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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Bishop’s Castle adopts Community Food Resilience Strategy

Bishop’s Castle has become the first in Shropshire to develop and adopt a bespoke local-level Community Food Resilience Strategy.

Bishop's Castle
Bishop’s Castle

The strategy was adopted as a part of the Town’s Climate Action Plan, created by the Bishop’s Castle Community Partnership.

The Community Food Resilience Strategy was developed as a response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, supply chain instability from Brexit and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Cost of Living Crisis.

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The aim of the strategy is not only to plan for and support the community through unforeseen shocks, but to build up skills and community growing capacity for greater self-sufficiency, improved food access, affordability and health, as well as supporting local producers and food businesses.

Bishop’s Castle Town Council, along with community members at the grassroots and with the support of the Shropshire Good Food Partnership, have developed a special task group to deliver on the aims of the Strategy.

The first of its kind in Shropshire, this is an example of a ‘Food Policy Council’ seeking to be proactive and address a range of local food issues.

As Deputy Mayor for Bishop’s Castle, Councillor Andy Stelman says: “I believe that Councils in rural areas have a duty to support local producers and retail outlets and to do everything possible to encourage people to eat healthily and sufficiently.”

Referring to the ‘Right to Grow’ Motion approved by Shropshire Council in September 2022, he adds, “Growing food in areas that are otherwise unused is a good way of promoting healthy and cheap eating and would also be a way of giving the town common cause promote even greater community cohesion.”

As an organisation dedicated to “Good Food for people, place and planet”, The Shropshire Good Food Partnership hopes that more communities and councils across the county will be empowered by this example to start their own discussions and strategy work on food resilience.

“As an initiative, making Bishop’s Castle food secure and food resilient is an exercise in ‘radical optimism’: imagining what is possible, rather than being marred by perceived obstacles.

“It is about Good Food for All: a movement that everyone can get behind – In the words of Pam Warhurst, the founder of Incredible Edible, “if you eat, you’re in”. – Daphne Du Cros, Coordinator, Shropshire Good Food Partnership.

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