In February 2023, we launched our strategy at an in-person event attended by nearly 50 food stakeholders from around the county. The day included presentations from steering group members, facilitated breakout discussions, and a marketplace for local food organisations, initiatives, and businesses to showcase their work. The feedback and conversations from the day have helped inform the Partnership’s actions.
Our strategy was written in consultation with our steering group and seeks to be representative and inclusive of all parts of the food system. It is broken down into six sections, based on the SFP’s six key themes, and identifies the key strategic priorities for Devon’s food system for the next five years. Our role is to encourage and inspire food stakeholders around Devon to deliver action on these priorities.
1. Food Governance and Strategy
Devon is a large and diverse county with a complex food system. To foster better understanding of the challenges and successes around the county, we need to facilitate conversation and collaboration between stakeholders across all sectors. This is essential to move to a more environmentally, socially, and economically resilient and sustainable food system.
2. Good Food Movement
Building a good food movement involves bringing together individuals, organisations, and institutions to work collectively towards a vision of a sustainable food system. We will engage with and connect citizens, farmers, businesses, and other organisations to champion local, sustainable, healthy food.
3. Healthy Food for All
Since the covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, household food insecurity has become a more significant issue in Devon. Existing organisations, like Feeding Devon, provide a variety of support services including traditional food banks, food clubs, and social supermarkets. Nevertheless, we recognise that a joined-up, collaborative approach is needed to build a more resilient, long-term system of food support.
4. Sustainable Food Economy
The food and farming sectors are essential parts of Devon’s economy but are also under enormous pressures. Farmers’ concerns about the agricultural transition need to be heard and addressed through support services, such as the Future Farming Resilience project. For businesses, the Made in Devon scheme helps raise the profile of local produce for consumers. Promotion of these and other schemes will help ensure that local, sustainable food becomes the norm.
5. Catering and Procurement
Better food procurement has enormous co-benefits including improving access to healthy food, reducing food miles, and stimulating the local economy. We will engage with anchor institutions to highlight these benefits and encourage the use of sustainable, healthy food from local suppliers. Further work needs to be done to support smaller farmers’ and producers’ access to markets.
6. Food for the Planet
The Devon Food Partnership is part of the Devon Carbon Plan – the roadmap for how Devon will reach net zero emissions by 2050. To improve the sustainability of our food, advice for farmers, fishers, and landowners should be easily accessible, and they should be fairly paid for their work and produce. It is also essential to continue to tackle food waste throughout the supply chain, from field to fork. We will raise awareness of issues around sustainability and help promote best practice.
The full Strategy can be accessed below.
- Devon’s Good Food Strategy 2023 – 2028