Lancaster food network outlines five year vision for sustainability

Sustainable food network FoodFutures North Lancashire is launching a five year project supporting a vision for a local food system and wider local economy that is healthy, resilient and fair.
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Closing Loops, funded through the National Lottery Community Fund, will develop new initiatives to reduce and repurpose waste, including food waste, whilst promoting healthy, seasonal and sustainable food and supporting regenerative enterprises.

By the end of the five years the project will have reached beyond the initial focus on food, supporting initiatives tackling waste and sustainable consumption issues linked to materials such as textiles, plastics and packaging.

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The overarching project vision is to create a thriving local REconomy which regenerates both the environment and our communities, locally and globally.

A FoodFutures stall at Lancaster Market.A FoodFutures stall at Lancaster Market.
A FoodFutures stall at Lancaster Market.

The Closing Loops project will bring people together across north Lancashire to co-create ways of taking action at a local level to build a food system and local economy that is better for people and the planet.

The project team is keen to hear from organisations, enterprises and community groups with ideas to feed into the Closing Loops themes:

*Growing, cooking and eating local, seasonal food

*Composting, surplus food redistribution and reducing food waste

*Reimagining a circular and regenerative local economy

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To celebrate the launch of Closing Loops, FoodFutures is hosting four ‘world cafes’ around the district.

The outcome of these conversations will shape the work of the Closing Loops project over the next five years.

The world cafe events are also an opportunity for residents and business owners to meet the project team and find out more about the opportunities offered by the project.

The conversations will be followed by a two course meal cooked by a community chef using locally produced, seasonal and surplus food.

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One of the aims of the Closing Loops projects is to celebrate local, seasonal, sustainable and fair food and to reduce the amount of food that is wasted. These aims will be highlighted in the creation of the menu for the evening.

The world cafes are to be held at the following venues:

October 17, The Gregson Centre, Lancaster

November 3, Carnforth Civic Hall

November 9, Morecambe, venue TBC

November 19, The Victoria Institute, Caton

Nick Smith, Lancaster District Community Voluntary Solutions, said: "We're delighted to be part of the Closing Loops Project. This work is important to us because as the umbrella body for voluntary organisations across the Lancaster District we exist to support our members to support their communities.

"Closing Loops means people will get together to think about how the district's economy can support their aspirations, take positive action in their own communities to develop sources of nourishing, local and sustainable food, and create a legacy by nurturing the skills we need for a better future."

Rachel Marshall, Closing Loops project coordinator at LESS (Lancaster) CIC, said: “The challenge of climate change and the current cost of living crisis can feel overwhelming. Whilst we need governments to take positive action to tackle these challenges, there are lots of things we can do locally that can make a real difference.

"The Closing Loops project was made possible thanks to National Lottery funding. It seeks to reduce the climate impact of our food system, whilst improving people’s access to good and healthy food.

"It also aims to do this whilst building a local economy that is less wasteful and supports communities across north Lancashire and our environment to thrive."

Jez Hall, Shared Future CIC, said: "Sharing food together is at the heart of any community. Shared Future is a social enterprise set up in Lancaster district in 2009 and we’re pleased to be involved in the Closing Loops partnership, helping, in a small way, to grow the resilience of the whole community in the face of massive changes that will come from the climate change emergency.

"It’s so important that everyone has access to affordable, high quality, sustainable and locally produced food.”

Anyone interested in getting involved can find out more and get in touch through the project page on the FoodFutures website at