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We fed Cardiff…and then some

The weather was good. The stall looked fantastic. The volunteers were amazing. And not only did we feed 700 people a delicious vegan curry made entirely from ‘waste’ food, we also got 140 action postcards signed for a more sustainable farming system in the UK.


Following five weeks of intensive planning and organising, phone calls and emails, poster designing, banner making, risk assessment writing and food procuring, Saturday 9th October came and went in a blur of smiling people, great-tasting curry and the smoke from the on-site rocket stoves.

It was an epic effort from a 30-strong team of campaigners over two days of preparation and cooking. The work began on Friday morning when the first surplus food was delivered from Bessemer Rd Market to the Salvation Army Church on Corporation Rd. Cauliflowers, onions, carrots, pumpkins and squashes poured in – plus some mega-sized marrows kindly donated from the Inroads Community Allotment.

Once the rice, poppadoms (yep, surplus poppadoms!!) and chickpeas arrived from event partner FareShare, we had a kitchen full of food. By the end of the afternoon, every available pot and pan was filled with pre-chopped veg, waiting to be cooked first thing Saturday morning.

Led by Wayne Thomas, head honcho at the Canteen on Clifton St, the curry to beat all curries began to take shape by 9.30am. By 11.30, the first delivery of rice and curry had arrived, and within seconds we had our first customer – Gareth, a local Big Issue seller:

From then on, the curry line was steady all day, with people queuing across the street to sample the surplus fare. But while the smell of the curry tempted them over, people weren’t just there for some free grub. It was one of the most positive days of environmental campaigning in Cardiff we can remember – with loads of support for Friends of the Earth’s campaign for a Sustainable Livestock Bill. Wasting fruit or vegetables is bad; wasting meat or dairy is even worse. The UK’s livestock industry is directly responsible for rainforest destruction abroad, thanks to the demand for land to grow the feed for all those animals. Cardiff FoE is campaigning for a Sustainable Livestock Bill, that would make the Government monitor the impacts of our food chain.

There was also lots of interest in the local currency and exchange scheme of SEWLets, and plenty of love for the Cardiff Transition East gang of Feed Cardiff organisers. Storming through the target of feeding 500 people, we managed to get to 700 curries served by the end of the day. We had to send out for more serving plates once the 500 beautiful, biodegradable palm-leaf bowls generously donated by event sponsor The WholeLeaf Company had been used.

But more importantly than the number of people we served, we got 100s of Cardiff folk talking about food waste and how to reduce it, and supporting a campaign for a more sustainable meat and dairy industry.

We fed Cardiff…and then some!



Its Time to Feed Cardiff!

On Saturday 9th October, shoppers in Cardiff City Centre will get more than they bargained for – a free, freshly cooked meal and some food for thought about making farming more sustainable. The event – ‘Feed Cardiff’ – is being organised by the Cardiff Food Alliance, a partnership between the Cardiff Transition Project and Cardiff Friends of the Earth.

Using fresh fruit and vegetables sourced from local farms and food outlets, 500 passers-by will be fed a nutritious meal made from ‘surplus’ food – items that are perfectly good to eat, but that are wasted because they do not have the right appearance to be sold in supermarkets.

Each year in the UK we throw away 8.3 million tonnes of edible food – if that food wasn’t wasted the carbon emissions saved would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road. By putting the food to good use, ‘Feed Cardiff’ aims to raise awareness of the amount of edible food that is wasted every day, and to encourage people to waste less food themselves.

As well as providing a hot meal, Feed Cardiff will be promoting the Friends of the Earth campaign for a Sustainable Livestock Bill. This is a new law that will reduce the environmental impact of meat and dairy production, and move government subsidies away from intensive, factory farms and on to supporting more sustainable ways of farming.

This is a great event to help out with for anyone that wants to turn moaning about supermarkets and the food system in the UK  into positive action. We need support from people that can cook and are prepared to go “food shopping” contacting food suppliers of all shapes and sizes and getting our hands on some surplus grub to cook.

Email if you can help make this event happen!

Riverside Market Garden – get your shares now

Riverside Market Garden is a new ethical model for sustainable local food production

A new 10 acre Market Garden is being created close to Cardiff to make more fresh food available to the local community.

Within five years the Market Garden will become a self financing community-owned business.

Work has already begun; their first harvest is expected in July.

The site will produce a wide range of organic vegetables, with an additional focus on higher value crops such as saladstuffs, herbs and some soft fruit.

