Plans agreed to develop a fairer, climate-friendly food system

We are supporting practical action to develop a healthier, fairer, and more environmentally friendly food system across the Greater Brighton city region.

With food prices increasing and more people struggling to have enough to eat, there is an urgent need to find ways of increasing food security and access to affordable and healthy food.

Sourcing and growing food locally, making use of surplus food and supporting partnerships to work together on sustainable food systems has benefits for people and the planet.

The Greater Brighton Food Scoping report was presented to the Greater Brighton Economic Board on Tuesday 19 July. The report reviewed existing food policy and partnerships in the city region and the findings will form the basis of a Greater Brighton Food Plan.

The Greater Brighton Food Plan will build resilience and integrate innovations across the city region, while helping to meet health, climate, and nature commitments.

Food and climate

Food is a key focus for Brighton & Hove City Council in our fight against climate change. Around 25-30% of food produced globally is lost or wasted, while food and farming systems account for one third of global gas emissions and up to 80% of biodiversity loss.

In April 2021, we created a Good Food Standards policy, which aims to reduce poverty, support local businesses and minimise the environmental impact of food. We signed a declaration supporting the Right to Food campaign and the Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration last year as part of our commitment to tackle the climate emergency through integrated food policies.

In 2020, Brighton & Hove became the first in the UK to win a Gold Sustainable Food City Award with campaigns for a more plant-based diet, less single-use plastics, and tackling food poverty.

However, we need to continue championing climate-friendly food policies and initiatives in order meet our target of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Next steps

The Greater Brighton Food Scoping report outlined the next phase of work which will focus on:

  • Identifying how partners can co-ordinate action and progress
  • Bringing together food policies and metrics in the Greater Brighton region
  • Finding budgets and creating investment plans
  • Collaborating with businesses, education and food partnerships to support food system transformation
  • Sharing partner updates on food system innovations they are putting into practice.

A fairer food system for all

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and Chair of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, said: “Council and business leaders across the sub region have agreed to focus on delivering a fairer food system for all.

"Our relationship with food has been put under more strain and scrutiny recently – in light of the climate crisis, the recovery from Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, equal access to food and the quality of our food is more important than ever before.

“The Food Plan offers us a unique opportunity to work together to tackle the scourge of food insecurity and volatile food prices. Together we are committed to finding practical solutions to producing, supplying, and using food which reduces toxic emissions and waste, which will in turn help us play our part for the environment.”

Greater Brighton Economic Board

The Greater Brighton city region covers 7 local authority areas, stretching from Bognor in the west to Seaford in the east, and up to Crawley in the north of Sussex.

The Greater Brighton Economic Board was formed in 2014 to protect and grow the city region’s economy through creative, innovative initiatives which coordinate economic development activities and investment.

The Greater Brighton Economic Board has made 10 pledges to help tackle the climate crisis, known as the GB10 pledges. The commitments cover topics from restoring kelp beds to renaturing to retrofitting homes with carbon reducing energy sources.

For more information, visit the Greater Brighton website.

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