Cooking to survive in exile

Migrateful, a social enterprise providing cooking classes taught by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Founder Jess Thomspon unpacks how Migrateful empowers their chefs on the journey to employment, integration and independence.

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Understanding poverty and poor diets

The barriers to cooking for people in poverty are complex and multiple. Too often resulting poor diets are thought to be an outcome of no cooking skills or lack of motivation. Alicia Weston from Bags of Taste, unpacks some of these more complex reasons and how they have been exacerbated under the pandemic and lockdown.

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Resilience begins with a seed

As we move through the pandemic, we are thinking about how we can #BuildBackBetter and embed food citizenship thinking as we build and strengthen resilient food systems moving forward. Helene Schulze is co-director of the London Freedom Seed Bank and regional coordinator for the Seed Sovereignty Programme of the Gaia Foundation. Here she unpacks the role of community seed banks and small seed commercial producers in building resilience. The UK is peppered with seed savers,

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Food citizenship in Bristol’s response to COVID-19

Across the country there has been an outpouring of food responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the last few weeks. From innovative emergency food provision programmes to ensure vulnerable people are fed, to novel food distributions channels to support local businesses, community organisations, businesses, local authorities and citizens are stepping up. How can we ensure these responses are founded on food citizenship thinking and build resilience into our food systems?  We hear from Sara Venn,

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Meaningful engagement with citizens

In the midst of political shifts and uncertainty, there is a new wave of politics bubbling under the surface. This new story is redefining what meaningful citizen participation means for governments. We spoke to Jon Alexander, co-founder at the New Citizenship Project and Trustee of the Food Ethics Council, to find out more about this emerging trend. Anna: What positive changes can we see in today’s politics? Jon: It might not be immediately obvious, but

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How local authorities can engage with food citizens

With rising global crises and shrinking funding pots, local authorities have their work cut out to help and support their communities. Thankfully, there is a new narrative of the role of public sector emerging from these uncertain times. Rather than being the overstretched service provider and answer to all our problems, local authorities are increasingly stepping into their role as facilitators and conveners of change. So what can local authorities in the UK learn from

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Harnessing the power of food citizenship

Earlier this month, a group of us had the opportunity to gather around the question “How can thinking of ourselves and others as food citizens, rather than consumers, help solve the challenges of our food systems?”. After a warm welcome from Dan Crossley from the Food Ethics Council, Jon Alexander, co-founder of the New Citizenship Project, took us through the mindset shift that is currently happening in the wider world, from consumerism to citizenship. At

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How to nurture and empower our employees

Treating people as food citizens isn’t simply thinking about our customers or members differently. It is about how we interact with people within the food system, including our employees. If change starts from within, how can we support people within our organisations first? How do we nurture our immediate community and how do we empower our colleagues? We spoke to Adam Thompson, Chief Rebel at Rebel Kitchen, to hear about how one business approaches its

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Why education alone cannot bring about positive change

The “solution” I hear mentioned most often when it comes to solving the current climate crisis is ‘education’. Indeed, education is a first step to any meaningful action, but it cannot lead to action without a sense of agency – the belief that we can create change. On its own, education brings a sense of responsibility without necessarily the tools to create change, which either leads to denial of responsibility (and shifting responsibility to someone

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How young people can drive the Food Revolution

As a teenager, and largely by chance, I became involved in various local youth projects that opened my eyes to a world of organisations, projects and advisory boards that engaged with many issues and ideas that interested me. This involved giving more than a few tokenistic speeches and meetings with ‘decision makers’. Overall this experience left me rather optimistic, having encountered so many adults that were interested in what young people had to say. I

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The Co-op

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1558096598523{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Where: Manchester, England What we are most proud of: We’re most proud of our ability at Co-op to have authentic and meaningful conversations with Co-op members about the issues that matter to them most. That way we can drive meaningful change together! Our programme: In 2018, Co-op launched its Future of Food ambition – our recipe for a sustainable food future. The ambition has three chapters: Chapter 1: Sourcing & creating

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Fantastic leaders and where to find them

How to spot our fellow food citizen leaders You believe in people. You want to do the right thing for society to thrive now and in the future, but you know that you can’t do it alone. A key step to building our food citizenship movement – and to getting anywhere in the ethical food sector – is to find the right partnerships. Whether we are bringing multiple organisations to work towards a common goal

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Food Teachers Centre

The Food Teachers Centre is a UK based self-help group founded by Louise T Davies in 2013 and supported by experienced associates. It provides a platform to exchange best practice, gives advice and support to less experienced teachers, answering practical concerns and keeping them abreast of the latest curriculum changes. A one-stop shop for like-minded professionals who seek help and information. It is free to take part and is facilitated through a closed on-line group,

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The Open Food Network

The Open Food Network (OFN) is a growing network of small to medium and community food enterprises, independent producers, retailers and distributors, dedicated to building a stronger, fairer food system in the UK.

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HISBE Food CIC

HISBE Food is a new type of supermarket, built and run on a purpose-led social enterprise business model, for the benefit of local people, local economy and local community.

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How to get people to care about food (And how to empower them to act)

Good news: people already care. As citizens, we care about animals being treated humanely, about the wellbeing of the environment, about the livelihoods of those who grow and make our food. Don’t believe it? Before diving into the Food Citizenship movement, I didn’t either. And that’s because by only talking about the consumer, we are missing the bigger picture. The Common Cause found that most people care more about things like ‘helpfulness’, ‘equality’ and ‘protection of

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How do we grow the Food Citizenship movement?

Since starting work on the Food Citizenship movement, I have received countless enquiries to collaborate, to help grow the movement and to start the movement in a particular sector, city, or even country! There is a lot of appetite to get involved and great potential for this new shift in society to take hold. So how do we grow this movement? How do we spread this idea that ‘citizen’ is a much broader representation of

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From consumers to food citizens: Three steps your organisation can take now

As food citizens, we believe in the power of people. We want to and can have a positive influence on the food system. We also know that we express more of our true selves as citizens than we do as consumers. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said: “Show people as one thing, only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” (Her TED talk here is worth the detour!) So what story

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© Hugh Warwick 2019

The power of (the ORFC) community

Happy New Year! ? (It’s still socially acceptable to say that mid-January, right?) 2019 was in for a great start with the much-anticipated Oxford Real Farming Conference! We were very fortunate to run a session on Food Citizenship, which if you attended – THANK YOU! The session was a great opportunity to share what Food Citizenship looks like in practice. To help me I was joined by two great speakers: Clare Hill from FAI Farms,

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How a small shift in thinking – from Consumer to Citizen – can make a big difference in our food system

A new idea is taking hold across the UK food and farming sector: Food Citizenship. This idea tells us, and others, that we are not just consumers at the end of the food chain, but participants in the food system as a whole. It tells us that we have the power not just to choose, but to shape the choices on offer. We can and indeed are starting to work together in interdependence, seeking not

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