Hosted over Zoom over two consecutive days, the Regional Food System Conference brought together over 100 people to discuss the issues and opportunities relating to our food system in South West Wales.
The goal was to share perspectives and co-produce priorities for regional collaboration, by creating space for a wide diversity of people to participate in conversations about what’s important, what they’d love to see, and how we can make change happen.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAID
Prior to the conference, we invited thought-leaders and experts to discuss their perspectives on key issues and opportunities relating to our regional food system, including Patrick Holden from Sustainable Food Trust, Katie Palmer from Food Sense Wales and Jane Powell from Food Society Wales.
Catch up on everything that happened over the two-day conference by tuning in to the event recordings below.
ARISING ACTIONS & THEMES
In the face of climate change, worsening wealth and health inequality, and other multi-dimensional crises, food can be a powerful force for good, reconnecting us with our natural world, with our local places, and with each other – and making us more resilient, as people and communities. Given this immense potential, the truth is that none of us is doing enough, to support and scale the healthy, fair and regenerative food system we want to see.
This report sets out what can be done, and what needs to be done, by us all. We hope you feel inspired to be part of the solution, and to be part of the change you want to see in the world. Keep in touch! There is lots to do!
None of us can transform the regional food system on our own, but by working together with the right vision and level of ambition, our region can lead the way in Wales and the World. This is just the beginning of an ongoing change process that will involve us all working together over time. We plan to reconvene at approximately 6 monthly intervals to keep things moving forward.
Following the conference, we now have a number of emerging projects for which we are seeking support and involvement. In Swansea, Bywd Abertawe is a new collaboration seeking to establish Swansea as a “Sustainable Food Place” – please connect with the Bywd Abertawe team. 4theRegion is now talking to a number of food producers, outlets and distributors to explore opportunities for collaboration and scaling-up – a conversation we would welcome you to be part of if you would like to be involved. And we are planning a programme of work to engage with hospitality businesses in 2022, to explore opportunities for more local sourcing.
Our full Event Report covers more of the emerging projects, next steps, and ideas for how YOU can support regional food in your community or organisation. All partners are requested to put the subject of transforming our regional food system onto their upcoming meeting agendas. We invite you to present this report to your colleagues and agree actions appropriate to the scale and influence of your organisation. If you would like us to come and speak at an upcoming meeting, please ask!
We have agreed to keep in touch by means of a regional email list for all those interested in and/or active in transforming our food system. If you have updates or information to share, or if you would like to join the list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you are working in this space, have a project in mind, or would like to fund or support regional initiatives relating to food, please reach out to us so we can connect, amplify and collaborate!