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Big action driven by significant knowledge, vision and urgency are the flavours of the day in the Oxfordshire sustainable food scene. Read on for the newly-ratified Oxfordshire Food Strategy, the latest international report on food and climate, and national recognition for Oxfordshire in leading the way for planet-friendly diets. Plus network news and events.

A new food strategy for Oxfordshire 

We're excited to announce the launch of a new food strategy for Oxfordshire.

A man washing apples before they go into a millGood Food Oxfordshire has been working with a multi-stakeholder group to develop a strategy that aims to make healthy and sustainable food accessible and affordable whilst improving the sustainability and resilience of our local food system.

In Oxfordshire we are facing real food challenges through the pressures of food poverty, the climate emergency, a diet-related ill-health crisis, and food supply issues. Working together, towards a coherent food strategy, can push back against these pressures and deliver a vision in which everyone in Oxfordshire can enjoy the healthy and sustainable food that they need every day.

The food strategy identifies five areas for priority action:

  • Tackle food poverty and diet-related ill health.
  • Build vibrant food communities with the capacity and skills to enjoy food together.
  • Grow our local food economy through local enterprises, local jobs and local wealth creation.
  • Strengthen short, transparent local food supply chains.
  • Improve the health and sustainability of institutional catering.

Ensuring that 'food thinking' is embedded within existing policies and plans as well as developing new initiatives is critical to the success of the strategy. The next step is to develop Food Action Plans for each District and the City of Oxford to embed and deliver the strategy within local action.

We will be setting up working groups to plan the development of Food Action Plans for each area - if you would like to get involved then contact mail@gfo.org.uk to register interest and find out more.

You can read the Oxfordshire Food Strategy here and the Appendix is here.

Putting climate on everyone's table

The Food Research Collaboration has produced a succinct summary of what the IPCC WG3 report says about food and diet. The key messages from the report are:

Food-related decisions, from individual up to policy level, are very relevant to climate change;

These decisions could make significant, ‘gigatonscale’ differences to GHG emission levels;

Action is called for on the ‘demand’ side (i.e. how we use high-emitting goods and services, including in the food system) as well as on the supply side (how we produce them);

Demand-side measures come with 'multiple interacting benefits’ – for example, improvements to nutrition and health;

Individual behavioural change is insufficient for climate change mitigation unless embedded in structural and cultural change;

‘Choice architecture’ – interventions or ‘nudges’ based on how choices are presented to people – can shape their demand decisions;

Sustainable food systems that provide healthy diets for all are within reach but require actions from all sectors, including better agricultural practices; consumers changing their diets; and food producers, distributors, retailers and consumers reducing food waste.

The report also highlights the impact that food system and dietary choices have on emissions....

Food systems are associated with roughly 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions;

Looking at household's carbon footprints, the food sector 'dominates in all income groups' and also accounts for 48% of household impact on land and 70% of household impact on water resources;

Roughly 20-40% of food produced worldwide is wasted before it reaches the market;

Better consumption behaviours could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70%.

It's not all doom and gloom....the report is confident that sustainable food systems that provide healthy diets for all are within reach but require changes at all stages from producer to consumer and waste management. We need better agricultural, processing, distribution and retail practices so that our supply chains waste less and produce fewer emissions. On the demand side, we need to focus on 'less and better meat', and more plant-based options in everyone's diets. To support better choices we need better 'choice architecture' - without the jargon, that means more places locally where we can access affordable, healthy, sustainable food as well as behavioural nudges from policy makers and retailers that support individual changes.

You can read the policy brief here.

Good Food Grapevine: Food News  

Here are some of the highlights from the network this month! Remember to get in touch with your own grapevine news, and make use of the option of listing your events on our website's calendar at goodfoodoxford.org/events. And if we have helped you, please consider making a regular or occasional donation to contribute to the running of your network – within the range of your organisation’s ability of course.

