Food that’s good for people, place and planet

Market Drayton Climate Action (MDCA) members have unanimously agreed to sign the Good Food Charter from Shropshire Good Food Partnership1.

Agriculture, land use, and the larger global food system are among the biggest contributors to climate change. In combination with food waste they account for around a quarter of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions2. Shropshire Good Food Partnership (SGFP) is taking an all-encompassing approach to tackle the significant greenhouse gas emissions associated with the food we eat in Shropshire.

SGFP aims to create a local food system where people and nature can thrive. The partnership supports people to grow food locally and connects local producers to consumers. It aims to support ‘land sharing’ approaches that combine food production with biodiversity and environmental benefits, to build connections between people, nature, land, and food, and to improve access to local, affordable, quality food for everyone and reduce food waste.

MDCA wants to raise awareness of climate change, its causes and impacts, and to support action locally to reduce climate impact, so we are fully behind this partnership which is building a local food system that is good for people, place, and planet.

By signing up to the Good Food Charter, MDCA pledges to:

  • Promote the Charter
  • Advocate for regenerative food systems
  • Be responsible for reducing food waste and packaging
  • Commit to the redistribution of surplus food
  • Provide opportunities for people to grow food

And at any events where we intend to provide food, we also pledge to:

  • Serve only good food
  • Procure healthy and sustainable food that supports local economic prosperity
  • Celebrate Shropshire’s regional food heritage
  • Work to reduce our carbon footprint

If you agree that food should be: healthy so that it provides nourishment and enables people to thrive; produced in nature-positive ways and not wasted; fair, so that everyone along the food chain has been treated well; and that quality food should be accessible to all, then please sign the pledge3 as an individual, business, organisation, or institution.

Local opportunities

With the cost of living soaring and no sign of this stopping soon, growing food can be a way to directly save money on your food bills and connect with others to swap and share food.

Market Drayton Library has an ongoing free seed swap and Lidl and Morrisons sell peat-free compost. If you don’t have anywhere to plant, your black recycling boxes will make ideal planters when they are replaced by the Council’s new purple-lidded wheeled bin.

MDCA held a no-money plant share event in June which included tomato, runner bean, and edamame plants, a variety of herbs, and many different plants, flowers, and tree saplings that support pollinators and capture carbon. Our next plant share will be announced through our social media, or you can get in touch through our website4 to be kept informed.

Some locally grown and packaging-free foods are available from The Refill Emporium Zero Waste shop/Greengrocers in Market Drayton – just bring along your reusable containers. You can also grab a bargain from here and help to fight food waste through the Too Good To Go App. This shop, and other local sites such as places to recycle soft plastic packaging, can be found in MDCA’s Responsible Consumption map5.

Growers and farmers

The North Shropshire Farmers Group6 (44 members and growing) is working on many regenerative agriculture methods through landscape-scale, farmer-led conservation projects.

Regenerative agriculture enhances and sustains soil health by restoring its carbon content and can include, for example, compost application, cover crops, crop rotation, green manures, no-till or reduced tillage, and/or organic production.

If you’re a local grower or farmer trying to farm better for nature, the environment and our climate, and are interested in joining the Shropshire Good Food Partnership and providing affordable local food at our events, we’d like to hear from you. We are planning to provide lunch at a Community Conversation event to discuss climate change and climate actions. In support of our SGFP pledge, we will aim to provide good, healthy, sustainable, local food and are looking for local suppliers to collaborate with, so we’d love to hear from you.

1, and 3https://www.shropshiregoodfood.org/good-food-charter

2For example: Project Drawdown https://www.drawdown.org/publications/farming-our-way-out-of-the-climate-crisis

4 and 5To get in touch with us and explore our map:

6https://northshropshirefarmers.wordpress.com/blog/

The research for this article was conducted using the Ecosia search engine which removes ½kg of carbon dioxide per search. https://blog.ecosia.org/manifesto/