Working Towards Healthier, More Sustainable Food

There are many simple things you could do as a business to show your support for Good Food in Greenwich.  Have a look at our suggestions, pick one and work towards it:

 

Sign and display the charter in your organisationGood Food in Greenwich Charter

Once you sign up, we’ll send you a poster so you can display it in your premises. Each year we will ask you to make a new pledge so you can make changes slowly and make them count!

There’re loads of ways you can support the Charter, and by signing it you are showing your commitment to working towards healthier, more sustainable food in Greenwich. We’re building lots of ideas about what changes you can make, so click here to have a look at something you could get started on

Commit to paying all staff the London Living Wage

Poor pay means that many families are struggling to make ends meet, despite working full time. Many people end up working two or three jobs. Clearly this is going to have severe detrimental impacts on their lives.

Part of working towards a healthier, fairer and more sustainable Greenwich means paying people fairly for their work. In London that means an hourly rate of £9.15. The Mayor Boris Johnson is on board, saying:

Paying the London Living Wage is not only morally right, but makes good business sense too. There are now over 2,200 employees working for companies with contracts from the GLA who are benefitting from the London Living Wage”

The Living Wage Foundation campaigns to ensure people are paid a fair wage for the work they do. Check them out to find out more about why it makes sense to pay a fair wage

breadBuy and supply sustainable food for your customers

There are plenty of small steps you can take to make your buying practices healthier and more sustainable. If you run a café or restaurant try putting some more meat-free meals on the menu, or bulk out meat dishes with beans and pulses. This not only saves money, but is better for the health of your customers and the planet too. You may then even be able to afford a higher quality meat like free range chicken – use the thighs for a juicer cut. Have a look at our Top Meat Reducing Tips for more ideas

Use our ‘what’s in season’ guide and order around this. Ask your supplier to source as much produce as possible from the UK; this helps cut down on air miles and produce will be fresher and more nutritious as it hasn’t taken as long to get to your kitchens.

Look for certified ingredients such as Fairtrade, Marine Stewardship Council MSC and Freedom Food.

These certifications assure you that the food you has been produced in ways that look after the people and the planet:

There are some great programmes around to help you procure more sustainably. The Sustain Good Food Guide is a great place to start – a comprehensive resource packed full of information to make these steps as easy as possible (please do leave a donation if you download this resource to help support this amazing organisation).

Check out the Sustainable Restaurant Association for more information about how to make your buying more sustainable.

If you’re a public sector caterer then get involved with the Food for Life Partnership“an award scheme that works with schools, helping them build knowledge and skills through a whole school approach to create a powerful voice for long-term change.”

Grow you ownherbs

Try growing some of your own herbs and leaves on a windowsill or in an outdoor space. These items are often very expensive and have a short shelf life so can contribute towards waste.  Growing Schools has loads of great information that can be applied to any catering environment.  Or you could Adopt a Plot – get your fruit or veg from a hyper local place and help support community projects and reduce food miles!  Capital Growth also have loads of great resources to help you achieve the most local of all produce!

Here in Greenwich we have quite a few growing sites that could supply your cafe with herbs or salads.  We’re plotting all the growing sites in the borough, so check back soon or email mel@gcda.org.uk for more info.

Reduce your waste

Food waste costs the food and hospitality sector a staggering £2.5 billion a year! That’s’ the equivalent of throwing 1 in every 6 meals in the bin, and amounts to a whopping 920,000 tonnes! 54% of this waste goes to landfill where it emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Clearly, reducing waste is not only the financially astute thing to do, but also a great way to support Good Food in Greenwich!

Start of by measuring what you throw in the bin – is it plate waste, spoiled food, over-ordered and so on. Once you know what it is, then you can start to tackle to problem.

There are some fantastic organisations around that can help you deal with your waste:

WRAP has loads of information and resources to help you reduce your waste – and give you the ammunition you might need to convince others it’s worth doing!

Love Food Hate Waste is another great resource packed full of tips and ideas to reduce waste and use up leftovers.

And check out Feedback for loads more ideas and information about food waste and how to get involved in some amazing projects!

healthier catering commitment charlton park cafeMake your menus healthier and join the Healthier Catering Commitment

If you run a café, think about reducing the amount of processed foods you have on offer. Although they can be popular, the mark up on pre-packaged products is pretty low, so you don’t make much money on them. Many of the popular choices you can make on-site in a healthier way; this will also give you a healthier profit margin!

Get involved with the Healthier Catering Commitment, a scheme designed to help you make small changes that can make a big difference to the health of the menu without negatively impacting on your bottom line. Someone will come and see you, assess your menus and offer, make suggestions that are easy and cost effective to introduce, and hey presto – you’ll get your certificate and we’ll promote you to one and all.

 

Encourage your staff and customers to drink tap water. Put out jugs of tap water for people to help themselves – add a slice of lemon and lime to spruce it up a bit.

Check out our guidelines for loads of tips to make your menus healthier

andrea teaching eat well plateEncourage your staff to volunteer and take part in activities that further support the Food Charter

A great way to support the Charter is to get your staff invested too. This not helps boost staff morale, but can be a fantastic way to promote your business. This could include taking part in national campaigns such as Fairtrade Fortnight or something more local such as taking part in the Urban Food Awards which celebrates great food producers, retailers and training providers in London.

Another step you could take (depending on your size of course!) could be to offer staff a day a year to spend working on a project to support Good Food in Greenwich such as growing projects, building raise beds, gleaning and so on.

Keep an eye out on our calendar of events to find out what’s going on.

Sign up to a national award

Good_Farm_Animal_Welfare_Awards
The idea of trying to make big changes can seem pretty daunting, but do not despair.  There are some fantastic national awards that you can take part in to show your support for good food. These include Compassion in

World Farming’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards such as the Good Egg, Good Dairy, Good Chicken and Good Pig Awards.  The awards are completely free, just visit their website to find out how to apply.  Compassion in World Farming have done all the hard work for you and will take you through the process to make it as simple as possible.  As a direct result of this work, more than 287 million animals are set to benefit each year from the policies of all their winners since the Awards began in 2007 – that’s a lot of animals!

 

 

Support Breastfeeding

Breastmilk is the perfect food for human babies. Among many other health-giving properties, breastmilk contains nutrients that promote the healthy growth of nerves, brains and gut — nutrients that are not found in any other type of milk. It provides all the energy and nutrients that a child needs in promote a strong immune system as well as sensory and cognitive development.  The benefits of breastfeeding continue into adulthood, with those who have not been breastfed as an infant more likely to develop higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, weight gain, obesity and type II diabetes

Breastfeeding for as long as possible is the most important thing a mother can do to improve the lifelong health of her child. In the UK, more than three-quarters of new mothers start by breastfeeding. However, fewer than half of all babies are still receiving breast milk by the time they are six weeks old.  So, what can you do to help?

You can show your support to breastfeeding mums by putting up a sign saying ‘Breast Feeding Welcome’ to show people you support this vital right for mums.  Maybe offer mums a free cup of tea or coffee to welcome them in.  We know many mums don’t feel comfortable when out and about, so showing your support could even bring more business your way!

 

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