  • The Switch Up Your Lunch veg pledge turned plates green on June 13th with more than 8,500 people switching to a vegetarian or vegan lunch, and folk even joining in from Edinburgh and Liverpool. We are just munching on the numbers to find out how big an impact the campaign had.
  • True community was celebrated at the launch of Waste Innovation Station Headquarters as part of the Jubilee weekend, with an estimated 800 people at Exeter Hall, starting Thursday with the lighting of an Eco-Beacon and finishing Saturday with a #BigJubileeLunch made entirely from surplus. This is the start of an 18-month project with 13 partners: Cherwell Collective, GFO, Oxford City Farm, Happy Earth Soil, Oxford Food Hub, 1 Regiment RLC, Kidlington Parish Council, Cherwell District Council, Football for Peace, Oxford Botanic Garden, Replenish, CAG and Banbury CAG. Phew!
  • Oxfordshire County Council's food strategy and policies have been cited as an example of good practice in the Climate Change Committee's 2022 report to parliament, which is an annual review of action on climate change. This marks an important moment for Oxfordshire. It's still going to take a long and winding road to make sure a more sustainable food system is better for everyone, but we are a big step closer, and that has been recognised nationally. Sustain's summary of the food elements of the report is here.

  • New website provides one stop shop for tackling climate change in Oxfordshire: a new website offering practical advice for Oxfordshire people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy has just gone live. Climate Action Oxfordshire lists measures people and businesses can take and rates them according to effort, impact, and cost. It also gives people an idea of what financial savings they can make and includes tips and links on how to get started. Food is of course included.

  • The team at Community Dental Services have created a brand-new video to promote Healthy Start. Healthy Start helps people to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, formula and to get Healthy Start vitamins. Watch the video for more information and to see if you or someone you support are eligible for extra help.

  • Oxford Community Action's new social enterprise is OCA Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant at Flo's in Florence Park. Over the summer, they are taking over the café every Thursday and Friday evening, 5.30-8pm, serving cuisine from around the world over a twelve-week period. So far we've experienced Malaysian, Moroccan, Nigerian and Caribbean. Next up is Iraqi cuisine, all on a pay-as-you-feel basis fundraising for OCA's outreach work.

  • Wantage hosts its next Down-to-Earth Community Cook-In on Saturday 16th July at the Methodist Church Hall. Join in the cooking anytime after 3pm; join in the meal 5.30-9pm. Theme: Mexican street food. Pay-as-you-feel. Sign up here.

  • EDGE Landscaping is running a series of FREE online Masterclasses over the summer, on topics such as Edible Perennials, Forest Gardening and Herbs. The next one is on Thursday 21st July at 6.30pm. Sign up here.

  • The Land Skills Fair is coming to Gloucestershire: a festival for food, land and climate justice. The Landworkers' Alliance’s largest gathering will provide a space for up-skilling for the agroecological transition as well as growing a diverse and people-centred farming and land justice movement. They say it’s also going to be a cracking knees up and a whole lot of fun.

  • BBC Radio Oxford will host ‘Cost of Living Clinics’ across the county this summer, to get practical advice and help to those who need it. Locations will be Cowley, Abingdon, Witney, Didcot and Banbury. Local support groups are encouraged to get in touch if you would like to attend, to offer help and do live radio inserts on air.

  • Welcome to the most recent new GFO network member Oxfordshire Homeless Movement: working to ensure that people experiencing homelessness know where to go to find healthy, nutritious meals within their network of partners. It's free to join the GFO network – sign up now with your business, organisation or group at goodfoodoxford.org/network.

Good Food Jobs & Volunteering 


Find more good food jobs and list your opportunities for free at www.rootstowork.org
  • Café Kraken: café manager and full-time chef vacancies. Café Kraken is an eco-centric café in east Oxford that aims to source as locally as possible and to offer fresh, organic and seasonal food whilst keeping community at the heart of everything. If you have an interest in sustainability, delicious food and providing quality service, then the role of café manager or of full-time chef could be the one for you. If you are personable, outgoing, able to lead a team, can constantly look ahead and evolve the café to ensure it achieves its full potential, please apply via the links below. We do ask that you are based locally, ideally within walking, cycling and running distance or able to use public transport.
    https://www.caterer.com/job/chef-de-caf/job-heron-job98022908
    https://www.caterer.com/job/cafe-manager/cafe-kraken-job97947798
    For more details contact gope@cafekraken.com
  • Artisan baker needed. The Daylesford family is growing, and they are looking for a passionate artisan Baker to join their busy bakery team at Daylesford, based at their organic farm in Gloucestershire. More details.
  • Sustain seeks Diversity and Anti-Racism Consultant. Details.
  • There are also Campaigning, Research and Communications roles which offer remote working listed on the Roots to Work website.

