Well Oldham celebrates sustainable food award

Oldham has become one of just a handful of cities to win the Sustainable Food Cities Bronze award.

The award was presented at the annual conference in Cardiff in June, attended by representatives from more than 60 UK cities.

The submission by the Growing Oldham: Feeding Ambition Partnership recognises Oldham’s co-operative approach – ‘from grassroots to boardroom’ – to promote healthy, sustainable and local food. Well Oldham is one of the Growing Oldham: Feeding Ambition partners.

The Partnership’s approach included tackling challenges like food poverty, diet-related ill-health, creating quality school meals and supporting independent food retailers.

Cllr Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Food has the power to bring people together. This work helps increase access to food, improve education, create healthy communities and grow the local food economy. We will continue to work with partners and people to create a food future that we can all be proud of.”

Local activity championed by the award includes;

· the community-led Oldham Food Network an active movement focussed on action and access to food

· the Get Oldham Growing programme which encourages residents to get involved in food growing

· the Green Dividend Fund which sponsored over 50 projects and green spaces

· the Food Chains 4 EU project which informs and influences regional food priorities.

Caroline Lawson, from Veg in the Park, a local Growing Hub, said: “Oldham’s approach works because it has been done for communities and examples like the pop-up market stalls are great because they provide opportunities to sell what we grow directly to the public.”

And Tom Andrews, Director of Sustainable Food Cities, said:Growing Oldham: Feeding Ambition has shown just what can be achieved when creative and committed people work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. While there is still more to do, Oldham’s work has helped to set a benchmark for the other 50 members of the UK Sustainable Food Cities Network to follow.”

Food Chains 4 EU is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).