Helping make Edinburgh a Sustainable Food City

In Spring 2017 Edinburgh Adapts joined forces with Nourish Scotland to set the MSc students of the University of Edinburgh class Participation in Policy & Planning the challenge of carrying out a stakeholder engagement study of opportunities for community food hubs in North Edinburgh. The study was designed to contribute to the Edinburgh Adapts 'Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan', launched in December 2016, as well as help Edinburgh move towards achieving a Sustainable Food Cities Bronze Award, and support the campaign for food justice in Scotland.

On 29 March 2017, Alison Johnstone MSP welcomed local sustainable food stakeholders to the Scottish Parliament to hear the results of the students' research. Their full report can be downloaded below.

A total of 55 stakeholders were interviewed (a full list of organisations interviewed can be found below) to gather views on what a community food hub could or should look like, and any barriers to implementing this in practice.

The interviews generated a large amount of data that encompassed a diversity of ideas and perspectives. After analysing the results, the students identified six priority issues for community food hubs raised by the interviewees:

  • Building communities
  • Promoting education
  • Encouraging behaviour change
  • Addressing sustainability and climate change
  • Creating and strengthening networks
  • Providing a space

The students also highlighted that there are many organisations already working on these issues, and created an interactive map of 72 relevant initiatives in North Edinburgh. This map provides a tool for users to quickly see where activity is taking place – and where it isn’t – to help better understand where a community food hub might be of most benefit.

Based on their findings, the students recommended that building and strengthening networks between existing organisations was vital. By working together, initiatives can share the skills, resources, and space that will help deliver many of the core aspects of stakeholders’ visions of a community food hub.

You can see the full list of stakeholder organisations interviewed on the right.

Project downloads