This Transition Cafe event was on Wednesday 18 April 2012, from 7:00-9:30pm, at the lovely Harland Cafe.The focus for the evening was Sheffield’s Food Plan. Chris Shaw, Director of Health Improvement at Sheffield City Council, described the progress of the plan.
He expressed regret that the progress of the plan had been impacted by cutbacks etc., but thought that awareness about some transition concepts had begun to filter into discussions of those implementing the plan (e.g. with attention now being paid to food poverty and to wellbeing).
Questions from participants initially focused on the practical implementation of the plan, for example, whether a survey of available land for local food growing had been considered; how cumbersome public food procurement processes could be simplified to enable local organisations to participate; and whether the sustainable food cities award would actually bring any benefits. There was also a request to speed up the setting up of real partnership work with other local organisations interested in the food agenda. This is something which was raised a couple of years ago and hasn’t been achieved.
However, on a more positive note, a Conference is planned during the Food Festival in September 2012. Chris promised that rather than simply being consumer-focused, this will include consultative and awareness-raising elements. Transition Sheffield will be helping to organise these with the aim of moving to more sustainable, resilient food systems in Sheffield. If you are able to help in any way, or your organisation would like to be involved, please contact rickwatson50’AT’hotmail.com.