In order for the city region to be more food resilient in the future we need to understand and value the multiple benefits that arise from sustainable agriculture and land management: Bristol can help to increase the number of land-based jobs.
The best and most suitable quality food growing land has to be protected and available for food production. All Bristol Development Framework documents, including local plans, have to reflect ‘good food’ values and include land allocation for food growing that is in line with demand from community groups and individuals.
Some of the highest quality land in the UK can be found to the north and south of the city. One way of protecting this land from non food purpose development is to farm it. There are some really inspiring community food initiatives that have reintroduced traditional market gardening onto high quality agricultural land that could otherwise have been lost to food growing.
Community groups, enterprises and schools need to be supported to produce food on as much available land and in as many food-growing spaces as possible.
»» The UK imports 90% of our fruit and 60% of our vegetables each year. (Food Matters, UK Cabinet Office 2008).
»» Many thousands of acres of high grade agricultural land in and around Bristol are lying dormant.