Responding to the demand for food security
8th November 2018
By Zoe Nile
Joining a rich and diverse group of participants, Food Plymouth were very pleased to be invited to present at this recent ESRC Festival of Science event at The University of Plymouth last week.
Proceedings began with an Introduction by Dr Marta Hawkins and Councillor Chris Penberthy who provided an overview of the current conditions of the market asking: what do consumers want and what does the planet need today? Chris outlined the cooperative values and principles in this context.
Dr Clare Pettinger then went on to discuss the Grow Share Cook project, how it has successfully delivered fresh food and food education to those who need it. Looking back at the evaluation, Clare made a very poignant comment about ‘hearing the voices of people with lived experience’.
Addressing food poverty isn’t simply doling out food parcels, as was evident in the evaluation, it is listening to the needs of the individual and signposting resources and information that can provide them with the tools to help themselves and their families.
We went on to hear from Dr Hail Rihan of the: Plant Factory Cornwall , the catchy by-line said it all: ‘A growing phenomenon’. In his presentation Hail detailed Agri-Tech Cornwall and the Plant Factory Project detailing the LED lighting systems used and showing the results of this lighting spectra on Basil. The results were most impressive!
Tamar Grow Local’s Simon Platten also joined us to detail how using social and ecological systems to build resilient local food systems is working for them. University of Plymouth researcher Dr Dave Carter presented: From hunter gatherers to secure food suppliers in South East Cornwall, closely followed by Dr Katarzyna Gajewska and her inspiring presentation: How cooperatives and P2P (peer to peer) platforms produce and consume food and make profit: challenges and successes.
Food Plymouth CIC director Ian Smith presented a succinct background, up to the minute achievement details and the enterprising and innovative context of Food Plymouth. This session also brought the opportunity for the people in the room to join together in groups to discuss the different types of opportunities available regarding food coops and ask which ones would they like to see happen and highlight how Food Plymouth could support them.