Influencing Policy – P.I.N.Gs

Updated 5 August 2021

The Urban Agriculture Consortium aims to support the development and upscaling of regenerative urban and peri-urban agroecology.

We believe, in order to do that at scale, that positive and willing collaboration between local authorities and food partnerships are essential.   Without local and city/region policy level support, access to land, procurement and training and enterprise development continue to face barriers.

We want to see local authorities accelerate the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of policies to support all aspects of urban food production in response to the multiple crises we are facing – climate breakdown, food and nutritional inequity, biodiversity collapse – and to promote local health and wellbeing and opportunities for a variety of sustainable food and land-based livelihoods.

The UAC is a small part of a much bigger constellation of partners and stakeholders pushing in the same direction, and we want to ensure anything we do adds value to policy influencing work already underway.

We are in the beginning stages of setting up some PINGs: policy influencing network groups. – based on feedback received from partners across the UK, we envisage these being neutral, open, online spaces for food partnerships, local authority officers and politicians, and other stakeholders and experts to share knowledge, peer learning and ideas in a no-question-is-wrong environment where solidarity can be nurtured. PINGs could be in a variety of shapes and sizes- local, regional, national, cross-national.

PINGS wil help share, create, promote and disseminate good practice and successful policy initiatives between Local Authorities and food partnerships.

There is no “one size fits all” for getting to effective policy and LAs will all have different pathways, be it through a One City Plan (as in Bristol), A Wellbeing Strategy (as in Nottingham’s Design Guide) or a Climate Emergency Local Plan review (as in Lancaster).

We are consulting with existing partners who are engaged in policy influencing –  our own core partners, FFCC,  LWA, Nourish, Shared Assets, Sustain, SFP, and others to work out how we fit with their work, how we might add value and provide a useful service. 

What next?

We’ll be holding on online consultation on Tuesday 7 September, 11.00-12.30

And, we’ll be testing things out and setting up an exploratory PING meeting in early autumn with a further session at the Northern Real Farming Conference in November.

Please get in touch if you want to get involved.