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The first Leicestershire Food summit has taken place at Stanford Hall, near Lutterworth, with an emphasis on finding out how we can create a more sustainable food system in the county.

The event, organised by Leicestershire County Council, brought together delegates from the NHS, National Farmers’ Union, local food banks and poverty groups. It was also attended by colleges and university representatives, farmers and organic growers, the Soil Association, dieticians, as well as council officers and Leicestershire businesses.

Picture: Leicestershire County Council

The event was focussed on tackling growing health issues, reducing the impact of poverty, cutting food waste and addressing the environmental impact of food in Leicestershire.

Gavin Fletcher, Co-ordinator of Good Food Leicestershire, organised the event.

He said: “We are living in times when having a strong and sustainable local food system has never been more important.

“In Leicestershire we have many organisations within the food system. The summit was to acknowledge the work taking place, but also looking at how we can create a future enhanced by local food procurement, less waste and pollution and ensuring that food poverty is decreased.

“It was a great day at Stanford Hall, and I think we all came away with more knowledge of the food landscape than we did when we arrived.”

The summit’s keynote speaker was Joe Stanley, an Ashby farmer, NFU representative and Allerton Project figurehead. Emily O’Brien of Sustainable Food Places (SFP) also spoke at the event, underlining the commitment of Leicestershire County Council, the first full county member of SFP’s national initiative.

During the summit, guests had a tour of Stanford Hall’s Community Supported Agriculture farm, which uses organic, sustainable and no dig growing methods. There were also workshops, some of which looked at community skills and training, regenerative and community agriculture and community food security.

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