Food Plymouth CIC, the infrastructure organisation behind the city’s local food partnership Food Plymouth, joined dozens of organisations as a founder signatory of the Resurgam Charter at its virtual launch event on 23rd March 2021. So, what does this mean, and how can you get involved?
We are in the midst of a global pandemic which is both a health emergency and an unprecedented economic shock. This is a time when local government really matters. Our plan must protect jobs and address the immediate threats to lives and livelihoods, but it must also reset the local economy to address structural inequalities in our city and place a fairer and greener future at the heart of our recovery.
What is the Resurgam Charter?
Resurgam, meaning ‘I shall rise again’ in Latin, became a motto of resilience for Plymouth after the bombing of St Andrew’s Church in March 1941, and has now been revived by Plymouth City Council as the name of their economic recovery intiative launched in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Resurgam Charter is a collective commitment from local businesses to take swift action in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, helping to protect the city’s sizeable economy and local jobs. It aims to ‘build back better’, growing a prosperous economy that reduces inequality, is sustainable, and that truly serves the wellbeing of all the people of Plymouth.
It provides a framework for discussion and decision-making through 5 key areas:
- Spend – buy locally and to benefit our city
- Employ – provide fair, flexible work opportunities that enable everyone to thrive
- Upskill – support everyone to develop their skills, helping them access great jobs and live fulfilling lives
- Environment – be environmentally responsible, responding proactively to the Climate Emergency
- Community – support community activities to improve quality of life
These feed in to the core 6 pillars of the wider Resurgam initiative:
- Sector action plans – dedicated taskforces to work with sector leaders and groups to deliver focused and tailored support
- City centre renaissance – a mixed use city centre and a more locally distinctive offer for all the people of Plymouth
- Recovery beacons – transformational projects that will symbolise our recovery and set the direction for positive change in the local economy and life of the city
- Build 4 Plymouth – accelerating big construction, building and infrastructure projects that will create jobs and build foundations for future prosperity
- Spend 4 Plymouth – focusing on the importance of spending our pounds in Plymouth and maximising the benefits
- Skills 4 Plymouth – helping people to gain the skills they need to meet the demand of our local employers and sectors as an aid to recovery and to address future skills demands
You can learn more about Resurgam here.
Shared goals for a sustainable economy for the food sector and beyond
So how does the work of Food Plymouth, its partners and network come into play?
As the city’s local food partnership, we bring together a wide variety of businesses, organisationsm individuals and community groups, working across all aspects of the food system. Since 2015, Plymouth has held the Sustainable Food Places Bronze Award and together we are now working towards Silver Award status, focusing on the following 6 key strands:
- Healthy Food for All
- Food for the Planet
- Good Food Movement
- Food Governance and Strategy
- Catering and Procurement
- Sustainable Food Economy
The work of the Resurgam initiative aligns with each of these and presents particular opportunities for the Sustainable Food Economy and Catering and Procurement areas of work. Already, Plymouth City Council has committed to a 10% increase in spending with local suppliers over the course of the next two years under their Spend 4 Plymouth campaign, which also includes a new Plymouth Supplier Directory to help local businesses do business with each other. Meanwhile, shoppers can ensure their money stays local with the Geddon Plymouth Shop 4 Plymouth sister campaign.
These efforts absolutely chime with our own to further grow and strengthen a sustainable local food economy in and around the city, and we are delighted to see such strong commitment at policy level. We’re excited to explore how we can work collaboratively with businesses and organisations aligned with the Resurgam Charter to build momentum on our journey towards the Sustainable Food Places Silver Award.
Sophie Paterson, Sustainable Food Places Coordinator, Food Plymouth
So how can you play a part of the Resurgam story, either as an organisation or as an individual?
What you can do as an organisation
As an organisation, you can sign up to the Resurgam Charter too. By signing the Resurgam Charter your business is committing to deliver one or more activities under the five themes. This activity will create a fairer and greener Plymouth through activities such as your spend, upskilling, employment and interaction with the community and the environment.
Joining and using the Plymouth Supplier Directory is another easy way to get involved as a business. The directory is an inclusive, free of charge business-to-business platform enabling any buyer to search the directory and any local supplier to apply to register and advertise their expertise. Buyers who have signed the Resurgam Charter can also become a Partner to the site and have a Partner page.
What you can do as an individual
Checking out the Geddon Shop 4 Plymouth campaign – and sharing it with your friends and family – is a great place to start, particularly as lockdown restrictions begin to ease this month. The video below provides a flavour of what’s on offer.
Finally, an invitation from us here at Food Plymouth: if you’re working in the food sector in and around Plymouth and are interested in strengthening our sustainable food economy through local procurement, we’d love to chat with you. Email Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
Main image by Smalljim via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons.