Powered by Squarespace
This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in food (21)


Organisations changing the world of food

Via Food Tank

1. Al Maha Desert Resort (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) –In an effort to attract clients, many hotels and restaurants tempt guests with access to a wide range of elaborate–and often large–meal options. To prevent waste, the Al Maha resort incorporates uneaten items into later meals – for example, serving breakfast pastries as lunchtime desserts.


2. City of Austin’s Zero Waste Initiative (Texas, United States) – In April, the Austin City Council voted unanimously in support of a city ordinance to require all restaurants over 460 square meters (5,000 square feet) to separate all compostable materials from other waste by 2016. Smaller restaurants will have to undertake the initiative by 2017. This is part of Austin’s goal to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 90 percent by 2040.


3. Culinary Misfits (Berlin, Germany) –Started by two friends, Culinary Misfits seeks out the ugly vegetables at grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants and turns them into delectable dishes at the events they cater in the city.


4. DC Central Kitchen (District of Columbia, United States) – From the 370,131 kilograms (816,000 pounds) of food it recovered in 2011, DC Central Kitchen provided almost 2 million meals to those in need in the DC area.  In addition to recovering food from organizations and restaurants, DC Central also offers local farmers fair prices for their produce, helping to contribute to the local economy.


5. Dickinson College Campus Farm (Pennsylvania, United States) – This student-run farm composts daily deliveries of salad bar scraps from the cafeteria. In 2005, Dickinson expanded the compost program into a campus-wide initiative with student farm workers, partnering with facilities management to ensure that campus food waste is composted.


6. Feeding the 5000 (United Kingdom/International) – Tristram Stuart’s initiative is organizing the world to prevent "wonky" fruits, vegetables, and other food from being wasted. Feeding the 5000 encourages farmers to participate in the “gleaning movement” – where volunteers collect unattractive produce that would otherwise be wasted.


7. Food Recovery Network (Maryland, United States) – A group of enterprising University of Maryland students decided to take action and launched this initiative with the goal of delivering cafeteria leftovers to local food shelters. It has since expanded to 11 chapters on campuses across the U.S. Students involved in the Food Recovery Network visit their campus dining halls nightly to rescue leftover food and deliver it to local shelters and food pantries. Close to 55,000 kilograms (121,000 pounds) of food have been rescued by the Network since 2011.


8. Food Waste Reduction Alliance Project (United States) – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have teamed up in this three-year initiative to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills and increase the amount of food donated to food banks. They also use waste for energy, compost, and animal feed.


9. FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies) (European Union) – After recognizing that the European Union discards approximately 89 million tons of food every year, Brussels has pledged, through the FUSIONS program, to reduce that number by half by the year 2025. Currently in development, FUSIONS hopes to tackle the issue throughout the supply chain, working with farmers so that they don’t reject less-than-perfect-looking produce. And they work with grocery stores to offer discounts to consumers on products that are nearing their expiration dates.


10. Hands for Hunger (The Bahamas) – This organization is working to improve food security in the Bahamas while simultaneously reducing food waste. By mobilizing individuals and community organizations, Hands for Hunger gathers unused food from grocery stores, hotels, and other businesses, which is then distributed to low-income residents, including victims of abuse and psychiatric patients.


11. Last Minute Market (LMM) (Italy) – LMM works with farmers, processing centers, grocery stores, and other food sellers to reclaim food. Founded by BCFN adviser Andrea Segrè, LMM now runs food donation programs in more than 40 Italian communities.


12. Love Food, Hate Waste (United Kingdom) – This program teaches consumers about food waste and provides them with helpful portioning and planning tips, as well as an array of recipes to make sure food doesn't go to waste.


13. The Postharvest Education Foundation (Oregon, United States) – This organization offers training materials, e-learning programs, and mentoring opportunities that help farmers around the world prevent food loss. Their postharvest management guide is available in 10 languages, featuring topics such as how to choose the best time for harvest and the advantages of different transportation methods.


