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City Centre Businesses Urged to Help Cardiff Become One of UK’s Most Sustainable Food Cities

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City centre businesses are being urged to take action to help Cardiff become one of the UK’s most sustainable food places by 2024.

Last year, Cardiff was awarded Silver Sustainable Food Places status – becoming the first place in Wales (and one of only six places in the UK) to achieve the prestigious accolade; the scheme is based on bronze, silver and gold achievements across six key sustainable food issues.

Now, independent businesses, third-sector organisations, and major institutions in the city centre are being urged to join in, and help Cardiff achieve Gold Sustainable Food Places status by the year 2024.

The campaign is being coordinated by Food Cardiff, the city’s rapidly growing food partnership which has evolved into a dynamic and inclusive city-wide network.

A new toolkit demonstrating how city centre businesses of all sizes and from all sectors can get involved has been created with the help of funding from For Cardiff’s City Ambition Fund.

Using the toolkit, businesses will be encouraged to pledge actions that contribute towards a thriving local food economy, defined as one in which everyone has access to food that is both healthy, and environmentally sustainable.

Pledges which hospitality businesses are specifically encouraged to take include:

  • Include two portions of fruit and veg in every meal
  • Ditch single use packaging and #choosetoreuse
  • Assess and reduce your food waste

Meanwhile, businesses from any sector can pledge to do some or all of the following:

  • Buy from – and invest in – organisations working towards a sustainable future
  • Source from local enterprises and not-for-profits
  • Provide healthy food and drink options for staff and visitors
  • Become a certified Living Wage employer
  • Source locally, and shorten supply chains
  • Support the local community by offering expertise or space
  • Read the Good Food Cardiff Strategy and become an ambassador for change
  • Share your Good Food actions with your networks
  • Join a Food Cardiff meeting

Case studies on Food Cardiff channels will highlight how some businesses are already paving the way; the first looks at how local entrepreneur and hospitality business owner Kasim Ali has embedded sustainability into his businesses.

Further case studies will highlight the ways that non-food businesses – including corporate organisations – can play their part in creating a more sustainable food city.

Case Study #1: Waterloo Tea & Wyndham Cafeteria

Waterloo Tea and Wyndham Cafeteria are two independent city-centre cafes based within Wyndham Arcade in the centre of Cardiff.

Sourcing locally has always been a key component of both businesses; suppliers from Cardiff Central Market are used create the menu at Wyndham Cafeteria; and a host of sustainable suppliers from South Wales are involved in creating the dishes at Waterloo Tea – from Alex Gooch bakery, to Windsor Fruit & Veg, and Castell Howell. In addition, both Waterloo Tea and Wyndham Cafeteria are certified Living Wage employers.

Kasim Ali at Waterloo Tea (Photo Credit – FOR Cardiff)

Founder and proprietor Kasim Ali explained,

“For us, running a sustainable food business is not just about the food we put on the plates, it’s about looking after the staff too; we’ve always paid above minimum wage, but we wanted to formalise this. Looking after our staff absolutely forms part of that sustainability picture.”

Kas is also a volunteer member of the Food Cardiff strategy board, which focuses on the partnership’s strategic direction, offering guidance on how to further develop and enhance its success.

Adrian Field from For Cardiff said,

“Our City Ambition Fund was set up to help realise the ambitions of our 2021-26 business plan, including helping Cardiff businesses transition to the green economy, and positioning the city centre as an open and accessible leisure destination of choice. We were delighted to get behind Food Cardiff, to help them to reach their goal of making Cardiff one of the most sustainable food cities in the UK, which absolutely ties into those ambitions.”

Pearl Costello of Food Cardiff with the Silver – Sustainable Food Places award

Food Cardiff’s Sustainable Food Places Coordinator Pearl Costello added,

“Food Cardiff believes that the food we eat has a huge impact on life in Cardiff – not just on people’s health, but on communities and businesses, food producers, and the environment too. We are so excited to see some of Cardiff’s most recognisable city centre businesses getting behind this campaign – and pledging to take action that will improve the local food system for everyone.”

Food Cardiff is part of Food Sense Wales, which aims to influence how food is produced and consumed in Wales, ensuring that sustainable food, farming and fisheries are at the heart of a just, connected and prosperous food system.

The Food Cardiff strategy board also includes ten volunteer members from a range of organisations including Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff Farmers’ Markets, Action in Caerau and Ely, Cardiff University as well as many others.

Through this network, Food Cardiff is driving change at a city level and is working to tackle some of today’s biggest social, economic and environmental issues.