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Soil Association Scotland to host The Power of Public Food webinar

24 Feb 2021
Scottish local authority decision makers, and all those with an interest in public food, are invited to join Food for Life Scotland to hear first-hand how public food is already making a positive change internationally and in Scotland.

The webinar, which will take place on 23 March 6-7:20pm, aims to showcase how the public plate can help build a green recovery.

Canadian chef, writer and activist Joshua Maharaj will talk about the importance of institutional food culture and the ‘transformative’ power of serving good food in the public sector. She has recently been working with hospitals and universities in Toronto to build new models for institutional food procurement, production and service.

Maharaj said: “Access to wholesome, affordable, delicious food is a basic human right. We need to be brave enough to acknowledge this, and then rebuild our food systems accordingly.”

Betina Bergmann Madsen, chief procurement officer in the City of Copenhagen, will speak about how Copenhagen has driven change in their public meals by upskilling catering staff, producing more freshly prepared meals and increasing sourcing of organic produce.

Madsen commented: “Public procurement of good food is a powerful tool for social change and can be used by local governments and municipalities to tackle climate change and to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Dr Audrey Sutton, executive director of communities and education at North Ayrshire Council, will discuss the council’s commitment to community wealth building and how this works in practice for food procurement.

Food for Life Scotland is a Soil Association Scotland programme funded by the Scottish Government. The programme supports local authorities to achieve the Food for Life Served Here award, which helps schools across Scotland to put locally sourced and sustainable food on the table.

Sarah Duley, head of food at Food for Life Scotland, added: "We're delighted to be hosting these inspiring speakers to share their expertise and to shine a spotlight on the power and potential of public food.

“The food we serve in public sector settings can drive positive change and provide solutions to the challenges we face in Scotland. These include addressing the climate change emergency, safeguarding public and planetary health, and generating economic resilience. This has never been more important than as we head out of the pandemic."