True cost of food debated at Liverpool conference

When it comes to the food we eat, who profits, who pays and what needs to change? These were the topics tackled at the recent 2016 Sustainable Food Cities Conference, which was held at the University of Liverpool.

Sustainable Food Cities is a national network which encourages groups to work together to make their areas known for healthy and sustainable food. This year’s conference, organised by the Soil Association, Liverpool Food People and Dr Iain Young from the University’s Institute of Integrative Biology, brought together more than 150 delegates from academia, government, industry and the third sector to share ideas and experiences.

Issues such as how the UK should tackle its dependence on imported food, rising food prices, sugar addiction and food waste were covered through panel discussions and workshops. Welcoming talks were provided by Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet Member for Fairness, Social Inclusion and Equalities at Liverpool City Council and Professor Martin Mortimer from the University’s Food Security Network.

Collaborative spirit

Dr Iain Young said: “The conference was attracted to Liverpool, one of the UK’s ‘Sustainable Food Cities,’ because of the local enthusiasm and activity focusing on sustainable food issues.

“This attitude is embodied by the University’s close partnership with the Liverpool Food People network. As well as this conference, we’ve worked together on a number of sustainable food projects, such as the Eat the Atlantic Food Festival, and are currently planning a new series of healthy eating, growing and buying events for the student community.”

The conference also hosted this year’s Sustainable Food Cities Awards, which are designed to recognise and celebrate the success of UK cities that are taking a holistic approach to food and achieving positive change on a range of key food issues.

Sustainable Food Cities Conference 2016 was supported by the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Guild of Students, Liverpool Food People, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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