Carmarthenshire celebrates Sustainable Food Place success

CARMARTHENSHIRE has become the newest member of the UK’s pioneering Sustainable Food Places network which aims to improve people’s lives and reduce our impact on the planet through food.

Bwyd Sir Gâr Food is a vibrant cross-sector food partnership bringing together members of the Public Services Board, including Carmarthenshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board, and the Carmarthenshire Food Network, as well as grassroots community organisations, businesses, and residents from across the county to work towards a healthy and sustainable food system.

Joining the ranks of Food Cardiff, Food Vale, RCT Food, Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership, Monmouthshire Food Partnership and North Powys Food Partnership, Bwyd Sir Gâr Food is Wales’s seventh Sustainable Food Places (SFP) member.

Sustainable Food Places is about working across all aspects of the food system to solve some of today’s most pressing social, environmental and economic issues. It aims to establish cross-sector food partnerships to transform local food systems and to encourage simple actions to tackle the climate and nature emergency through food.

Bwyd Sir Gâr Food is delighted to be part of the network which will bring many benefits and opportunities.

Pictured (from left) are: Cefin Campbell AS/MS, Programme Manager for Food Sense Wales Katie Palmer,  Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Darren Price, Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs and Planning Policy Cllr Ann Davies.

Sustainable Food Places Officer for Carmarthenshire Augusta Lewis was instrumental in developing the application for SFP membership. She has recently fulfilled an appointment as Carmarthenshire’s Food Network Assistant, based with CAVS. She said: “I have been delighted by the passion and enthusiasm that people across Carmarthenshire have for creating a healthy and accessible food system.

“Working with the cluster groups within Carmarthenshire Food Network, such as professional growers and farmers, chefs championing short-supply chains and community food providers, and linking to the Public Services Board, provides some exciting opportunities.

“It offers scope to work towards a healthy localised food system reflective of the unique cultural and geographical characteristics of the county, fit for the 21st century and future generations.”

Katie Palmer from Food Sense Wales, the organisation leading on the Sustainable Food Places programme in Wales, said: “I’m so pleased that Bwyd Sir Gâr Food has joined the growing Sustainable Food Places network in Wales.

“It’s inspirational to see how quickly the partnership has developed, demonstrating the need to bring stakeholders together and the appetite on the ground to work collectively around a joint vision.

“Bwyd Sir Gâr Food has acted as a catalyst to drive strategic change in the county, helping to create a better-connected local food system – one which considers health and wellbeing; the environment and our economy; promotes collaboration and inclusivity and builds resilience across communities.”

Food Sense Wales recently hosted a Food in Communities Conference at Yr Egin in Carmarthen bringing together food leaders from across Wales to connect with each other, to share experiences, and inspire change.

Speaking at the conference Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “The council is delighted to play a key role in this partnership and is keen to work with all stakeholders to further develop and enhance our already rich food system in Carmarthenshire.

“We recognise the key part that sustainable food production and supply can have on a number of key societal issues from climate to health and cost of living. We’re looking forward to working with partners to make progress on this really important agenda.”

Chairman of Carmarthenshire Public Services Board Barry Liles added: “The PSB is really pleased to support Bwyd Sir Gâr Food and gaining recognition as a Sustainable Food Place is the first step in this partnership journey.

“There’s already a lot of activity in Carmarthenshire but we also recognise that there’s plenty more to do and we’re looking forward to working together to make a real difference to our local food system.”

CAPTION: Pupils from Ysgol Y Dderwen (main image).