Pioneering food projects win funding for a host of initiatives

A pioneering environmental project in Middlesbrough wants growers, producers and retailers to launch themselves into sustainable food initiatives.

One Planet Middlesbrough aims to raise awareness of local food and help the town fight affects of climate change. Funding comes from the Big Lottery’s Communities Living Sustainably scheme and the Plunkett Foundation.

Projects include the formation of a local food steering group to guide and inform policymakers, the development of a network, database and website on crops and growing, the creation of a brand and identification of routes to market and retail channels.

One Planet Middlesbrough project manager Catherine Boyle said: "We have a great opportunity to drive forward the town’s food sustainability agenda. There are producers locally who are passionate about food.

"Meanwhile residents would love to buy more locally but there’s a real gap in linking the two at the moment. We’re working with partner organisations who can provide support and guidance and ultimately effect a change."

She called on anyone with a strong interest in local and sustainable food to become involved. Her team also wanted to hear from people in every sector, such as local producers.

The Plunkett Foundation was founded in 1919 and is a national organisation that aims to find the most effective ways of enriching community life, using economic solutions to create social change and tackle rural needs through self help.

Meanwhile Friends of Thorntree Park, a junior Football Club and Middlesbrough councillors planted 12 semi-mature red limes in Thorntree Park. Other improvements include footpath upgrading, hedge planting  and park entrance signs. Boro Becks Project contributed £6,000 and the park is going for a Green Flag in May.


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