Norwich gains national status as a ‘Sustainable Food Place’

Nourishing Norfolk joins local organisations as part of national Sustainable Food Places scheme

A partnership of Norwich-based organisations has been awarded membership of Sustainable Food Places, a national network of over 90 local partnerships aimed at making local, healthy and sustainable food available to all. Norfolk Community Foundation’s Nourishing Norfolk network will sit on the steering board of this partnership.

Norwich joins other cities including Bristol, Brighton & Hove and Cambridge as a member. Sustainable Food Places is a partnership programme run by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain. It is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Sustainable Food Norwich is a collaboration between Green New Deal Norwich, the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development based at UEA, Goodery, The Feed, Nourishing Norfolk, the Norwich Institute of Healthy Ageing, Norwich University of the Arts and a growing number of advisors, champions and other supporters.

The partnership will work with demonstration sites, including Marlpit Community Garden and Norwich FarmShare to empower more people to grow and cook their own food. It will build on the work of the Norwich Food Network and help deliver its Food Equality Action Plan.

The partnership will also help create shorter supply chains, put community at the heart of healthy food and work with people across the city to develop a food vision and strategy. The aim will be to give Norwich local resilience against a backdrop of global uncertainty.

Four women stand in a row in front of a counter at The Feed Social Supermarket Cafe. Left to right: Andrea, Lizzie, Laura, Izzy.
Norfolk Community Foundation and The Feed are part of the partnership

Norfolk Community Foundation is delighted to be supporting this innovative and exciting partnership. Through our food hubs and associated community research, we hope that we can help to address underlying issues that lead to food insecurity and help to forge more sustainable food networks in our county.

Sabine Virani stands outside and smiles at the camera. She wears a pink cardigan.

“We are re-thinking our local food system to put nutritious, local, affordable and regeneratively grown whole foods on everyone’s plates. Done right, this will help address food poverty, diet-related ill health and the climate and ecological crises, while supporting local farmers, businesses and communities to thrive. There are already many organisations, businesses and individuals trailblazing the way forward, and the partnership will help bring that work together into a more powerful, collective voice.”

Sabine Virani, Coordinator of Sustainable Food Norwich

“We are proud to be a member of the steering board for this exciting initiative, which brings together many of the themes around the food landscape in Norwich that Nourishing Norfolk is addressing across the county.”

Graeme Tolley, Community Development Manager
Professor Nitya Rao smiles against a blue background. She wears a black and blue sari.

“With the cost of living crisis, we see that people are increasingly struggling to get good quality affordable food that is produced sustainably. We see how important this initiative is, and are delighted to be part of it. As part of the Norwich Research Park, we’re renowned globally for our international development work, environmental and food research and are really happy that we can now use these skills to work with local communities to help improve our lives.”

Professor Nitya Rao, Director of the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development

National network: Sustainable Food Places

The Sustainable Food Places network works to tackle some of biggest social, economic and environmental issues today, from an epidemic of food poverty and diet related ill-health to the loss of independent high street food businesses and family farms through to climate change, biodiversity loss and food waste.

The national network includes over 90 towns, cities and counties across the UK, where individuals and organisations have come together to develop a joint vision of the kind of food culture and food system they want to see. And they are working together to make that vision a reality.

[Published: 13.06.2023]