When Sheffield won the Sustainable Food Places Bronze award in 2021, ShefFood didn’t expect to make it to Silver for quite some time. But that’s precisely what’s been accomplished in less than two years, with Sheffield achieving the Sustainable Food Places Silver award for 2023. This fantastic news is a testament to the hard work of thousands of people across our city making innovative changes to Sheffield’s food sector and food system. Ready to celebrate, ShefFood is planning a diverse mix of events for 2024 for everyone to get involved in, including a Silver Award celebration party. And, of course, they have big plans for the next step in sustainable food: the Sustainable Food Places Gold Award.
Who are Sustainable Food Places?
The Sustainable Food Places network brings together pioneering food partnerships from towns, cities, boroughs, districts and counties across the UK that drive innovation and best practices on all aspects of healthy and sustainable food. Sustainable Food Places is a partnership programme led by the Soil Association, Food Matters, and Sustain. ShefFood is Sheffield’s food partnership, and its coordination team helps businesses, organisations, and anchor institutions (Universities, Sheffield City Council and Hospitals) organise, change and promote the city’s food system. They are also the organisation that brought together all the evidence of the amazing work happening in Sheffield for the Silver Award submission.
Sheffield & The Silver Award
The Sustainable Food Places Award is designed to recognise and celebrate the success of those places taking a joined-up, holistic approach to food and achieving significant positive change on a range of key food issues. Something that Sheffield has clearly proven. Since 2021’s Bronze award, Sheffield’s food system has grown massively and changed for the better.
Food policy changes in local government, universities and hospitals are improving the health of kids and adults and providing better access to food and support. Faith organisations, community groups, and social enterprises are filling the gaps and supporting people in the cost-of-living crisis. Local food production and eco businesses are expanding to provide sustainable, seasonal food that helps our planet. And more folks are getting directly involved in our food system than ever before. In the last year, ShefFood signed over 70 organisations up to the food partnership, welcomed thousands of people to meetings and events, and launched the Sheffield Local Food Action Plan (LFAP).
The LFAP, launched in June 2023, lays out seventy-three actionable steps and projects involving almost one hundred organisations across Sheffield. They range from food policy changes at local government to supporting community food providers financially to deliver ‘more than just food activities’ and green projects such as increasing the quantity and productivity of edible fruit trees, orchards and agroforestry systems in Sheffield.
These actions were identified through workshops with partner organisations and members of the public. This comprehensive action plan will be instrumental in making a fairer, healthier and greener food system for Sheffield folk. The projects are far-reaching, covering health, economy, environment, food access and citizenship. From small activities to large scale investment these steps will make a massive impact on our city.
All of this will continue to change the food landscape in the region and contribute towards the lucrative Sustainable Food Places Gold Award, which currently only two places in the UK have: Bristol and Brighton & Hove. But, before we look for the future, the work we’ve achieved so far is worth celebrating!
Many congratulations to ShefFood on the silver award. Looking forward to further collaboration with you on the journey to a healthier and more sustainable food system.Peter Jackson, Institute for Sustainable Food, University of Sheffield
“This Sustainable Food Places Silver award for Sheffield demonstrates the multi-sector commitment to fairer, healthier and more just food systems across the city. This award should be celebrated loud and proud in recognition of the progress and benefits to date and aspirations for Sheffield and its citizens.”Lucie Nield – Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, Food & Nutrition, Sheffield Business School
While it’s great to get national recognition for our city’s fantastic people and projects, it’s more about their impact on everyday life.
The awards provide a helpful framework for organisations like ShefFood to work with, but the real power comes from the people’s actions. ShefFood wants to make Sheffield’s Food System even better in 2024 and is here to help you be part of it. They have two approaches to this. First is helping partner organisations grow through promotion and collaboration. Second, is working alongside partners, whether organisations or individuals just like YOU, to promote the cause of good food. Here’s what we are looking for.
If you want to showcase the great work your organisation is doing, ShefFood can help for no cost with the following:
- Advertise your goods, services, campaigns, and events for you on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or monthly email newsletter.
- Featuring you in one of their weekly articles in Sheffield newspapers, magazines and blogs.
- Introducing you to other organisations where you can mutually benefit from each other’s services, knowledge or other resources.
If you want to work with ShefFood to grow the good food offering in Sheffield, they’d love for you to do any of the following:
- Sign the Sheffield Food Charter as an organisation and commit to making real change.
- Host one of our working group meetings. ShefFood would love to hear from you if you have a space suitable for hosting workshops or discussion groups. They’d like to increase the events they do each month in more areas of the city.
- Join the Good Food Movement as a member of the public and come to one of our working group meetings to learn, contribute to policy or get more hands-on.
- Sign up for our monthly newsletter to hear about all things sustainable food in Sheffield.
- Follow us on social media and promote our posts. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter) at @sheffoodsocial.
ShefFood is planning a fantastic food event in early 2024 to celebrate the Silver Award and launch the next step in improving Sheffield’s food system. They’d love for as many people to join, so watch this space. To learn more and join the cause, visit the website. sheffood.org.uk or get in contact with our partnership coordination team at firstname.lastname@example.org.