14. Sanford and Son (Illinois, United States) – Sanford and Son is a father-and-son company that works in the West Side of Chicago to repurpose food waste for urban farms. Ray Sanford and his son Nigel recycle food waste from restaurants and private homes and convert it into organic compost, which is then distributed to urban farms to use as fertilizer. They claim to save 226 kilograms (500 pounds) of organic waste for each family that uses their composting services.


15. Save Food from the Fridge (The Netherlands) – Jihyun Ryou, Korean designer and expert on food preservation, launched this project that attempts to prevent waste in homes. She outlines several ideas for keeping foods fresher longer without the use of modern kitchen technologies. In addition, she has also created a collaborative blog where anyone can submit their own innovative food storage ideas.


16. Society of Saint Andrew (United States) – This national network connects volunteers with farms to glean produce that has been left unpicked after a harvest. The Society distributes the gleaned produce to food banks and other organizations serving marginalized communities. In 2012, the Society gleaned 10.4 million kilograms (23.7 million pounds) of produce across the United States.


17. Songhai Centre (Sub-Saharan Africa) – The Songhai Centre is a sustainable development organization that, among other projects, teaches environmentally conscious farming practices in rural areas in Benin, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their agricultural education is based on a policy of production totale zéro déchet (zero waste total production) – in the organization’s own words, “the byproducts of one field are valuable raw materials for another.” 


18. Springboard Kitchens (Pennsylvania, United States) – This Pittsburgh organization, through a partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bankrescues 3,200- 4,500 kilograms (7,000 - 10,000 pounds) of fresh food that would have otherwise been thrown away and prepares approximately 4,000 meals per day.


19. Stop Spild Af Mad (Stop Wasting Food) (Denmark) – Danish food expert Selina Juul’s campaign inspired Danish supermarket Rema 1000 to replace buy-one-get-one-free and other quantity-based discounts with general discounts in all of its stores. Such discounts, frequently implemented by grocery stores to get produce off the shelves, often result in food being wasted at home.


20. Think.Eat.Save (International) – This initiative, launched by the U.N. Environment Programme and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, works to reverse food loss by providing consumers, retailers, leaders and the community with advice and ways to take action to reduce their yearly food waste.  The campaign aggregates and shares different methods of conserving food, including policy recommendations and steps that consumers and households can take on their own to prevent waste.


21. University of Cincinnati SolerCool (Ohio, United States) – Developed by MBA students at the University of Cincinnati, this solar-powered refrigerator runs on eight solar panels to keep food comfortably cool when it is being transported.


The Fat of the Land

“Its not a question of whether we should follow the Danes’ lead [and tax high fat foods]– we have to. If we don’t do anything about it, by 2050, 70% of the British population will be obese or overweight and that would result not only in the downfall of the NHS but also of our national workforce.

Tam Fry, National Obesity Forum

Via  Clickonwales, with comments from John Osmond and Steve Garrett



Tyfu Pobol - Growing People

Forwarded press release from Katie Jones, the driving force behind FCFCG in Wales:

A new programme to help people set up and manage growing schemes in the heart of their community has been launched across Wales by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG).


Called Tyfu Pobl (Growing People), is funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is itself funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union. The three year programme will support a variety of schemes, including community farms, allotments, community gardens, community orchards and Community Supported Agriculture schemes. It is a direct result of booming interest in community food growing and creating natural green spaces.



The Welsh Government-funded programme will ensure that community groups don’t work in isolation – local people will be encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise so that connections between new and well-established growing schemes are created throughout Wales.


A new development team is already in place, with regional offices in Cardiff, Pembrokeshire, Newtown and Bangor (contact details below).  Meanwhile a Community Enterprise and Funding Coordinator to help combat the withering effects of the current funding climate by accessing funding sources and working with groups so they become more financially sustainable and less grant reliant.


As part of the programme, local growing groups will benefit from support and advice from the development team as well as fieldworkers drawn from existing groups and allotments mentors. A travel bursary scheme will also be available so groups can visit each other’s sites and regional meetings to enable local growers and gardeners to meet up, learn new skills and swap ideas and inspiration.


An official launch event takes place on 23-24 September at Greenmeadow Community Farm in Cwmbran, which will kick off the new autumn programme of regional gatherings and training events. Training will be delivered around 4 main areas; sustainability, social inclusion, the setting up of a community growing project and the creation of community growing spaces for land owners.


