Rotherham’s food sustainability partnership, Rotherham Food Network, has achieved membership of the Sustainable Food Places network to support their efforts to make local, healthy and sustainable food available to all residents across the borough.
The membership highlights that the Rotherham Food Network is an inspirational example of how local communities, businesses and the Council can work together to make affordable good food a defining characteristic of Rotherham.
The Rotherham Food Network is made up of 16 local organisations and community groups including Rotherham Council, Voluntary Action Rotherham, Rotherfed, Citizen Advice Rotherham, and many more.
Over 60 members have already pledged their time and effort into providing residents advice, guidance and support on how to access healthier, more sustainable foods, as well as combating key issues related to food, including:
• tackling food poverty
• sustainable food growing and distribution such as community orchards
• social supermarkets and community fridges
• healthier eating
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Cllr David Roche, said: “It is fantastic for Rotherham Food Network to be recognised and become a member of the Sustainable Food Places Network. We set out on our sustainable food journey a year ago and being granted membership at this stage is a giant step forward. The partnership work being done by the Rotherham Food Network will really help residents get the most out of their food while driving new projects to help them access healthier, more sustainable food in the future.”
“Being invited to join the Sustainable Food Network will also give us the opportunity to work towards hopefully achieving Bronze status within the network next year.”
Rotherham Federation of Communities’ Chief Executive Officer, Phil Hayes, said: “RotherFed provide money management support and home energy advice and guidance on an outreach basis across Rotherham, primarily in the most deprived communities and including many venues/outlets that provide food support for local people. It’s great that the Rotherham Food Network is to be recognised and become a member of the Sustainable Food Places Network, and I hope that this enables more people who need support the most across Rotherham, access to what’s available through the network.”
Voluntary Action Rotherham’s Director of Services (Infrastructure), David Plumtree, said: “Food is a thread that runs across many themes, so it’s exciting to see the development of the Food Network and a joined-up approach to all things food. We’re pleased to be working in partnership to make sure food is accessible, sustainable and provides opportunity for the community.”
Sustainable Food Places is a network of cross-sector partnerships in towns, cities, boroughs and counties that are using food as a vehicle to drive positive change. With support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund, the Network helps people and places to share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice in all aspects of healthy and sustainable food.
Rotherham Food Network joins a network of over 80 members across the UK.
Tom Andrews, Director of Sustainable Food Places, said: “In over 80 towns and cities across the UK, individuals and organisations have come together to develop a joint vision of the kind of food culture and food system they would like to see and are working together to make that vision a reality. Rotherham Food Network has shown a real ambition to transform things for the better in and we are delighted to be able to support them in achieving their goals.”
The Sustainable Food Places Network works to tackle some of biggest social, economic and environmental issues today, from an epidemic of food poverty and diet related ill-health to the loss of independent high street food businesses and family farms through to climate change, biodiversity loss and food waste.
Further information about the Rotherham Food Network can be found online here