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Community food and local food partnerships

In this blog post we show how the community food sector is playing a role in the development of Sustainable Food Places (SFP) in Scotland and how SFP aims can contribute to plans for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation.

The community food sector can play a key role in local collaborative work, and this is particularly evident in the development of Sustainable Food Places (SFP). Fifteen of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland have established SFP food partnerships and around half a dozen more are being developed. Nourish Scotland, who co-ordinate SFP in Scotland, expects the numbers of SFPs in Scotland to continue to grow.

The aim of SFP is to bring together partners from across the food system to address six key issues, one of these is ensuring that healthy food is available to all (such as by addressing food insecurity and supporting access to good food). Supporting a sustainable food system is embedded across all SFP key issues. SFP food partnerships always include local authorities and health boards play a key role too. For example, NHS Forth Valley’s Public Health Nutrition team were a key partner in developing SFP food partnerships in the area, alongside Forth Valley Food Futures and other organisations. The Public Health Nutrition team also have a long history of supporting community food activities in the area.

The work of community food partners is an important piece of the SFP food system jigsaw and some play a leading role by hosting the local SFP co-ordinator, such as Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), who host Granite City Good Food SFP, and Pennypit Trust (who run a wide range of community food activities) who host East Lothian Friendly Food Network SFP.

Glasgow Community Food Network and the Dumfries and Galloway Community Food Network’s role in SFP includes bringing community food organisations together locally to work on shared aims.

The Scottish SFP co-ordinators recently came together in Stirling, and Glasgow Community Food Network produced a 30-minute podcast from this event. The podcast records co-ordinators being asked about their overall local aims and how SFP ties in with Scotland’s aim to become a Good Food Nation which will require local authorities and health boards to develop local food plans. Speakers are from Nourish Scotland, Granite City Good Food, Highland Good Food Partnership and Argyll and Bute Council.  Nourish Scotland also recently produced a blog post which shows how SFP key issues tie in with Good Food Nation goals.

We look forward to seeing how these areas of policy and projects converge and where there are opportunities to help the community food sector to flourish and support Scotland to become a Good Food Nation. 

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