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Coventry tackles food injustice and poverty

Published Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A conference aimed at raising awareness and promoting new ideas around combating food poverty and creating a sustainable food network has been taking place in the city.

Feeding Coventry conference
Chiara Tornaghi, Alan Markey, Councillor Faye Abbott, Ian Nutt , Rosie Oglesby and Marielle Dubbeling

The Partnership for Coventry conference is aiming to broaden local awareness and involvement in current food related initiatives.

Led by the Feeding Coventry Partnership around sustainable food policies and food justice, it is hoped the event – which is co-funded by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (Coventry University) - can lead to finding joint solutions to tackling food poverty.

Coventry’s scheme is one of a number of pilot schemes emerging across the country alongside Sheffield, Birkenhead and Bristol as examples. The pilot is bringing partners together to strengthen and expand initiatives towards delivering sustainable food practices.

Issues being discussed are the causes of food poverty, how to promote urban food growing, the value of community food cultures and sustainable food planning with speakers from both home and abroad sharing their experiences.

Councillor Faye Abbott, Cabinet Member for Adult Services at Coventry City Council, said: “The conference brings together partners, sharing all their experiences and ideas for the future.

“It gives us all a great platform to promote what has been learnt, how issues are dealt with presently and how we look to the future to find solutions to addressing food poverty and creating something that is sustainable.”

Alan Markey, chair of the Coventry Welfare Reform Working Together Group, said: “It is really encouraging that so many organisations are coming together. Food poverty is a real problem in Coventry. Many people find it a real challenge to make ends meet and food is often one of the first areas to be compromised.”

The conference includes: presentations from Feeding Britain, the Sustainable Food Cities network and Food for Life (The Soil Association); RUAF Netherlands (a global partnership on urban agriculture); the presentation of a Policy Innovation Award, question and answer sessions and workshops throughout the day, all looking to bring to an end food poverty in Coventry and develop a more sustainable food networks for all. 

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