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Talk by Kate Cooper to the Birmingham Sustainability Forum on 10th September 2012

Talk by Kate Cooper to the Birmingham Sustainability Forum on 10th September 2012

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  • What if . . . we have a summer like this last one? \n
  • What if . . . we have a summer like this last one? \n
  • What if . . . we have a summer like this last one? \n
  • What if . . . we have a summer like this last one? \n
  • \nnote if need be: West Midlands as a whole is 13km2 (1.3M hectares). Its population is 5.5M. Population density is people per km2 (4.23 people per hectare).\n
  • \nnote if need be: West Midlands as a whole is 13km2 (1.3M hectares). Its population is 5.5M. Population density is people per km2 (4.23 people per hectare).\n
  • \nnote if need be: West Midlands as a whole is 13km2 (1.3M hectares). Its population is 5.5M. Population density is people per km2 (4.23 people per hectare).\n
  • \nnote if need be: West Midlands as a whole is 13km2 (1.3M hectares). Its population is 5.5M. Population density is people per km2 (4.23 people per hectare).\n
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  • This is land farmed by my in-laws, Mick and Pat - and this image is what their highly fertile, intensely farmed land looks like. They grow wheat, sugar beet, rape seed and spuds, sometime onions, daffodils\n\nWhat if . . . their crops fail? What’s the impact on us?\n\nWhat if . . . they decided to eat locally produced food?\n\nNote: In Grandad’s time, farmers there weren’t wealthy, quite a lot was subsistence farming, plus produce to placess like Leicester and Peterborough. \n\nThe War changed things, including lots of land girls drafted into the area to do the labour.\n\nIt was labour-intensive until combine harvesters. Around 1980, I saw a potato harvester for the first time, doing the rounds of the local farms. One man, a great big machine and large fields of spuds from ground to branded bag in a few hours.\n
  • This is land farmed by my in-laws, Mick and Pat - and this image is what their highly fertile, intensely farmed land looks like. They grow wheat, sugar beet, rape seed and spuds, sometime onions, daffodils\n\nWhat if . . . their crops fail? What’s the impact on us?\n\nWhat if . . . they decided to eat locally produced food?\n\nNote: In Grandad’s time, farmers there weren’t wealthy, quite a lot was subsistence farming, plus produce to placess like Leicester and Peterborough. \n\nThe War changed things, including lots of land girls drafted into the area to do the labour.\n\nIt was labour-intensive until combine harvesters. Around 1980, I saw a potato harvester for the first time, doing the rounds of the local farms. One man, a great big machine and large fields of spuds from ground to branded bag in a few hours.\n
  • This is land farmed by my in-laws, Mick and Pat - and this image is what their highly fertile, intensely farmed land looks like. They grow wheat, sugar beet, rape seed and spuds, sometime onions, daffodils\n\nWhat if . . . their crops fail? What’s the impact on us?\n\nWhat if . . . they decided to eat locally produced food?\n\nNote: In Grandad’s time, farmers there weren’t wealthy, quite a lot was subsistence farming, plus produce to placess like Leicester and Peterborough. \n\nThe War changed things, including lots of land girls drafted into the area to do the labour.\n\nIt was labour-intensive until combine harvesters. Around 1980, I saw a potato harvester for the first time, doing the rounds of the local farms. One man, a great big machine and large fields of spuds from ground to branded bag in a few hours.\n
  • This is land farmed by my in-laws, Mick and Pat - and this image is what their highly fertile, intensely farmed land looks like. They grow wheat, sugar beet, rape seed and spuds, sometime onions, daffodils\n\nWhat if . . . their crops fail? What’s the impact on us?\n\nWhat if . . . they decided to eat locally produced food?\n\nNote: In Grandad’s time, farmers there weren’t wealthy, quite a lot was subsistence farming, plus produce to placess like Leicester and Peterborough. \n\nThe War changed things, including lots of land girls drafted into the area to do the labour.\n\nIt was labour-intensive until combine harvesters. Around 1980, I saw a potato harvester for the first time, doing the rounds of the local farms. One man, a great big machine and large fields of spuds from ground to branded bag in a few hours.\n
  • This is land farmed by my in-laws, Mick and Pat - and this image is what their highly fertile, intensely farmed land looks like. They grow wheat, sugar beet, rape seed and spuds, sometime onions, daffodils\n\nWhat if . . . their crops fail? What’s the impact on us?\n\nWhat if . . . they decided to eat locally produced food?\n\nNote: In Grandad’s time, farmers there weren’t wealthy, quite a lot was subsistence farming, plus produce to placess like Leicester and Peterborough. \n\nThe War changed things, including lots of land girls drafted into the area to do the labour.\n\nIt was labour-intensive until combine harvesters. Around 1980, I saw a potato harvester for the first time, doing the rounds of the local farms. One man, a great big machine and large fields of spuds from ground to branded bag in a few hours.\n
