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Press Release

New project will build sustainable food communities in Wales

A new project is set to stimulate the growth of healthy and sustainable food communities in four areas of Wales, working alongside existing initiatives to drive a transformation in food culture.

The Sustainable Food Communities Wales project has been commissioned by the Organic Centre Wales project Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) and will be delivered by the Soil Association in partnership with local communities and public, private and third sector organisations.

The project starts in January 2011 and will be coordinated by Phil Morgan, who has joined the Soil Association from the Food Standards Agency Wales, where he was responsible for nutrition and healthy eating and helped to develop and deliver the first national nutrition strategy for Wales, 'Food and Well Being'.

Phil has had a long career in the Civil Service in Wales. Over a period of 37 years he has worked in a broad range of roles in the Welsh Office, Welsh Assembly Government, and latterly the Food Standards Agency, gaining extensive experience in the public health and food sectors.

Phil says: I am really looking forward to working on this exciting and challenging project. I am currently working out the best approach to delivering the project and would really welcome any suggestions and advice from anyone who might like to get involved.

The project will concentrate on four specific locations Cardiff, Newtown, Pembrokeshire and Gwynedd but will promote the concept of Sustainable Food Communities throughout Wales, helping individuals and organisations throughout the food chain to work together towards the common goal of a thriving healthy and sustainable food culture.

Work on the Sustainable Food Communities Wales project will be supported by use of the Food for Life Catering Mark, a Soil Association award offering unique accreditation for food catering. The Catering Mark combines a focus on health and nutrition with wider sustainability issues such as tackling climate change, conserving natural resources and improving animal welfare. It is open to all caterers in the UK, for menus in restaurants and workplace canteens; hospitals and care homes; nurseries, schools and colleges.

The Soil Association has been at the forefront of developing sustainable food communities, including the very successful Food for Life Partnership, which is transforming food culture in more than 3,000 schools in England and, more recently, through a growing programme of Sustainable Food City initiatives.

Ends

Photograph of Phil Morgan attached

More information

Phil Morgan, Soil Association PMorgan@soilassociation.org

Lucy Watkins, Organic Centre Wales, 01970 823158 luw1@aber.ac.uk

Notes for the editor

1. Organic Centre Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on organic food and farming to producers, food businesses, consumers and others. It is based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.

2. BOBL is an Organic Centre Wales funded under the Supply Chain Efficiencies scheme as part of the Welsh Assembly Government Rural Development Plan. The project is designed to support the primary producer in Wales and grow the market for Welsh organic produce in a sustainable way. The project will develop new, emerging and existing markets for organic produce whilst driving innovation, at all levels, within the supply chain. The overall aim is to support a thriving Welsh organic sector so that the benefits of WAG investment in the Organic Farming Scheme to generate agri-environmental benefits, and in the Welsh Organic Action Plan to support rural development and sustainable food production, can be fully realised.

3. The Soil Association was founded in 1946 by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists who observed a direct connection between the health of the soil, food, people and the environment. Today the Soil Association is the UK's leading organic organisation, with over 200 staff based in Bristol and Edinburgh. It is an educational charity with some 27,000 members, and its certification subsidiary, Soil Association Certification Ltd, certifies over 80% of organic farming and food processing in the UK. http://www.soilassociation.org

4. The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising schools meals, reconnecting young people with farms and inspiring families to cook and grow food.
The initiative is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Soil Association, bringing together the practical expertise of the Focus on Food Campaign, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust.
To join the Food for Life Partnership or find out more, check www.foodforlife.org.uk

In partnership with
ADAS logo Aberystwyth University logo Organic Research Centre Elm Farm logo
Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Gogerddan Campus
Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, SY23 3EB
T:01970 622248   E: organic@aber.ac.uk
Funding bodies
logo of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural DevelopmentWelsh Assembly Government logo
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