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Why a charter for Leeds?
Food Charters are viewed as the most effective way of developing a strategic approach to food and nutrition for Leeds. Ours is based on the recommendations of the Leeds Food Audit which found that there’s a lot of great food work already progressing in the city, but that this would benefit from being more integrated. The Charter methodology allows a clear vision to be developed which encourages partners of all shapes and sizes to work on shared principles, thus creating consistency across the city.
Good practice from the Sustainable Food Cities Network shows that Charters are an effective way of outlining food priorities and the basic principles that local partners are working on.
The main benefits are that:
1, the document is easily digestible,
2, it can be used to promote and explain our priorities – especially when seeking to influence local organisations and businesses to adopt our Aims and show support for a local food vision,
3, it functions as a pledge document that can be signed and displayed to show both membership and intent.
Leeds Food Charter Text
1 – Reduce and optimise food waste, and support strategies to reduce food miles, and redistribute surplus food across Leeds.
2 – Ensure everyone knows how to choose food that’s appropriate for their age, which will reduce diet-related ill health, and also improve their well-being,
3 – Support local strategies to tackle food poverty by addressing the root cause of poverty, and enabling affordable access to food for all.
4 – Support food suppliers to provide safe, healthy and sustainable food, creating environments that make it easier to adopt and maintain healthy and sustainable diets.
5 – Promote a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy, by valuing food projects and enterprises, promoting local jobs, and reconnecting us with where food comes from.
6 – Encourage landowners and developers to make space available for food growing and preparation, including through the planning process.
The Leeds Food Charter is focused on achieving Sustainable Food Cities awards: Bronze, Silver then Gold. Make a difference by pledging to support these Aims. [Singing box].
About us: The Leeds Food Charter shares a vision for the future of food in Leeds, and offers a set of goals that can help us all respond to local food issues.
Our Vision: For the people of Leeds to have access to sufficient, appropriate and healthy food, which is safe, affordable and sustainably sourced.
Why: Food Charters help to prompt local action and collaboration across policy areas, providing direction that benefits local communities and businesses.
Many of the issues we face today – from obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty, waste, climate change and biodiversity – are embedded in the food system
Did you know?
Globally, 33% of the food produced is wasted. If that waste was a country, its carbon emissions would rank third after the USA and China
In 2016/17, people in Leeds were referred to food banks or food parcel providers 26,831 times.
A poor diet in pregnancy increases the baby’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease in later life
Food and drink accounts for 20% of UK CO2 emissions
61% of Leeds adults are over a healthy weight
33% of children leaving Leeds primary schools are over a healthy weight
Buy local and seasonal produce from independent stores and markets, and encourage your supermarket to buy locally.
Cook meals from scratch using fresh, local, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Grow your own food at home, in an allotment or community garden.
Use all the food you buy, compost peelings and left-overs, and recycle packaging.
Support high animal welfare standards, and eat less meat and highly processed food.
When eating out, check standards on the Leeds ‘Scores on the Doors’ website first.
Ask about local food policies, such as at school or work.
Ensure your food procurement policies implement the Government’s Buying Standards, and restrict unhealthy choices.
Support employees to keep hydrated, and to cook and eat healthy food.
Reduce food waste by educating employees and committing to food waste collection.
Implement local food policy guidance to provide safe, healthy and sustainable food.
Ensure food businesses are registered with Environmental Health.
Consider links with your Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
The Leeds Food Charter is championed by the Leeds Food Partnership. For more information, and to become a Partner, visit leedsfoodpartnership.org.uk
See also Charter Background.