Better access to fresh food for all is our goal - Cllr George Gordon

Tackling climate change is a key priority for this council administration and we are focused on delivering a net zero Edinburgh by 2030. This will have many wider benefits for poverty and people’s health and wellbeing as we come out of the pandemic.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:00 am
The Growing Locally strategy takes a look at the ways Edinburgh can tackle food insecurity and improve access to fresh food

The publication this week of ‘Growing Locally’, Edinburgh’s first food growing strategy, is a great example of how addressing climate change also supports the city’s ambitions of sustainability, ending poverty, and ensuring well-being and equalities are enhanced for all.

Because being sustainable is about more than just looking after the environment.

It’s about looking after Edinburgh’s social and economic needs. It means meeting the needs of the people who live and work in Edinburgh right now and making sure communities and families are healthy and secure.

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Being sustainable is about making sure everyone has access to the resources they require, from money to food. And, it means doing this in a way which doesn’t jeopardise future generations’ ability to do the same thing.

With this in mind, Growing Locally takes a look at the ways Edinburgh can tackle food insecurity and improve our citizens’ access to fresh food.

It also examines the role food plays in our lives – from the benefits it has on our physical health and emotional and mental wellbeing, to improving the city’s biodiversity and mitigating against the effects of climate change.

It is the first time that we have brought together a proposed approach to encouraging more local production, more sustainable management of food growing and perhaps most importantly of all, an ongoing discussion as a city about what a diverse and vibrant food economy looks like.

And by giving families greater information about healthy and sustainable food and supporting local businesses to continue to flourish we can help create the right conditions for these activities to thrive.

Over the past year Edinburgh has faced unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus outbreak, with a record number of people experiencing poverty and food insecurity. At the same time, climate change is a subject which is of increasing importance to people living and working in the city. The latest Edinburgh by Numbers report shows that around three quarters of citizens are concerned about the climate emergency and see it as an immediate and urgent problem.

Through the development of our Net Zero 2030 Strategy and End Poverty Delivery Plan we’re working towards making the changes required to transition to a carbon neutral economy and to do so in a way that is fair to all including those in this city who experience poverty.

Because being truly sustainable is about looking at the bigger picture. And the ability to do this rests on us working together in partnership with organisations and individuals across the city.

Only then will we be able to deliver wider social, health and economic benefits for all the Capital and make sure that everyone shares in Edinburgh’s success.

Councillor George Gordon, City of Edinburgh Council Sustainability Champion, Chair, Edible Edinburgh