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  • This compares the WIsbech farming land with Walsall Lane Allotments.\n\nQuestion to the audience: Which has the greater bio-diversity?\n
  • This compares the WIsbech farming land with Walsall Lane Allotments.\n\nQuestion to the audience: Which has the greater bio-diversity?\n
  • This compares the WIsbech farming land with Walsall Lane Allotments.\n\nQuestion to the audience: Which has the greater bio-diversity?\n
  • This compares the WIsbech farming land with Walsall Lane Allotments.\n\nQuestion to the audience: Which has the greater bio-diversity?\n
  • This compares the WIsbech farming land with Walsall Lane Allotments.\n\nQuestion to the audience: Which has the greater bio-diversity?\n
  • This compares the WIsbech farming land with Walsall Lane Allotments.\n\nQuestion to the audience: Which has the greater bio-diversity?\n
  • Birmingham as an urban area has a great contribution to make as a biodiversity engine — compared to the monoculture of Wisbech and much of our countryside which, necessarily, is mechanised agriculture on an industrial scale\n\nBirmingham Food Council or Food Policy Network — who should be there? A politician (e.g. James McKay), the Public Officer for Health. New Optimists? A practising medic (e.g. Jim Parle, also medical educator as Prof of Primary Care at the Med School), a representative from the food industry (e.g. Parveen from MMW), from urban food growing (e.g. Caroline Hutton), from agriculture the Director of the Warwick Crop Centre, Dr Rosemary Collier. Also a geographer such as Hillary Shaw or Moya Kneafsley (both advising the Forum) . . . And?\n\nA strategy couldn’t have any influence as our food supply systems are far bigger than the city. But a food perspective on decision-making could have great impact — think transport, energy, education . . . also would enable small-scale initiatives to be seens as assets not liabilities (e.g. allotments, waste management by and for communities, food banks)\n
  • Birmingham as an urban area has a great contribution to make as a biodiversity engine — compared to the monoculture of Wisbech and much of our countryside which, necessarily, is mechanised agriculture on an industrial scale\n\nBirmingham Food Council or Food Policy Network — who should be there? A politician (e.g. James McKay), the Public Officer for Health. New Optimists? A practising medic (e.g. Jim Parle, also medical educator as Prof of Primary Care at the Med School), a representative from the food industry (e.g. Parveen from MMW), from urban food growing (e.g. Caroline Hutton), from agriculture the Director of the Warwick Crop Centre, Dr Rosemary Collier. Also a geographer such as Hillary Shaw or Moya Kneafsley (both advising the Forum) . . . And?\n\nA strategy couldn’t have any influence as our food supply systems are far bigger than the city. But a food perspective on decision-making could have great impact — think transport, energy, education . . . also would enable small-scale initiatives to be seens as assets not liabilities (e.g. allotments, waste management by and for communities, food banks)\n
  • Birmingham as an urban area has a great contribution to make as a biodiversity engine — compared to the monoculture of Wisbech and much of our countryside which, necessarily, is mechanised agriculture on an industrial scale\n\nBirmingham Food Council or Food Policy Network — who should be there? A politician (e.g. James McKay), the Public Officer for Health. New Optimists? A practising medic (e.g. Jim Parle, also medical educator as Prof of Primary Care at the Med School), a representative from the food industry (e.g. Parveen from MMW), from urban food growing (e.g. Caroline Hutton), from agriculture the Director of the Warwick Crop Centre, Dr Rosemary Collier. Also a geographer such as Hillary Shaw or Moya Kneafsley (both advising the Forum) . . . And?\n\nA strategy couldn’t have any influence as our food supply systems are far bigger than the city. But a food perspective on decision-making could have great impact — think transport, energy, education . . . also would enable small-scale initiatives to be seens as assets not liabilities (e.g. allotments, waste management by and for communities, food banks)\n
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Tno & bcc sustainability forum10thsept2012 Tno & bcc sustainability forum10thsept2012 Presentation Transcript

  • BIRMINGHAM SUSTAINABILITY FORUM Feeding the City 10th September 2012 Kate Cooperthe newoptimists forum #TNOfood
  • Birmingham Sustainability Forum “Living in a city is the already the best of ecological options. The green thing to do.” The death of a national trust. The birth of a sitopia? The Chamberlain Files, 23rd August 2012 #TNOfood
  • Feeding the City: What’s needed?
