Cornwall Food Policy Pact
Utilising funding from Research England’s Policy Support Fund, Dr David Monciardini and Dr Tiago de Melo Cartaxo aimed to develop a substantial policy framework that policymakers could use as a reference point for the development of a Cornwall Food Policy Pact and become of further use for other rural locations and policymakers of varying levels.
Building upon previous work with Cornwall Council (Tevi project), they designed a food waste policy, the Cornwall Food Policy Pact. It aims to radically reduce food waste by promoting hubs that recover food mainly from supermarkets, restaurants and companies’ canteens. It also gives it to charities and NGOs who distribute it to the neediest citizens and local communities.
While designing the Cornwall Food Policy Pact with Cornwall Council, they needed to offer policymakers solid examples of food policies. They referred to the successful example of the Milan Food Policy Pact, which the researchers have studied in detail and with whom they had built a strong relationship. Using this previous food policy, they began to map out a framework for who to talk to to build this new policy. Starting at a grassroots level, they visited farmers and food banks and began linking those local community producers. Monciardini found that this encouraged researcher’s to think more practically.
The funding allowed them to complete 12 in-depth interviews and two very successful workshops with local food policy stakeholders in Cornwall to discuss national and international best practices and develop a county-wide food governance strategy. The workshops provided a perfect moment to discuss the research they were passionate about, build relationships and showcase some significant local food partnership initiatives, such as Sustainable Food Cornwall-The Hive and Tamar Grow Local. This work encouraged local policymakers to think more long-term and holistically about the Cornwall food system.
Ultimately Monciardini and Cartaxo found that creating a solid network foundation, establishing strong relationships with public authorities, and building towards a common goal was critical. In this case, it encouraged the Cornwall food system to become “more inclusive, resilient and sustainable” and allowed policy learning dynamics to emerge.
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