STOP PRESS: ECI signs Good Food Oxford Charter

The Environmental Change Institute has become the first part of Oxford University to sign the Good Food Oxford Charter.
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About the charter

The charter, created by GFO, Oxford’s Sustainable Food Network, is ‘our city’s statement of vision for a vibrant, healthy and sustainable food system.

The Good Food Charter is a platform for future projects, a catalyst for engagement with businesses and the community, and a guide for linking policy to action’.

Find out more about the charter here.
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Reactions from Good Food Oxford

‘Good Food Oxford is very pleased to welcome the ECI into our network. This is an important step in connecting food systems academia with Oxford’s on-the-ground and policy work. We are already collaborating to create an accessible bank of research on Oxfordshire, a series of interactive research workshops and an ECI-funded GFO internship. We look forward to a fruitful future!’

Hannah Jacobs, Good Food Oxford Network Coordinator

‘Good Food Oxford is excited to welcome the ECI into our ever-growing network; an important step forward in cultivating connections between academia and county-wide grassroots, industry and policy-level work. We are already working together on an upcoming series of “Research Kitchen” workshops, and, thanks to the help of our ECI-funded GFO intern, we are also compiling a bank of accessible research to help strengthen the roots of our work for a more sustainable food system. We look forward to even more future partnerships!’

Dot Tiwari, Good Food Oxford Co-Chair
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Why I asked ECI to sign the Good Food Oxford Charter

As part of agile-ox role at the ECI, I sit on the Good Food Oxford Steering Committee.  I am really pleased that Professor Jim Hall has signed the charter as Director of the ECI, as I see increased involvement in the Good Food Oxford Network as a real opportunity for the University’s food researchers to engage in something exciting and practical locally.

The ECI is already doing a number of things which link it strongly with the development of a sustainable food system in Oxfordshire’s, and so it seems natural that we should sign the charter.  For example:

  • A significant chunk of food research happening at the ECI currently relates specifically to Oxford and Oxfordshire’s food system. This research has an important two-way element, with researchers drawing on the expertise of local food stakeholders to help shape research questions, and research outputs hopefully prooving useful to local business and civil society.  Over the next few months, agile-ox is working with food researchers at the ECI and Good Food Oxford to put on a number of locally-focused food seminars, under the title ‘Research Kitchen’. Leading food researchers from the University will talk about their research, and explore how it is local to Oxfordshire’s food scene. The first event is happening on December 7, and stay tuned for more next year!
  • Two members of ECI sit on the GFO Steering Committee (myself, and ECI food research Julian Cottee, who takes a more active role), GFO currently has an ECI-funded intern, as part of the Institute’s Sustainability Internship Programme.  Rachel Friedman, who completed the MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management in 2013 before doing an MPhil, is currently working with the organisation to instigate an effective programme for monitoring and evaluation.
  • Last but not least, with regards to procurement, the ECI has been working to make sure this is as good as possible (for example using caterers like Donnington Doorstep for meetings on several occasions).  The department has also been looking into the potential for food bins in its coffee rooms.  This work is ongoing, and hopefully, with the signing of the charter, will continue to develop further!

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Introducing the Local Nexus Network Project

ECI and Good Food Oxford working together is a powerful collaboration to bring together some of the leading research on food and the environment with a network of committed businesses and practitioners in the county. This year the Local Nexus Network project is also involving five other UK universities working to explore the barriers and opportunities for increased local food manufacturing around Oxfordshire.

For more information, head over to the project website.
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Want to know more about food research at Oxford?

Also at the signing was Mara Galeano Carraro, the new Oxford Martin School Future of Food Programme Coordinator.  The food research network is part of  the Oxford Networks for the Environment (ONE) and links together existing research on the food system at Oxford and supports new interdisciplinary research that addresses the challenges of feeding the global population sustainably, healthily and equitably.

Welcome, Mara!

Find out more on the Future of Food website.

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