We are delighted that the first Cambridge Sustainable Food Awards have been made: Ben Aveling, of Radmore Farm Shop, was the first to apply following the launch of the scheme this year, and has received a silver award. (You can follow Ben’s monthly blog in the Cambridge News, where he focuses on all things local and seasonal. Ben farms in Northamptonshire and much of what he sells comes from the farm.) This is Ben’s response to the award: “We’re feeling very proud at the shop this month, having become the first business to receive a silver award from Cambridge Sustainable Food. This has led to much discussion in our house about what sustainability means to us.
To me, it’s the foundation of the business we run. It’s shopping as locally as possible to cut down food miles, as well as making the most of what’s in season and fresh. It’s about eating better quality meat less often, rather than eating cheaper processed meats every day. It’s about being ethical and responsible as a producer and retailer. Perhaps most importantly to me, it’s about reducing waste and making the most of your leftovers – and it just so happens that using up leftovers is my favourite way to cook.”
Three other awards have been made: Arjuna Wholefoods, Cambridge’s long-standing vegetarian cooperative (since 1970), which recently featured in a fascinating book about its history: “Wholefood Heroes”, receives a gold award. Nanna Mexico, which provides freshly-made Mexican food (much of it locally sourced) to eat in or take away from two locations, Petty Cury and Regent Street, obtains a silver. Luis Navarro sources high quality meat from Dingley Dell in Norfolk, but also serves excellent vegan options and says getting the award “is a privilege that motivates me to work harder to make Nanna Mexico a model business that serves our community in the best possible way.”
Holy Schnitzels, one of the foodPark street trader collective, also receives a silver. (Alex and Beccy Adomeit are passionate about local sourcing and food sustainability – although their food is inspired by their Austrian heritage, most ingredients are locally sourced.)
You can see that already a wide range of food businesses have applied: shops, a restaurant and a street trader, and there are plenty more in the pipeline. Our sustainable food pledge covers five areas of sustainability:
building a strong local food economy; promoting environmental sustainability (including reducing meat consumption); ensuring food fairness; promoting health and wellbeing for all; reducing food waste). In order to achieve a silver award, food businesses have to show us that they meet seven out of the 13 objectives, as well as choosing an objective to work on over the next months. You can download the detailed guidance notes for the pledge here and the pledge itself here.
If you are a food business, please think about applying! As someone who cares about food sustainability, encourage your local food businesses to apply! And watch this space!