We're Just One Slice of the Pie: Global and National Food News 

 

Feedback launches legal challenge against UK government for failing to take action to fix the food system

They argue the new food strategy white paper shows no real substance or ambition in supporting a transition to low-carbon diets. This was a key opportunity to take ambitious climate leadership and improve our food system. But they state that as it stands, the strategy is marching us towards climate chaos, threatening the health of our children, our future food security, and our natural world. By launching the legal challenge they hope to hold the government to account for a lack of ambition and action.
 

Sustainable Food Trust launches new report, Feeding Britain from the Ground Up

The report finds that, if we change the way we farm and what we eat, we could improve our health, protect nature, combat climate change and be more food secure as a nation:
  • We would produce double the amount of fruit and vegetables.
  • Grain production would halve due to a phase out of chemical inputs and less land being used for intensive crop production.
  • Much less grain would be fed to livestock and intensive livestock production would be phased out, resulting in a 75% decline in pork and chicken production.
  • We would produce double the amount of pulses (peas and beans).
  • Beef and lamb, reared mainly on grass, would continue to be produced at similar quantities as today and would become our staple meat.
The full report can be found here.
 

The first new environmental farming scheme goes live for some farmers

The new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) has now opened for applications in England for most farmers - those in receipt of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). This is a welcome step forward on new farm support. Those who don't claim BPS, like farms under 5 hectares, will have to wait for future iterations of the scheme. Many documents are now available, to cover all aspects of the scheme, on the Defra website.
 

2022 Eat Them To Defeat Them Results

Not only did the campaign reach over one million children this year through its schools’ programme, it reached an incredible 36 million through advertising. But did it have an impact on children’s veg eating? It most certainly did with 30% of parents who saw the advert confirming their child/children ate more veg and 57% of children who participated in the schools’ programme eating more veg.


In the news:

  • Big concerns over the ability of school caterers to provide good quality food: School Food Matters was recently on BBC News calling on government to increase funding for school food, amid warnings caterers will struggle to maintain food quality due to rising costs and shortages.
  • Thousands of families miss out on healthy food benefit due to IT failures: NHS Healthy Start’s Facebook page flooded with complaints after about 52,000 families were unable to sign up.
  • Government has performed a U-turn on restricting promotion of junk food to children. However in good news, the High Court rules against Kellogg's judicial review case against the Government's new regulations on limiting "unhealthy" food and drink promotions.
  • Veg Power launches #BreakfastInColour campaign encouraging people to add vegetables to the first meal of the day.

Upcoming #goodfood events 

The selection below is taken from our list of upcoming food-related events around Oxfordshire. See them all and submit your own events here.

Oxfordshire Community Markets
Make it your mission to visit a community market this summer. Listings are on the GFO website.

Sugar Smart September
Get ready for Sugar Smart September. Resources available for schools, colleges, community centres and businesses on the Sugar Smart website. And more support and lesson plans on the #GiveUpLovingPop (GULP) website, to highlight the impact sugary drinks have on our planet as well as our health.

24th September to 2nd October 2022
Oxfordshire's Great Big Green Week.

28th September to 2nd October 2022
Save the date for the Blenheim Palace Autumn Festival - and GFO's annual celebration.

4th to 6th January 2023
Oxford Real Farming Conference - supporter tickets on sale now.

That's all folks! Thanks for reading, and stay in touch: 
@goodfoodoxford
@goodfoodoxford
@goodfoodoxford
goodfoodoxford.org
mail@goodfoodoxford.org
The Good Food Oxfordshire team
Copyright © 2022 Good Food Oxfordshire, All rights reserved.


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