TF makes submission to Bishop’s Inquiry

Our letter to the Bishop of Truro in respect of his inquiry into Food Poverty and Waste follows, sent on 25th September. The report is due during December this year:

    We are a local group - see https://www.transitionfalmouth.org.uk - and this submission is made in the context of the Transition ethos which is about helping local communities here in Cornwall and elsewhere become more resilient in the face of climate change and the related need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; to cut carbon emissions and conserve vital natural resources, which are essential to the future well-being of our planet.

    As work continues towards achieving these aims we believe the need to increase local food production and reduce waste in our communities will become increasingly important.

    To that end we would submit :-

    • that much more of our food will need to be sourced locally.......... therefore the means of production here in Kernow needs to be maintained and encouraged. This will involve curtailing development on good agricultural land and actively supporting (through our shopping habits) our local food producers and local suppliers (food and farmers' markets and associated local businesses)

    • that no food should go to waste.......that is, be sent to landfill or incinerated

    Here a distinction needs to be made between a) waste food and b) food waste...

    • a) the quantity of surplus edible food wasted (waste food) must be reduced at source (by, for example, ending certain supermarket practices which result in large amounts of wasted food) and any unavoidable surplus must be collected as a matter of routine for distribution to those in need through food-banks and other means while the need exists.

    • b) in respect of inedible food waste collections systems need urgently to be put in place across Kernow,  to utilize this valuable resource through :-

      • increased home composting (household food waste using appropriate containers) and

      • treatment at a network of Anaerobic Digestion plants which can turn unwanted food and farm waste (both household and commercial food waste) into genuinely renewable energy (bio-gas) and create a very useful fertilizer by-product. This provision should be part of a Cornwall-wide waste and recycling strategy.

    Finally, all the above needs to be part of an overall comprehensive food strategy for Cornwall which puts the valuing of food at its heart (with a renewed focus on education at all levels), and which regards any waste which is generated as a valuable resource and not simply something to be thrown away. Incineration and/or land-filling of waste food and/or food waste has no place in a caring and compassionate low carbon society.

    We understand that your Inquiry covers both England and Cornwall, but felt a perspective from a local action group might be of some interest. If you are able to take some of these points on board we would be most grateful.

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