BUILDING COMMUNITY VALUE AND INNOVATION THROUGH FOOD SURPLUS - ABER FOOD SURPLUS
The “Building Community Value and Innovation Through Food Surplus” pilot project by Aber Food Surplus focused on exploring, researching and delivering innovate solutions on the work of reducing food waste in Aberystwyth. The project aimed to do this by concentrating on four key areas; Waste Management Innovation, Community Outreach, Research and Development and Campaigns, Promotion and Marketing.
The project allowed Aber Food Surplus to build relationships with smaller communities within the Aberystwyth area in order to provide food related discussions and a platform for action in working towards food system resilience. The project also developed stronger relationships with the charities, community groups and other members of the community to feed into the progression, direction and impact of Aber Food Surplus.
The results and benefits of this project can be broken down into environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits, as outlined below.
- Increase in food surplus collected from supermarkets and local food retailers, therefore positively contributing and benefiting to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by less food waste being sent to landfill.
- Reduction in food waste from local households, therefore positively contributing to climate change by a reduction in food waste going to landfill and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions.
- Increased awareness of food waste as a climate change and environmental issue.
- Increased knowledge of the food system – food system impacts, food education, the local food system, food waste impacts, food justice, sovereignty and poverty.
- Facilitating pro-environmental behaviours related to food and environmental issues more widely.
- Provided an accessible, ethical and affordable environmental food choice for the local community
- Increased ability of the local community to take positive environmental action through the creation of the ECO Food Hub.
- Reduction in waste disposal costs for supermarkets, food retailers and businesses due to reducing and redistributing their surplus food.
- Reduction in waste disposal collection costs for the Local Authority Ceredigion County Council due to proactive engagement with the local community leading to a reduction in food waste at home and a reduction in black bag landfill waste.
- Reduction in food purchasing costs for local households through effective engagement and education in terms of efficient food and food waste awareness and management in the home.
- Reduction in costs for local community by providing an affordable food choice through Community Platform events.
- Reduction in catering costs for local groups and businesses by offerring collaborative catering opportunities for local community groups.
- Provided environmental related graduate-level employment to the local area thus enhancing the local economy.
- Increased the potential for the local community to contribute to the local food system and by facilitating actively engaged food conscious citizens, therefore enhancing the local economy.
- Provided rewarding volunteering opportunities and training for individuals in a variety of disciplines and capacities, i.e. event-planning and delivery, marketing and promotion, campaigning, food redistribution logistics, food preparation and cooking, food safety and hygiene, project management, education, and work experience in the third sector.
- Enabled the development of key transferable skills and experiences to enhance employment prospects of vulnerable individuals as well as all members of the community.
- Built and expanded on social and community networks.
- Increased and enhanced community and social cohesion, resilience and togetherness.
- Provided healthy and nutritious food for community groups, charities and members of the public through the Community Platform events.
- Built relationships of intergenerational groups and sharing of cultural aspects to food between different generations.
- Increased awareness and knowledge of the cultural importance of food.
- Promoted the Welsh language through the development of a bilingual logo, bilingual communications and collaborating with bilingual local groups for opportunities and Community Platform events.
- Enhanced the exposure of the Welsh language to our existing and new volunteers.
- Showcased and positively influenced the already thriving Welsh food culture by collaborating and taking part in local fayres and events.
- Increased awareness and knowledge of the importance of Aberystwyth and Wales in taking action on climate change and provided opportunities for the community to do this.
To view the full report on the project activities and results, click here.