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City Vision 2030: The Future of Food in Our City Brighton & Hove City V|sioning

Our 2030 Vision event:

City Vision 2030: The Future of Food in Our City

City Vision 2030: The Future of Food in Our City

Thu 14 June 2018, 09:00 – 12:00, BA i360, Lower Kings Road BN1 2LN

In Brighton and Hove, with its city centre with such a rich offer of diverse food retail outlets, it is easy to take it for granted that we will walk into a restaurant, café or shop and food will be there, magically produced and delivered from somewhere for our consumption. But this ‘shop front’ doesn’t show the challenges we face – food insecurity, diet related ill health and food waste. Food is a factor in the difference in life expectancy of up to 10 years between the most and the least affluent areas of the city, 1 in 5 residents is experiencing household food insecurity (food poverty) and to support our current diet Brighton and Hove would need farmland eight times the size of our footprint to feed ourselves.

Food is a factor in the difference in life expectancy of up to 10 years between the most and the least affluent areas of the city

As the number of people living in cities increases year on year and is not set to slow down Brighton & Hove City Council are organising a series of 2030 visioning events to ask what do we need to consider in planning a city that is fit for the future? This event, organised in collaboration with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, looks ahead to 2030 to ask what do we need to do to ensure that residents have access to healthy food?

For example:

  • People are very sensitive to changes in food prices and food availability and yet these things are highly likely in the current political, environmental and social context. If it is not business as usual what do we need to do to increase food security?
  • Can vertical faming, lab meat and other emerging technologies in food production keep Brighton and Hove fed in the future?
  • How will we safeguard our residents against food poverty?
  • How can food help us address health inequalities?
  • What assets does the city have that it needs to protect and enhance to secure food production?

Brighton and Hove was the first UK city to produce a cross sector food strategy and action plan and it has already made a big impact. Our event sought to build on this partnership approach by bringing together stakeholders from different sectors and an expert panel to consider issues around how, what and where we will eat in the future, and how the future of food will shape our city and our lives.

A panel of speakers from within and outside of the city helped to frame the discussion.

The event was introduced and hosted by Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive of Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, who was able to share a national and international perspective on the issues around the food of the future. Since 2016 Kath has been leading the alliance’s response to Brexit and could share insight into its implications for healthy and sustainable food, farming and fishing.

Her perspective on visioning is that it takes a change in mindset. To shift food systems takes vision and inspirational people, starting with a conversation. This is slowly starting to happen and Brighton is leading the charge.

Our keynote speaker Carolyn Steele is an architect, lecturer, writer and leading thinker on food and cities. Her 2008 book Hungry City: How food shapes our lives won international acclaim. Her TED talk is available in the Official TED resources library.

Finally, Vic Borrill, Director of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, gave a Brighton and Hove perspective. Vic has been Director of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership since 2008 and spoke about how the organisation works to use the power of food to improve lives and achieve a vision of a healthy, fair, sustainable food system for the city.

Our video below captures some of the discussion arising from the day:

Who was there?

Attendees at the Event

In between speakers a wide range of attendees engaged in kitchen table work, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the food of the future. Tables were asked to consider:

  • What has struck you about what you have heard?
  • What do we need to think about in Brighton & Hove?
  • Looking ahead to 2030 how will you know you are in a ‘Gold standard’ Sustainable Food City?

Key themes arising were:

  • Integrating food and City Planning, better use of land assets, creating edible urban spaces, visibility of food in our city, access to healthy and affordable food for all residents in all areas of the city
  • Closing the inequalities gap and ending the ‘tale of two cities’
  • The social and emotional value of food
  • Restoring the links between production and consumption of food
  • Weaving food into the education system and curriculum
  • Climate change
  • Addressing food waste
  • Harnessing future tech developments for good
  • And many more...

Post-event we surveyed attendees and asked: What do you think is the most important question for policy makers when considering food in our city in the future towards 2030?

Their answers were as follows:

"How will policy makers ensure that citywide 'award winning' policies (such as the Minimum Buying Standards for catering contracts, or the Supplementary Planning Document) are not just adopted but actively enforced and seen as a priority area for the city council?"
"Ending the inequalities in food: access, diet, health outcomes, breastfeeding."
"How can we address inequalities in access to food, quality food and opportunities for growing food from a social determinants perspective (rather than an individual 'responsibility' perspective)?"
"How to make good food affordable and accessible to all and to address inequalities"
"How can we ensure that food is healthy, sustainable, fair and secure?"
"How to make healthy food everybody's business"
"To ensure that any policy is truly inclusive"
"How to integrate food in development plans to ensure community areas maximise opportunities for local food sourcing."
"How to maximise food literacy, which helps in reducing inequalities"
"How do we get the big players (e.g. hospitals, schools, retailers, large employers) in the city to work collaboratively to achieve a common aim?"
"How do we become the city with the least food waste and least food poverty?"
"Whether they want to continue to plan in line with fast food becoming all people think about or whether they want people to have a more positive relationship with food e.g. with socialisation and growing food and mental health."

In her closing remarks Kath Dalmeny asked the room to raise their hands if they felt they were in a position to do something about what they had heard and discussed at the event, and around the 2030 vision, and every hand in the room was raised.

If you would like to contribute to the discussion around the future of food in our city please feel free to click through the link and comment on our event video, or to send any thoughts and comments by email to lauren.eagle@brighton-hove.gov.uk

This is not intended to be a traditional consultation process, presenting proposals on which to comment, rather a series of discussions, led by a range of people from across the city where we can look at the issues and decisions that we need to face in the future and provide insight and opinion to help our city leaders to take those decisions over the next few years.

All information gathered at this event, and other 2030 Events, will be fed back to city leaders and decision makers, and a feedback event is planned for the Autumn.

Further details will be made available.

Credits:

Created with images by Myriams-Fotos - "hatching chicks egg shell break bill" • EugenesDIYDen - "seedling seeds plants growing gardening horticulture delicate" • stevepb - "hypertension high blood pressure heart medical ill" • Tim Mossholder - "Lettuce for Days" • Josh Couch - "Be afraid of the enormity of the possible." • Ross Findon - "Change" • alexeyborodin - "Empty white plate and fork with traces of eaten blackberry pie"

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