Introducing the new Tyfu Pobl Development Team

South East Wales (Cardiff) Office
 Tel: 0292 0225942
Katie Jones (Development Manager): 07793 669 721;

Emma Williams (South East Wales Development Worker): 07786 880119; 
Tim Atkinson (Community Enterprise & Funding Co-ordinator):07755 7004608; 
Abby Charles (Wales Administrator):

South West Wales Office Tel: 01834 869927
Rupert Dunn (SW Wales Development Worker): 07787 773437; 
Unit 1A, The Old School, Station Road, Narberth, Pembrokeshire SA67 7DU. 

Mid Wales Office Tel: 01686 946235
Gary Mitchell (Mid Wales Development Worker) 07866 802737;  
Cwm Harry Land Trust, Unit H, Vastre Industrial Estate, Newtown, Powys SY16 1DZ.

North Wales Office Tel: 01248 208630
Sarah Collick (North Wales Development Worker) 07910 498762; 
Ty Gwydr / Greenhouse, 1 Trevelyan Terrace, High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 1AX.


Community Food Event

As part of my work with WLGA, I'm facilitating this free workshop with Katie Jones:

Allotments & Community Grown Food Event, Tuesday 20th September 2011 - Wrexham

As part of its Sustainable Development Framework, the WLGA have begun working in partnership with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens [FCFCG] on community grown food issues.


The WLGA and FCFCG are organising an event for local authority officers involved in planning and managing allotments and community growing sites.  This event is an opportunity to:


  • inform Local Authorities about developments currently taking place within the community growing sector in Wales (and further afield)

What is the aim? An exploratory event to enable the development of ways to promote good practice in allotments management and provision in Wales; promote resources that can facilitate good practice; develop models of good practice from the event; facilitate the development of supportive networks; signpost to organisations that can give help and support; offer constructive and productive delivery. It is also an opportunity to consult and establish circumstances, needs, barriers, etc. 


Who is the audience? Council staff, and others, responsible for the provision and management of allotments.

What are the desired outcomes?

  • Development of an active, supportive, network in Wales in which council staff responsible for the provision and management of allotments can identify their needs, aspirations and barriers in order for support organisations to develop methods of meeting same;
  • The establishment of a definitive list of council staff responsible for the management and provision of allotments in Wales;
  • This will all help and support the strategic direction of council allotments’ services and land use planning at a localised level in Wales.

What will the day include?

  • Talks & discussions from various experts in the field.
  • Allotment case-studies from Local Authorities and communities.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Workshops to share information and identify support needed.

Venue: Alan Waters Building, Alan Waters Country Park, Mold Road, Gwersyllt, Wrexham LL11 4AL


Food for thought - the market is changing

Later this week I'm running a couple of workshops on social enterprise and food, and one thing that struck me in preparing for the events was the scale of change being launched by large corporate business, and comparing the relationship between scale of resources and scale of change, with that available to the smaller businesses and local producers that they have traditionally fought with for market share.

Recent announcements include those by Unilever[1] who commit to halve the environmental impact of its products in the next ten years, Procter & Gamble, who have committed “to improve more consumers' lives in more parts of the world more completely", and Pepsico, who’s head of sustainability states "Because we wanted to be viewed as a leader in terms of health and sustainability, there is now an expectation that we will lead”

 Pepsico will take the three factories that producing its crisps and employ 3500 people off the water mains by extracting water from the potatoes they produce. P&G announced ten year goals that include 100% renewable energy, 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging, zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills, and delivering effluent water quality that is as good as or better then influent water quality with no contribution to water scarcity. Unilever intends to “double sales and halve the environmental impact of its products over the next 10 years” and source 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2015.[2]

Developments of this scale by businesses with the power, reach and resources of Unilever, P&G, Pepsico and the others that will surely follow place the innovation threshold at a high level for social enterprises, small scale farmers and local food producers, as the investments by the big players start to reap a return on reduced energy and resource costs that will make it harder to compete. The upside is that leader board has shifted for keeps, and the market will follow, bringing more intelligent, more sustainable practice to bear rapidly and effectively.