UAC Feb 2002 – news

February 2022. Progress and forthcoming events.
Many thanks to everyone who helped us develop the Urban Agriculture Consortium’s ever evolving networks in 2021. We look forward to more collaboration and progress in 2022.

The next PING – Policy Influencers Network Group is on Wednesday 2 March at 14.00 -16.30. We’ll be examining changing priorities & narratives around locally grown food, nutrition, health and well-being in response to the climate emergency, biodiversity loss, food security and the health emergency. These sessions are for council officers at regional and local levels and others working with these themes – we convene online to create an inclusive informal space to learn, connect and be inspired.
We’ll have presentations from Anna Cura, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Dr Elizabeth Westaway from Growing Real Food for Nutrition,, and from Nottinghamshire County & Leicestershire County Councils.

Is 2022 the year for an urban agroecology breakthrough? Quite possibly. There is growing awareness of the immediacy of the climate, biodiversity and health emergencies. This is driving an interest in the potential for regenerative agroecology as a part of the solution. Lots of powerful initiatives were highlighted at the ever fabulous Oxford Real Farming Conference, and we know agroecology will be on the agenda at COP27 (November 2022 in Egypt). Although UAC is a very small part of the wider movement we hope our contribution is helping us all gain momentum and traction.

UAC’s plans for 2022 include developing further partnerships to deliver: Collaborations with our core partners including the Community Supported Agriculture Network, Permaculture Association, Open Food Network and Social Farms and Gardens.Further support for UAC northern pathfinder cities Northern cluster – Urban Agriculture Consortium,
developing farmstart networks (with the Landworkers Alliance ) Farmstarts – Urban Agriculture Consortium
slow expansion with new pathfinders in the midlands
continuing to develop partnerships and support collaborations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales,
more PINGs (Policy Influencers Network Group meetings) through the year (see below) Influencing Policy – PINGs – Urban Agriculture Consortiumsupport on planning issues, and work on 
Mapping land for food – Urban Agriculture Consortium
the potential for community land trusts to secure land for food growing and affordable landworker housing, dynamic procurement, and routes to market for new entrants to farming.working with partners to look at health, food and nutrition – and how urban food growing can offer cross-cutting solutions.

People and Projects: a snapshot of UAC’s networks….

Dr Simon Ruston – planning advisor to the Urban Agriculture Consortium/ Green Future Associates
Helping UAC projects and local authorities with strategic planning guidance to unlock the policies that are needed to promote food growing, especially for commercial growing – and how the planning system can encourage making more land available.

Sonja Woodcock is the Coordinator for FoodWise Leeds the local food partnership working to create a healthy, sustainable and fair food system for the city. With a strong focus on cross-sectoral partnership working, key areas of Sonja’s work include building food resilience within communities, increasing urban agriculture, and food and the climate emergency. 2022 is set to be ‘the year of food’

Upcoming events: contact us for further details
Starting 3 Feb – Dynamic Procurement UK is holding regional workshops to provide support to move forward with the opportunity to establish Dynamic Food Procurement within 12 proposed regions across the UK. More information and the registration link for each regional workshop can be found here:
8 February: UAC and land mappers group
2 March – PING #3 – focus on Food, health and well-being – see above
16 March – UAC Core Oversight Group – (invite only)
27 April – PING #4 – focus on planning and local authority support for agroecology with Martin Elliot, Leeds City Council and Dr Simon Ruston.
2 June – WING #2 Wider Interest Group – call to action and UAC impact report
21 September – PING #5 – The brave new world of open-data mapping for the food systems we need, and. how they work for local authorities. 
17 November – PING #6 – New voices on the urban agriculture scene.