Bristol Named Gold Sustainable Food City

Bristol has won the prestigious Gold Sustainable Food City Award. Here's how they did it and why the city is pioneering change for the better.

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Bristol has been officially named a Gold Sustainable Food City by the UK partnership programme Sustainable Food Places.

It’s the second city in the UK to achieve this award along with Brighton and Hove.

This exciting new status for the city has been the work of the city-wide initiative Bristol Going For Gold, led by Bristol Food Network, Bristol City Council, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Resource Futures.

The collaboration saw businesses, communities and organisations come together not just for the accolade but to ultimately create a fairer and healthier food system for both people and the planet.

Image Image | Joseph Turp

Focus on community action

The city’s winning application focused on the themes of tackling food waste, community action, buying better, eating better, food equality, urban growing and Bristol’s good food movement.

Some examples of initiatives featured include:

Grow Wilder: This education centre and growing site empowers people to bring about positive change through sustainable food growing and ethical wildlife practices.

The Children’s Kitchen: The city-wide programme explores growing and eating food with children. On top of recipes and food education, the organisation combats food poverty in Bristol.

FOOD Clubs: A partnership project between Family Action, Feeding Bristol and FareShare South West, this initiative has 16 clubs across Bristol providing nutritious meals to families at a fraction of the normal cost.

University of West of England and University of Bristol: Both universities have been involved in transforming institutional food culture, including sustainable sourcing, redistributing surplus food, plant-based menus and gardening projects.

Working towards a fairer system

Commenting on the award, Joy Carey, Director of Bristol Food Network and Strategic Coordinator of the gold bid says: “How we produce, trade, eat and waste food influences the most pressing issues facing us today: from climate and ecological breakdown to human health and well-being, from poverty and justice to animal welfare.

“This is why food matters and is why, since achieving silver status in 2016, we’ve been determined to support and uncover more individuals, projects and initiatives that are contributing positively to a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system for the city and its citizens.

“Bristol is brimming with people who are passionate about doing better when it comes to food and it has been our job to capture their stories and impact, whilst doing all we can to support a joined up and holistic approach to food in the city.

“We’re delighted that this work has been recognised at the highest level, being named a Gold Sustainable Food City. We want to thank and applaud all those doing better across our city’s food system, including the citizens who have engaged with important conversations about the future of food here in Bristol.”

What’s next for Bristol?

A significant part of Bristol’s Gold Status application was Bristol Bites Back Better, a prominent campaign established in the wake of the first COVID-19 lockdown.

The campaign brings Bristolians together with the aim to create a fairer food system for all. The primary focus is to empower and amplify voices from the diverse communities within Bristol.

So far, the campaign includes 160 blogs and 8 short films from diverse backgrounds around the city.

After winning the Gold Sustainable Food City status, the campaign seeks to build a city that puts nourishing food that’s sustainably sourced first by 2030.

Individuals, organisations and businesses are once again invited to take part.

Read more about how Bristol earned their Gold Sustainable Food City Award here.