Map marks launch of Edinburgh’s first Food Growing Strategy
A new interactive map highlighting Edinburgh’s food growing sites and projects has been launched to mark the release of the city’s first Food Growing Strategy.
The Edinburgh Food Growing and Projects Map provides detailed information on community growing projects, HRA community gardens, council and independently run allotments in the Capital, making it easier for people to find out more about and get involved in local food growing activity in their area.
Its publication marks the launch of ‘Growing Locally’, Edinburgh’s first Food Growing Strategy, which aims to increase the opportunities for people and communities to grow food in Edinburgh, encourage more people to buy and enjoy locally grown food, and encourage more people to become involved in food growing and local food projects.
The strategy outlines plans to increase the amount of food growing space in Edinburgh and develop a local food market, looking at the feasibility of establishing an indoor market and local food distribution hub.
It also sets out ways in which the city can tackle food insecurity and improve access to fresh food.
Councillor George Gordon, City of Edinburgh Sustainability Champion and Chair of Edible Edinburgh said:
I am delighted to publish the first food growing strategy for the City of Edinburgh Council. We have faced difficult times over the last year where the importance of food to our physical health and our emotional and mental wellbeing have been evident for all to see.
By working closely with the Poverty Commission, Growing Locally seeks to address food insecurity in the city and improve people’s access to fresh food, as well as supporting and promoting food growing across the city.
It also celebrates the role that food plays in our lives – from bringing people and communities together, to improving biodiversity and mitigating against the effects of climate change by providing access to locally produced, low carbon food.
Along with the map, the strategy brings together our proposed approach to encouraging more local production, more sustainable management of food growing and perhaps most importantly of all, an ongoing discussion as a city about what a diverse and vibrant food economy looks like, so that the benefits of local food growing can be realised by as many of our citizens as possible.
Brenda Black, CEO of Edinburgh Community Food said:
Food is key to Edinburgh’s identity and economy and the Edinburgh Food Growing and Project Map provides a gateway for everyone to be involved in making positive food connections within their communities across the city, building better understanding of food and its impact on climate change.
As Edinburgh moves to meet its climate targets, providing access to growing spaces for its citizens will be a huge step forward in creating a vibrant, low-carbon, food economy for all. The pandemic has highlighted how fragile our food supply chains to the most isolated people in our city can be and the Edinburgh Food Growing and Projects Map is an opportunity for citizens to become actively involved in making connections within - and between - communities: growing, preparing/cooking, sharing and selling food.
Active food communities build strong bonds that transcend religion, age, nationality and culture, and lead to a joint sense of purpose and care for local areas; furthermore, increasing the variety of food sources builds resilience and improves the City’s food security. Edinburgh needs a food identity that not only delivers local, seasonal, quality food to visitors but has the power to nurture healthier generations who are able to grow and make their own fresh food. Edinburgh Community Food will work together with the Edible Edinburgh partnership to ensure The Edinburgh Food Growing and Projects Map becomes a foundation of this initiative across the city.
The Edinburgh Food Growing and Projects Map can be viewed: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/council-planning-framework/food-growing-strategy?documentId=13128&categoryId=20204
Box Out: Key food facts:
- The food we eat contributes 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.
- Edinburgh is home to a large and vibrant food economy, with over 32,000 people employed across almost 200 city businesses.
- Food accounts for about one in every ten pounds spent in a household budget. For the poorest 10% of households, food accounts for about 15% of all expenditure and takes up about 1/5 of household disposable income.
- Even before the Covid pandemic, analysis on food vulnerability estimated that 24,000 working age adults in Edinburgh worried that they would run out of food at times during 2018. Almost 10,000 said they had gone without food because of a lack of money.