Gratitude and hope

It has been a tough yet hopeful year for food, sustainability and social justice. Looking forward to 2022 we will all need strength, hope and inspiration to remain resilient. Food citizenship gives us all these things. I’ve really loved the last three months exploring, listening and learning, and wanted this last blog of the year to reflect on some highlights: 

  • Meeting the team and council in person (mostly) at the Food Ethics Council AGM and council meeting in October. I knew within about ten minutes that these were all deeply committed, smart, funny people and I would have the best time working with them.  
  • Meeting Jane Powell who does so much good connecting, inspiring and caring for food communities in Wales. I was thrilled when she asked me to moderate a session on Food Democracy at the Wales Real Food and Farming Conference. The session covered how we can ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and that government policy fits with public aspirations for a better food system. It was a vital and hopeful conversation.  
  • Conversations with some members of the Food Ethics Council members to understand their aspirations for the food citizenship movement, and the need to focus on the important, sometimes difficult work that sits underneath it, rather than fixate too much on what the term food citizenship means. I have really valued this time, and the opportunity to unpick how we can make sure that our work on food citizenship is meaningful and useful to the incredible organisations and networks doing vital work feeding people well across the UK.  
  • Being part of the brilliant Food Learning Forum exploring the role of food in community wealth building, and how to develop and strengthen participatory approaches in our work. Such an amazing group of passionate and inspiring folk.  
  • And so many conversations with organisations big and small learning about how they use food to care for, connect and inspire people. My hope in the Spring is to do a series of workshops and newsletters with a geographical focus, amplifying the brilliant work in all 4 corners of the UK.  

I want to say thank you to everyone who has spoken with me, shared their work with me, inspired and challenged me as I get to grips with food citizenship and its potential to really make a difference. And another massive thank you to everyone who is working so incredibly hard to make our food systems just. 

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For now, however you are spending the rest of the year, I hope you get some rest, eat some good food and have some time with those you love.