  • Feeding the City: What’s needed? How much food does an individual need?
  • Feeding the City: What’s needed? How much food does an individual need?
  • Feeding the City: What’s needed? How much food does Birmingham need?
  • Feeding the City: What’s needed? How much food does Birmingham need?
  • Feeding the City: What’s needed? How much food does Birmingham need?now think London, Tokyo, New York, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Mexico City, Osaka, Manila, Mumbai, Delhi, Jakarta, Lagos, Kolkata, Cairo, Los Angeles . . . 9bn in 2050
  • Feeding the City: With food grown where?
  • Feeding the City: With food grown where?Let’s assume a hectare of highly fertile, intensively farmedland can support 10 people . . .
  • Feeding the City: With food grown where?Let’s assume a hectare of highly fertile, intensively farmedland can support 10 people . . . United Nations FAO actual figures: ✓1960: average hectare of arable land supported 2.4 people ✓2005: average hectare of arable land supported 4.5 people
  • Feeding the City: With food grown where?Let’s assume a hectare of highly fertile, intensively farmedland can support 10 people . . . United Nations FAO actual figures: ✓1960: average hectare of arable land supported 2.4 people ✓2005: average hectare of arable land supported 4.5 people . . . and explore where it doesn’t come from
  • Feeding the City: Not from here . . .Birmingham city centre
  • Feeding the City: Not from here . . .Birmingham city centre
  • Feeding the City: Not from here . . .Birmingham city centre
  • Feeding the City: Not from here . . .Birmingham city centre The yellow square represents 4 hectares. i.e. were it highly fertile & intensively farmed, it could support 40 people at most.
  • Feeding the City: Not from here . . .Birmingham city centre The yellow square represents 4 hectares. i.e. were it highly fertile & intensively farmed, it could support 40 people at most. 160,000+ commuters travel daily to the city centre
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The Uplands Allotments, Oxhill Road
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The Uplands Allotments, Oxhill Road
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The Uplands Allotments, Oxhill Road
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The Uplands Allotments, Oxhill Road The yellow square represents one hectare. Uplands Allotments are on ~15 hectares.
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The Uplands Allotments, Oxhill Road The yellow square represents one hectare. Uplands Allotments are on ~15 hectares. The city has 200 hectares of allotments, plus 3.2K ha of parks and open spaces.
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The WM conurbation
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The WM conurbation from Portrait of the West Midlands Angela Medland, ONS
  • Feeding the City: Nor here . . .The WM conurbationpopulation density ≈30 people on a rugbypitchWest Midlands conurbation: Population: 2.3MPopulation density: 3,808 km2(38.08 per hectare)Birmingham’s population: 1MPopulation density: 3872 people/km2(38.72 per hectare)plus their housing & from Portrait of the West Midlands Angela Medland, ONS
  • Feeding the City: Locally grown food?
  • Feeding the City: Locally grown food?What difference does eating locally grown food make?
  • Feeding the City: Locally grown food?What difference does eating locally grown food make? foodmatters.org estimate that Brighton & Hove’s urban agriculture (incl allotments, gardens, parks, etc) supplies 0.14% of its needs
  • Feeding the City: Locally grown food?What difference does eating locally grown food make? foodmatters.org estimate that Brighton & Hove’s urban agriculture (incl allotments, gardens, parks, etc) supplies 0.14% of its needs CPRE (2012) From field to fork:The values of England’s local food webs estimate the potential for consumers across the UK to eat ‘locally’ grown food would be 2% max of our spend
  • Feeding the City: Locally grown food?What difference does eating locally grown food make? foodmatters.org estimate that Brighton & Hove’s urban agriculture (incl allotments, gardens, parks, etc) supplies 0.14% of its needs CPRE (2012) From field to fork:The values of England’s local food webs estimate the potential for consumers across the UK to eat ‘locally’ grown food would be 2% max of our spend Dig for Victory? What happened in World War II Half of fruit and veg consumed?? 25% eggs from domestic sources?? But it was a restricted, meagre diet. Malnutrition increased despite food supplements. Rationing . . . & there were 13M fewer mouths to feed.
