The Lincoln Food Partnership has been awarded the University of Lincoln Vice Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement with Research.
The Award judges assessed the research on the ‘food economy and community’ of Lincoln that led to the production of the Lincoln City Food Strategy and the establishment of the Lincoln Food Partnership. In particular they evaluated the impact of the research on action on the ground, particularly in the areas of food poverty, food education, food waste and involvement with local policy.
The research was carried out by members of the University’s Health Advancement Research Team (HART), led by Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson and Professor Nigel Curry (pictured) and the judging panel deemed their performance in this area of linking research with action on the ground to be “exceptional”.
The Award was presented at a University’s ceremony to mark a number of areas of community achievement.
Across the globe, communities at every scale have recognised the key role food can play in dealing with some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges and are taking a joined up approach to transforming their food culture and food system.
Lincoln is one of those communities, and we are proud to be a network member of Sustainable Food Cities!
From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity loss to declining prosperity and social dislocation, food is not only at the heart of some of our greatest problems but is also a vital part of the solution.
The Sustainable Food Cities approach involves developing a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.
The Sustainable Food Cities Network helps people and places share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice on key food issues.
If you would like to know more about the Sustainable Food Cities network, please click here to be taken to their website.
The city council has a Fairtrade policy to raise awareness and encourage the promotion and procurement of Fairtrade products. A Fairtrade working group meets regularly.
The Lincoln Food Partnership is about tackling poverty and promoting sustainability, as is Fairtrade.
Councillor Gary Hewson, Fairtrade spokesperson for the City of Lincoln Council, said:
“One of our priorities is to reduce inequality in the city and we want to extend that to reach the vision of a world where justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices.”
Fairtrade increases standards of living and reduces risk and vulnerability for farmers and workers.
Fairtrade standards protect workers’ rights, which include a safe working environment and the right to join a trade union and negotiate with their employer, thus prohibiting discrimination and forced or illegal child labour.
Environmental protection is key. Fairtrade standards require smallholder farmer and larger hired labour production set ups to comply in areas such as: energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction; soil and water quality; pest management; and biodiversity protection.
Over 50 per cent of all Fairtrade-certified producers are also certified as organic.
Fairtrade standards also prohibit certain agrochemicals that harm the environment and health. They ensure that protective equipment is used and that farms are free from hazardous waste.
Farmers are advised on environmentally friendly practices, such as developing nutrient-rich soils and encouraging wildlife to help control pests and diseases – all good for environmentally sustainable food production.
It’s not just Fairtrade tea and coffee that you can buy, as there is also Fairtrade jewellery and cotton. So, when you are shopping, be sure to look out for the Fairtrade logo and ask for Fairtrade products.
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Lincoln Prison has installed an eco-smart food waste dryer, which has reduced its off-the-plate food waste by about 80 per cent.
Off-the-plate food waste is simply the food that we haven’t eaten after a meal that cannot otherwise be recycled. Because it has a high water content, drying it reduces its volume considerably and produces a sandy textured output that looks a bit like ground coffee.
This has considerably reduced the cost of getting rid of waste food for the prison, and the output can be mixed with other composting materials and put back on the land as a nutrient. It can also be turned in to briquettes with other waste material and used as a fuel.
“We were keen to make the prison more sustainable and the food dryer really is at the cutting edge of recycling technology,” explains Industries Manager Allan Jamieson, who is spearheading the project for the prison.
“We have been experimenting with a range of after uses and a number of possibilities are now coming to fruition.”
The dryers are supplied by Lincoln-based firm Bergmann Direct who specialise in a range of recycling technologies.
As we emerge from winter and welcome spring, children at Washingborough Academy have welcomed their grandparents to the school to help them plant their new batch of vegetable seeds.
Following the success of the project last year, the school has now decided to grow a more diverse selection of vegetables and fruits to include more heritage types, such as white beetroot, trombone courgettes and chocolate cherry tomatoes.
Through the Food Education curriculum, which the school has embedded into its classes, weekly TastEd lessons encourage the children to use all five of their senses to help expand their palates; by planting and growing the produce, children are much more likely to try fresh produce that they may not have been exposed to before.
This also enables the school to teach them that there are many more varieties of fruit and vegetables than you will find in the supermarkets.
The school has also welcomed visitors from Sweden, Italy and Portugal as part of DEMETER – a three-year project that encourages links between schools and farms.
This complements another project that the school is pioneering with LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), whereby classes are linked with farmers throughout the country via Skype or FaceTime.