Dumfries and Galloway has won a prestigious Sustainable Food Places Silver award. The award recognises the work of D&G Good Food – the regional sustainable food partnership to promote healthy, sustainable and local food and to tackle some of today’s greatest social challenges; from food poverty and diet-related ill-health, to the disappearance of family farms and the loss of independent food retailers.
This Sustainable Food Places Award is a national, evidence-based recognition and celebration of places taking a joined-up, holistic approach to sustainable and healthy food. Awardees have demonstrated activity and impact across their food system by the food partnership and their stakeholders to create a local ‘Good Food Movement’. This is a recognition of the excellent work of the food partnership and of stakeholders across your area.
This Award comes in the same month that D&G Good Food have published their 2023-26 Action Plan. This Plan works across 25 actions and 6 themes including moves to improve school food procurement, supporting local, climate & nature friendly supply chains, and enabling knowledge sharing for sustainable farming.
The Action Plan is being shared with communities across the region at the 2023 Local Food Gatherings – in Lockerbie, Moniaive, Kirkcudbright and Stranraer.
Partnership Chair Eva Milroy from D&G College said, “This Award is a celebration of the achievements of the Dumfries & Galloway good food movement. It shows what positive and supportive partnership can be built even in a large rural region like ours. By bringing together social enterprises, public and private organisations and influential individuals we have been making positive differences when it comes to systems and practices that influence the local food movement. At the same time this Award provides the impetus for the growing recognition that we can all play a part in addressing climate change, and a supporting local, sustainable network.”
Leon Ballin, Sustainable Food Places Programme Manager, said: “Dumfries and Galloway has shown just what can be achieved when creative and committed people work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. While there is still much to do and many challenges to overcome, Dumfries and Galloway has helped to set a high benchmark for other members of the UK Sustainable Food Places Network to follow. We look forward to working with them over the months and years ahead to continue to transform Dumfries and Galloway’s food culture and food system for the better.” Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy and Resources Committee, Councillor Ian Carruthers said: “This is excellent news, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved. Our region is particularly rural, and farming and food production is a key industry and employer, so to hear that the food being produced from this sector is proven to be healthy and sustainable through this award is a fantastic result.”
Vice Chair of Economy and Resources Committee, Councillor David Inglis, went on to say: “It’s great to hear that the excellent work of the Sustainable Food Places programme and local providers is being recognised. Our Council is committed to addressing climate change, and this recognition is a small step in rewarding the work everyone has undertaken so far, however there is a way to go and we can only achieve positive outcomes with everyone’s help and I encourage all parts of the food sector to participate where they can.”
Coordinator for D&G Good Food, Abi Mordin added: “It’s been great working with the partners around the table to get this far. Stakeholders have really pulled together from across community, private and public sectors to look at where real change can be achieved. There’s still a lot of work to do but we’ve shown that through collaboration we can make a difference.”
An SFP Silver Award demonstrates a there is particularly diverse, robust, and sustainable cross-sector food partnership is in place with strategic long-term plans. These include a range of local authority policies and food access initiatives as well as effective promotion and access to sustainable and healthy food for all. Also evidenced is a diverse and connected local good food movement. Sustainable food enterprises have a significant role in your local economy, backed by local catering and procurement practices and systemic responses are addressing the negative climate and nature impacts of the local food system.