Filling up at first annual food conference

Published Thursday 23 March 2023 at 16:49

Blackburn with Darwen Food Alliance recently hosted its first annual conference – Let’s Talk Food at Ewood Park.

The Food Alliance is working across our community towards the goal of everyone having access to good food which is produced sustainably. Its work aims to increase the profile of the great work already being undertaken whilst driving forward an exciting and forward-thinking good food movement within the Borough.

In his welcome address, Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of the Council, set out a vision for the development of a good food movement aligned to the forward thinking, entrepreneurial approach of the Council and its commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to good food.

Leon Ballin, programme lead for Sustainable Food Places, highlighted the challenge of ensuring that everyone has access to good food produced sustainably within the context of the current cost of living challenges and the role that food partnerships have to play in achieving this.

Sarah Ottaway, the sustainability and social value lead for SUEZ UK gave some mind blowing figures of how food waste translates on a global level and the things we can do to reduce this.

Sheila Dillon, presenter of BBC R4’s The Food Programme gave the inaugural BwD Food Alliance Presentation, describing the evolution of our current food system and the ways in which our increased reliance on a small number of supermarket chains impacts on our health, farming and agriculture and the environment.

Tim Radcliffe, Net Zero Food Programme Manager for NHS England,  outlined the work being undertaken in the NHS towards achieving net zero whilst offering high quality healthier meals to both patients and staff.

Workshops were led by the Soil Association exploring building a good food movement from the ground up, and The Food Alliance, exploring what good food really means to people.

So, what happens when a community comes together to listen, share and network around the topic of food? People learn together and explore different perspectives; connections are made, and people leave feeling inspired.

Councillor Jackie Floyd, Chair of BwD Food Alliance said:

“It was a fantastic day which brought a wide range of organisations together to share interests and make plans for our application to become recognised as a Sustainable Food Place.”

Summing up the day, Councillor Phil Riley, said:

“Our vision, as a Council, is for every single resident to achieve a good quality of life and that starts with the basics of maintaining a healthy diet as well as communities coming together to share information and improve their relationship with food, how its sourced and how we can work together for a brighter future.”

Further information about the Food Alliance and how you can get involved can be found at

For more information on food waste locally, and some helpful tips on how to reduce the amount of food your wasting, please visit:

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.