Day 1: Good food for all
Partnerships for change in schools, cities and communities

Food, and how we produce it, is an entry point into people’s lives, health and understanding of our connection with the natural world, as well as being critically important in its own right. Day 1 looked at how we can change food culture in schools, cities and communities, so that ‘good food for all’ can become the norm.

Attendees on day 1 heard from Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director, Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, about how the new Health and Wellbeing Boards in England can drive local action on food skills, food procurement and food poverty.

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Partnership work in schools celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and Myles Bremner, Director of the recently launched School Food Plan, talked about how the success of Food for Life can be taken forward into the next decade.

The Sustainable Food Cities concept is coming of age across the UK, and we heard from its leading architects across the UK.

Attendees were given the chance to quiz campaigners and opinion leaders about the causes of increasing food poverty, and how some lasting solutions can be found.

And finally, we heard from Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, about what can be achieved in the new public health landscape.

Speakers, audio and presentations

10:00: Welcome
Helen Browning, Chief Executive, Soil Association

Session 1: Transforming food culture in schools and beyond

10:10: The DfE School Food Plan and the Food for Life Partnership
Myles Bremner, Director School Food Plan
Watch the School Food Plan film on YouTube introduced at 0min 50secs by Myles Bremner
10:25: Why food matters in the new public health landscape
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director, Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England
Download Professor Kevin Fenton's presentation [pdf, 161 kb]
10:35: Commissioning the Food for Life Partnership at scale
Lynne McNiven, Consultant in Public Health, Nottingham City Council
Download Lynne McNiven's presentation [pdf, 287 kb] Mike Sandys, Joint Director of Public Health, Leicestershire County Council
Download Mike Sandys' presentation [pdf, 467 kb]
10:50: Questions from the floor

Session 2: Sustainable Food Cities – joining it up place by place

11:30: The Sustainable Food City model
Tom Andrews, Associate Director, Sustainable Food Cities/Soil Association
Download Tom Andrews' presentation [pdf, 419 kb]
11:40: Putting it into practice in Kirklees
Tony Cooke, Assistant Director of Public Health, Kirklees Council
Download Tony Cooke's presentation [pdf, 328 kb]
11:50: Panel session: could Sustainable Food Cities go UK-wide?
Chair: Gabriel Scally, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments
Jim Kitchen, Chair, Belfast Food Network
Councillor Hinds, City of Edinburgh Council
Joined by Tom Andrews and Tony Cooke for Q&A

Session 3: School lunch hour

12:45: Film - The impact of the Food for Life Partnership
12:50: For what we are about to receive...The power of food in schools
Cal Shaw, Headteacher, Chestnuts Primary School, London
13:00: School-style lunch

Session 4: The elephant in the room: food poverty

14:15: Interactive table session: what are the lasting solutions to food poverty?
Introduction to the session by Monty Don
Speakers from tables:
Carmel McConnell, Founder, Magic Breakfast
Download Carmel McConnell's presentation [pdf, 2.8 mb]Rosie Boycott, Chair, London Food Board
15:15: Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University
Libby Grundy, Director, Food for Life Partnership

Session 5: Looking forwards for the Food for Life Partnership

15:30: Why the Royal Society for Public Health has joined the Food for Life Partnership
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health
Download Shirley Cramer's presentation [pdf, 242 kb]
15:50: Closing words: Helen Browning

Key quotes of the day:


Monty Don, Soil Association President

"All good food starts in the soil. Never forget the soil."

Helen Browning, Soil Association Chief Executive

"We will be provoked to think anew about what an ecological organic future could look like."

Myles Bremner, Director, School Food Plan

"Collaboration, positivity and stay passionate with the courage of our convictions to transform school food."

Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England

"Food is central to the new landscape of locally delivered public health using a holistic and integrated approach."

Mike Sandys, Leicestershire County Council

"The Food for Life Partnership can offer a 'rainbow' effect joining up health, food and community."

Lynne McNiven, Nottingham City Council

"I absolutely believe that tackling obesity is key to this - there is an excellent pilot in Lincolnshire at the moment."

Tom Andrews, Sustainable Food Cities

"We have got to take a holistic approach and involve everyone to embed cultural change."

Jim Kitchen, Belfast Food Network

"We want to innovate, educate and celebrate Belfast as a sustainable food city."

Councillor Lesley Hinds, City of Edinburgh Council

"Edible Edinburgh is all about Food and Fun!"

Tony Cooke, Kirklees Council

"The wrong type of food is too cheap. The right type of food is harder to find and may not be as cheap."

Cal Shaw, Headteacher, Chestnuts Primary School

"We wanted to show children what good food looks like... education of food with parents and teachers is very important, children want to do what adults do."

Monty Don, Soil Association President

"We subsidise housing and heating to consumers so why not good food? There should be no shame around this issue"

Carmel McConnell, Founder, Magic Breakfast

"1 million children arrive at school hungry in the UK. You guys (the Food for Life Partnership) hold the answer"

Rosie Boycott, Chair, London Food Board

"Food system change is never going to happen from Central Government, it has to happen from the bottom up"

Professor Tim Lang, City University

'The gap between rich and poor in our country is now greater than in Victorian times'

Libby Grundy, Director, Food for Life Partnership

"Examples like Chestnuts School show that good food for everyone, especially the most deprived, can be a right and not a privilege."

Shirley Cramer, Royal Society for Public Health

"A third of children in England are at risk of serious chronic ill health due to obesity"
Find out about day 2 - Giving it welly

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The Soil Association 2013 conference is kindly supported by:

Day 1 sponsors

Big Lottery Fund Food for Life Partnership

Day 2 sponsor


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