Creating a fairer, healthier food system

Man holding up sign showing Global Sustainable Development Goal 12, responsible consumption and production.
Man holding up sign showing Global Sustainable Development Goal 12, responsible consumption and production.

Creating a fairer, healthier food system

Our Hero – Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy is one of the passionate people at Essential Trading. They have been paving the way since the 1970s to build a different kind of food system. We love their business model – an employee-owned cooperative where all workers get a say in the way the business is run. We love the good food they supply to Bristol’s shops and eateries. We love that they supply wholesale and retail. Anyone can set up a bulk-buying group with friends or neighbours if you can’t find their products in your local shops.

Where possible, they purchase from local and organic food suppliers, and any food that they import arrives as sea cargo rather than airfreight, cutting emissions. They are constantly working on ways to generate less waste too. We also love that all their electrical power comes from solar panels and that the majority of their staff commute by bike whatever the weather! Have we missed anything!? Absolute unsung heroes.

What can I do?

So what can you do as an individual to help reach SDG12?

Visit the Bristol Bites Back Better website to find resources and inspiration in making simple changes to the way you shop, cook, eat and dispose of food.

These actions include growing food at home, cooking more meals from scratch, making the most of the food available and finding ways to support local food businesses. You can also Join the Conversation, by telling us what changes you want to see for food in Bristol by 2030, and sharing ways that you continue to #BiteBackBetter to help grow the city’s exciting good food movement. Subscribe to the Bristol Food Network newsletter for more updates about our work and Bristol 2030.

About the Nominating Organisation – Bristol Food Network

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns” is at the heart of all our work at Bristol Food Network (BFN). We believe that the way we produce, trade, eat and waste food influences the most pressing issues facing us today. We encourage everyone to stop and think about where their food comes from and our work involves supporting, informing and connecting citizens to make a more sustainable, fairer and healthier food system. 

We’ve worked with Bristol City Council to develop a ten-point Good Food Charter with the ambition that the city should use its buying power, services and influences to improve the food system for all. There’s so much great work happening about here in Bristol – in fact we’ve just been celebrating the city’s amazing achievement of becoming a Gold Sustainable Food City. But there is still much to be done.

The bid was about collective action and our purpose at BFN is to enable people who live and work in Bristol to find interesting and impactful ways to work together. This way our individual actions – be it in reducing food waste, buying better, supporting local businesses, urban food growing, eating better or cooking meals from scratch – can have all the more impact. This is about doing what we can as a city to reduce the negative impacts of the current food system on people, places and planet, and also working out how we can do things better for our own personal, family and community resilience. Not to mention our well-being!

Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

Our Hero is working towards Global Goal 10. This Goal aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Man holding up sign showing Global Sustainable Development Goal 1, no poverty.

Tackling the causes and effects of poverty

Woman holding up sign showing Global Sustainable Development Goal 2, zero hunger.

Eliminating hunger and ensuring food supplies for all

Man holding up sign showing Global Sustainable Development Goal 3, good health and well-being.

Ensuring the wellbeing and rights of disabled people across Bristol