Highland Good Food Conversation

For five Mondays between January and February, over 90 people from across the country gathered online for the Highland Good Food Conference to collaboratively reimagine a local food system that is better for the planet, people and producers.

The conference provided an opportunity for people motivated by issues such as climate change and social injustices within our food system to work together and come up with deliverable actions that will contribute to achieving a food system that is better for all. We had delegates from all different backgrounds taking part — farmers, crofters, bakers, cooks, community groups, consumers, etc — showing that the need for change is felt throughout our Highland community.

The conference saw a diverse range of provocations; from local inspiring, innovative farmers passionate about regenerative agriculture to an NHS doctor detailing the nutritional crisis we face and from a soil carbon scientist to the chair of Scotland Food and Drink. These provocations contributed to enriching discussions covering topics such as improving food equality, the power of communities, how to produce food more sustainably and ways to finance a local food system.

During the conference delegates formed 11 action groups, each focussing on a different aspect of the food system, from seed saving to lobbying policy. On the final day each group presented action plans with aims and visions of what they believe can be achieved beyond the conference.

We heard some fantastic, big ideas. For example, one group aims to build glasshouses in the outskirts of Inverness to create year-round growing of vegetables while another wants to resolve food waste issues by installing food composters in 100 villages and districts across the Highlands by 2025. By working within the same conference, distinct projects found how they could link up and build a more resilient food system together.

The end of the conference marks the end of Phase 2 of the Highland Good Food Conversation and the start of something very special. We will shortly begin Phase 3, where we will be taking action together under the values of connection, diversity and fairness to realise our visions and make the food system in the Highlands better for all.

If you would like to join, either as an individual or as part of an organisation, or to find out more, please get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, visit the Highland Good Food Conversation website or send us an email on hello@highlandgoodfood.scot