  • Feeding the City
  • Feeding the CityThe Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet, 1857
  • Feeding the City: Food from where?
  • Feeding the City: Food from where?Just north of Wisbech . . .
  • Feeding the City: Food from where?Just north of Wisbech . . .
  • Feeding the City: Food from where?Just north of Wisbech . . .
  • Feeding the City: Food from where?Just north of Wisbech . . . 5M ha of agricultural land in the UK is used for crops Cereals make up ~80% of this proteins and sugar beet 13% horticulture 4% potatoes 3% The UK imports ~40% of its food (cf 70% in 1939) Source: Defra 2012
  • Feeding the City: Food from where?Just north of Wisbech . . . 5M ha of agricultural land in the UK is used for crops Cereals make up ~80% of this proteins and sugar beet 13% horticulture 4% potatoes 3% The UK imports ~40% of its food (cf 70% in 1939) Source: Defra 2012 a thought experiment . . . this Wisbech farmer decides to grow & eat all the family’s food
  • Feeding the City: Feeding the World
  • Feeding the City: Feeding the WorldTim Benton: UK Champion for Global Food Security
  • Feeding the City: Feeding the WorldTim Benton: UK Champion for Global Food Security✦ grow yields✦ reduce impacts✦ be smarter at making landscapes more efficient✦ be smarter at using food: ➡ buy less ➡ waste less ➡ eat less
  • Feeding the City: Feeding the WorldTim Benton: UK Champion for Global Food Security✦ grow yields ✦ but it is not about being organic, buying locally produced food, or✦ reduce impacts being vegetarian, but about:✦ be smarter at making landscapes ➡ optimising the land use to more efficient provide enough of everything✦ be smarter at using food: according to the specialities of ➡ buy less the place ➡ waste less ➡ and optimising our diets ➡ eat less
  • local food growing: growingbirmingham.org
  • local food growing: growingbirmingham.orgwhy bother?
  • local food growing: growingbirmingham.orgwhy bother? social & civic: conviviality . . . it’s fun . . . relatively easy . . . kids love it . . . makes the city look great . . . it’s social glue meeting obesity & other health issues: ‘magic’ happens when communities have food growing in their midst . . . a good day’s work: labour intensive . . . and horticulture is an inherently optimistic activity, often highly sociable . . . a lifetime’s activity where expertise is gifted from one to another & there are career opportunities at all levels decarbonisation: city communities using their waste to fuel their energy . . . & (maybe) growing biomass on contaminated land
  • local food growing: growingbirmingham.org AND very, very very fresh fruit & veg tastes absolutely fantastic!
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?Just north of Wisbech
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?Just north of Wisbech Walsall Road Allotments, Perry Barr
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?Just north of Wisbech which landscape has greater biodiversity? Walsall Road Allotments, Perry Barr
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?➡ maximise Birmingham (& other urban areas) as a biodiversity engine for the UK
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?➡ maximise Birmingham (& other urban areas) as a biodiversity engine for the UK➡ set up a Birmingham Food Council or Food Policy Network
  • Feeding the City: What should Birmingham do?➡ maximise Birmingham (& other urban areas) as a biodiversity engine for the UK➡ set up a Birmingham Food Council or Food Policy Network➡ do NOT write a food supply strategy . . . rather use a food & its supply as a lens through which to see policies and actions
  • Feeding the City: Useful info & links ➡Food Security: The Challenge of Feeding 9 billion people Godfray, Beddington et al. Science, Volume 327. 12 February 2010 ➡ Foresight. The Future of Food and Farming. 2011 Final Report Government Office for Science ➡ Green Food Project — Conclusions DEFRA 2012 ➡ Securing Future Food Supplies to 2050: Government Response to the Committee’s 4th Report of the Session 2008-09 House of Commons Environment, Food & Rural Affairs ➡ foodsecurity.ac.uk (Tim Benton, Leeds University. UK champion for global food security) ➡ fooddeserts.org (Hillary Shaw, Harper Adams) also ➡ Portrait of the West Midlands Alison Medland, ONS 2011
  • the new optimists forum www.newoptimists.com @newoptimistsour thanks to the following organisations for their kind support