Digging into More Community Growing31/12/18
A £20,000 study into the practicalities of growing fruit and vegetables at Dundee’s Camperdown Park and its impact on food poverty in the city could be backed by councillors early next year.
The study would look at business models to support the distribution of produce to people most in need and the opportunities it could provide for skills development.
Councillor Anne Rendall, depute convener of Dundee City Council’s neighbourhood services committee, said: “This study is in response to recommendations from our Fairness Commission about addressing food poverty and the Scottish Government who have placed a duty on all councils to produce a Local Food Growing Strategy by April 2020.
“The opportunity to use the council’s plant nursery at Camperdown Park for fruit and veg production as well as supplying shrub and plant material for our greenspaces, is one that we cannot ignore.
“This is an imaginative, creative and ambitious response to food poverty and if a way can be found to distribute the produce to the people who need it most and give our young people skills, it would be a positive outcome for a number of different sections of our community.”
A report to the neighbourhood services committee, which will be considered on Monday, January 7 notes that existing community growing projects are well received by the people who use them, but food production is relatively small scale with produce supplying the families, individuals and organisations who garden them.
It adds that to have any meaningful impact on relieving food poverty, local food production will need to be scaled up.
Discussions have already taken place with potential partners including Dundee Social Enterprise Network (DSEN) and Dundee and Angus College.
Dundee Social Enterprise Network, in partnership with the Maxwell Centre, has successfully submitted an Awards for All application for £10,000 to part fund a feasibility report into the development of a community scale growing project and councillors will be asked to approve match funding.
The report notes that the number of community growing spaces in the city backed by council investment has gone up in recent years.