methods); increase food security; give low income groups access to good food and healthy diets; strengthen local communities and economies; and sustain small enterprises and improve the viability of small farms. Although it is difficult to quantify benefits, greater community engagement and better diets can also have positive impacts on mental health; reduce loneliness in the elderly; speed up recovery times in hospitals; and help to reduce offending and anti-social behaviour.   

Balanced Nutrition at Work: The European Food Project

Why is it essential to encourage healthy eating habits towards employees during their lunch break? How helping employees in their everyday choices? Which messages and which tools are they expecting? What are the restaurants doing to answer this growing demand about healthy eating?

Experts in the field of nutrition and public health will gather on May 31st, 2011 at the FOOD Conference in order to bring answers to these questions. They will present their initiatives and views on this innovative project which enabled to develop and test concrete solutions for the promotion of balanced nutrition in six European Member states. More than a best practices exchange, a broad dissemination will be launched in other countries with a programme adaptable to local specificities.

The 25 public and private partners as well as high-level European political participants will enrich the discussions with testimonies about their own experience and will to act.

May 31st, 2011 at the European Parliament, the FOOD Conference proposes to exceed the theory and seize the keys to act.

The FOOD project

In the framework of the Second Programme of Community action in the field of Health, a public-private consortium, gathering representatives of Public Health Authorities, nutritionists and Universities, developed the FOOD project (

English: Healthy eating pyramid similar to tha...

English: Healthy eating pyramid similar to that of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

), co-funded by DG SANCO, and headed by Edenred. It concentrates on health promotion in the workplace.

A unique and innovative communication canal between employees and restaurants staff has been built thanks to the Meal Voucher network, in order to promote balanced nutrition. It is known that employees set aside good nutrition precepts when they are working. A lack of time, information and knowledge result in bad habits and lead to negative effects on health the overall wellbeing.

2 objectives:

Sensitise employees in order to help them to improve their nutrition habits

Improve the nutritional quality of the food offer by working with restaurants

More info

A taste of Europe

Slow Food Messe in Stuttgart 2007

Slow Food Messe in Stuttgart 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)