A Food Charter for Cardiff

There seems to be an increasing awareness that food production, processing and distribution is the number one contributor to the greenhouse gasses that are heating up our planet at an alarming rate, But while we’re making some real progress in terms of healthier and more sustainable (i.e. fresh, seasonal and locally produced) food options in our schools, leisure centres and restaurants, in many parts of Wales it’s still hard to find anything other than the usual junk food fare of chips, burgers and hot dogs – especially at local council-run events and venues. Which surely gives out a pretty mixed message to parents and their kids. We trust ‘the council’ to be promoting what is good for us – not just what brings in the best return for them in terms of catering fees. On the same tack of mixed messages, the Cardiff City football stadium has received an award for being a ‘Healthy Stadium’. But guess what you have to pass on the way in? – a 24 hour MacDonalds and a KFC, and the food on offer to fans inside the stadium isn’t much better!
Anyway – the good news is that change is in the air regarding the food culture of Cardiff. I’m currently helping write a Food Charter for the city. This will be a general statement of principles that individuals, institutions, businesses and agencies can sign up to as a way of saying what they will do to move Cardiff closer to being a Sustainable Food City, with changes like: less food miles, less waste, more local food production and consumption, more local procurement, access for all to a healthy diet and so on. It’s a way for the people of Cardiff to work together and regain more choice about what we eat, and be less at the mercy of the big corporations which control so much of our food system these days.The Cardiff Food Charter will be launched at a ‘Sustainable Food City Cardiff’ conference that I’m running at Cardiff University on April 3rd. Come and find out more – I can promise you an interesting day and an excellent (locally sourced, of course) lunch!

Source: Steve Garret at Wales Online

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