Feeding Manchester #14

The purpose of FeedingManchester #14 on the 9th November 2013, was to finish the work we started at Feeding Manchester #13 in creating a strategy for transforming Greater Manchester into a Sustainable Food City.

 

In the summer of 2010 we collectively developed a response to Manchester’s climate change strategy called Visioning Manchester's Sustainable Food Sector in 2020’. Twenty inspiring food advocates: from businesses like Unicorn Grocery to Glebelands City Growers to charitable organisations like Hulme Community Garden Centre came together to vision a healthy, fair & sustainable food system for our city.

 

Three years on, at FM #14 we looked both at the progress that had been made, but also to create a meaningful and detailed action plan for the whole of Greater Manchester.

 

At Feeding Manchester #13 over 50 individuals from over 30 organisations got together to vision Greater Manchester as a sustainable food city. Representatives from the third-sector, co-operatives, independent businesses, activist groups, social entrepreneurs and  the public sector gathered for a day-long event of discussions, workshops and presentations.

 

Most of the day was spent in three groups: growers, distribution/retailers and an awareness-raising/education/policy group.  By utilising the vast wealth and range of experience and expertise of these pioneers we focused on three questions:

 

a) What does Greater Manchester as a sustainable food city look like?

b) How do we work together to make this a reality?

c) What do we ask others to do? E.g. What should local authorities do to support our work?

 

We began by visioning what we’d like Greater Manchester to look like in 10 years. We then used this exercise to carry out a SWOT analysis where we identified the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to our sector. The day ended as we worked to develop commitments and prioritise them. This proved to be challenging, but it is obvious that a shared vision and good communication and co-operation is essential for the sector to be successful.

Feeding Manchester #14 built on this visioning exercise to develop a practical action plan for Greater Manchester’s Sustainable Food Sector. The day was interspersed with opportunities for networking and we had 5-minute speed presentation from groups from across the sector.

 

The copious notes from this event along with FeedingManchester #13 records have been feed directly to the GM Sustainable Food Strategy Working Group and will be presented at FeedingManchester #15.