Awarded by the UK partnership programme, Sustainable Food Places, Bristol is only the second city in the UK to achieve the status, with Brighton and Hove awarded it in 2020. The award announcement follows the work of city-wide initiative Bristol Going for Gold, led by coordinating partners Bristol Food Network, Bristol City Council, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, and Resource Futures.
Joy Carey, Director of Bristol Food Network and Strategic Coordinator of the gold bid said: "How we produce, trade, eat and waste food influences the most pressing issues facing us today: from climate and ecological breakdown to human health and well-being, from poverty and justice to animal welfare. Since achieving silver status in 2016, we’ve been determined to support and uncover more individuals, projects and initiatives that are contributing positively to a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system for the city. Bristol is brimming with people who are passionate about doing better when it comes to food and it has been our job to capture their stories and impact, whilst doing all we can to support a holistic approach to food in the city. We’re delighted that this work has been recognised at the highest level, being named a Gold Sustainable Food City. We want to thank and applaud all those doing better and those who have engaged with important conversations about the future of food here in Bristol."
The winning application focussed on themes of reducing food waste, community action and growing Bristol’s good food movement, buying better, urban growing, eating better and food equality. Examples of initiatives included in the successful bid were: Grow Wilder, an education centre and growing site empowering people the bring about positive change through sustainable food growing and wildlife friendly practices in Stapleton; the efforts of University of West of England and University of Bristol to take action to transform institutional food culture, including sustainable sourcing, redistributing surplus food, plant-based menus and gardening projects; The Children's Kitchen, a programme established across the city to explore eating and growing fresh produce with children; and FOOD Clubs, which are a partnership project between Family Action, Feeding Bristol and FareShare South West, with 16 clubs across the city providing nutritious food to families at a fraction of the normal cost.
GENeco's work surrounding the sustainable treatment of food waste was also discussed in the bid which is summarised or can be read in full here https://www.goingforgoldbristol.co.uk/bristols-gold-food-submission/