In the longer term, some of this produce might be processed into soups, sauces, pickles and other longer-life products.

Polytunnels will extend the growing season and also to produce Asian and Caribbean vegetables that meet the needs of Cardiff’s diverse ethnic communities.

Linked to the growing, they will also offer training and care placements, with educational visits for schools and colleges, and fun days out for members and their families and community supporters.

They are offering individuals and organisations a chance to invest and become shareholders in this social enterprise mutual society for community benefit.

Now you can ‘put your money where your mouth is’!

Shares start at £50 and can be bought online (see link below) with PayPal or Credit Card etc.

OR you can get information and buy shares at the information stall at Riverside Market this Sunday…come and find out more!!

Riverside Real Food Market is every Sunday morning 10am – 2pm on Fitzhamon Embankment CF11 6AN

For more information see

Local Food Hero

The Western Mail is launching a quest to find a Local Food Hero for 2010.

Shortlisted candidates will be showcased over the next few months, giving you a taste of their businesses and achievements, before a final readers’ vote to decide who will be crowned our winner in December.
The competition is about celebrating homegrown success stories. The Western Mail is looking to champion and reward the hard work of the producers of Wales, the individuals and businesses that grow, nurture, rear, make and create the region’s best produce and who supply direct to you

Click here to find out more!

Closing the Food Gap


Closing the food gap: Reducing hunger, food insecurity and obesity in America


Mark Winne, Food Policy Council Director for the Community Food Security
Coalition (US) and author of ‘Closing the Food Gap’
Chair: Professor Kevin Morgan

The United States is a country of disparities, but none are as distressing
as the ones the affect what people eat. Food deserts, food insecurity, and
food banks are common for one class of Americans, and organically produced
food is ever more prevalent for another. Mark Winne, long-time food
activist and author will explore the American food gap, strategies to
reduce it, and consider comparisons between the US and UK.

If you would like to come, please email between now and 4 May 2010.  Wine/soft drinks
will be available.

Food in the City

Food in the City – an IWA Conference at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.

Monday 24 May 2010
The basic necessities of life are air, water, shelter and food and urban planners have addressed them all, with the conspicuous exception of food. Increasingly, however, food production, distribution and consumption are being seen as central to a wide array of policy areas, including the economy, social justice, public health and the environment. Food production is widely regarded as a rural activity, yet this ignores the significance of urban agriculture, an activity that is growing in developed and developing countries alike. Food consumption is central to the Healthy Cities programme of the World Health Organization – of which Cardiff has just become a signed-up member – which addresses such challenges as child poverty and obesity.

The global food price surge of 2007-08, when wheat prices doubled and rice prices nearly tripled, has made food security a preoccupation for national policy-makers everywhere. Meanwhile, the production of and access to healthy food is increasingly understood to be an essential part of urban regeneration and planning for sustainable cities. Urban food planning has become one of the quintessential global challenges of the 21st Century.

This conference addresses all these themes by charting the development of a sustainable food policy within Wales, a policy that needs to find space for locally-produced food from Wales as well as fairly traded food from afar. It is a timely event because it coincides with the publication of a radically new Food Strategy from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Keynote Speakers: Professor Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University; Andre Viljoen, University of Brighton; Steve Garrett, Director, Riverside Community Market; Elin Jones AM, Minister for Rural Affairs; Steve Knowles, Cardiff County Council; Mike McNally, FareShare; Barny Haughton, Chef and Owner, Bordeaux Quay, Bristol; Professor Cliff Guy, Cardiff University

For more information see

Or contact IWA on 029 2066 0820

Political Hustings in the marginal Cardiff North constituency

Invitation to a public meeting in Cardiff North

Cardiff Friends of the Earth would like to invite you to a free pre-election public meeting that we are holding in your area. This will give you the chance to question the parliamentary candidates who want your vote about the big issues facing the next Government, such as international development, climate change and the environment.

The meeting will be held on Saturday 24 April from 3:30 – 4:30pm in Llanishen Leisure Centre.

Cardiff Friends of the Earth will be aiming to ask questions about the Food Chain, as part of the Cardiff Food Chain month, where we are highlighting positive food practices that benefit people and the environment, such as local farmers markets and food cooperatives. We will be campaigning for support for a Sustainable Livestock Bill that will shift £700 million of subsidies away from factory farms towards more environmentally friendly forms of farming.