Communities across The Highland Council region who want to grow their own food are to be ‘inspired, empowered and supported’ by a new strategy that was approved by Members of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee.
Councillors have agreed to adopt ‘Growing our Future – Highland Community Food Growing Strategy’ and that an annual progress report on the implementation of the strategy will be presented to the Communities and Place Committee.
Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of Communities and Place Committee said:
“Lockdown and the restrictions placed upon us sharply focussed the attention on food supply and demand.
“This created a massive rise in interest in growing your own food and an increase in community food growing initiatives not just in Highland but across the whole country.
“This inspirational new strategy sows the seeds of ideas for community groups – providing guidance and direction to grow their own food.
“I would like to thank the officers and the Community Food Growing Coordinator, Kirsty Ellen for bringing before us Highland’s first community food growing strategy.
“Not only does this support the Council’s community empowerment approach, Health and Prosperity Strategy, and help to achieve net zero targets it also – most importantly – will help to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.”
Under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, local authorities must develop a Community Food Growing Strategy and identify land in their area which could be used for local food growing and demonstrate how they intend to increase the availability of land where there is an identified need.
The Council’s vision for the strategy is that in partnership, by 2027 Highland communities are resilient, empowered and supported to grow their own food.
The strategy ‘Growing our Future’ can be viewed on the Council’s website.
Included in the strategy is guidance for community groups to help them develop their food growing projects with information on the best sources of support to help them achieve their goals.