Bristol Bites Back Better emerged as a campaign from the city-wide initiative to win a Gold Sustainable Food City award, achieving this status in June 2021. The call to #BiteBackBetter came in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the urgent need to take action to rebuild our food system for our environment, economy, health and communities.

The pandemic is just one of several major national and global events both influencing and being influenced by the way people grow, distribute, buy, eat and dispose of food. Bristol has a not-to-be-missed opportunity to build on its Gold Food City award: individuals, communities and organisations can take action to make a food system fit for people and planet by 2030.

Read on to find out about the journey so far, where we are now and what’s to come…

Bristol: a Gold Sustainable Food City

In 2021, Bristol’s good food movement was recognised with a Gold Sustainable Food Cities award. The award was granted by Sustainable Food Places – a national partnership that supports and celebrates places making positive changes to their food systems and culture, helping them to share good practice and explore solutions to common challenges.

How does a city apply for a Sustainable Food Cities award?

For the Bronze and Silver awards, a city needs to submit evidence of progress on six key food-related themes. To achieve Gold, in addition to providing further evidence on these six themes, Bristol had to demonstrate ‘excellence’ in two areas: Reducing Food Waste and Building a Good Food Movement. The award submission document captures the hard work, collaboration and innovation that made Bristol only the second city to achieve Gold status.

Who was behind the bid?

Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Bristol City Council and Resource Futures coordinated the bid, and the achievement would not have been possible without delivery partners Feeding Bristol, Bristol Food Producers, Incredible Edible Bristol and Grow Wilder (part of Avon Wildlife Trust). There are also several generous partners, sponsors and supporters (click below to find out who they are). However, achieving Gold was only possible with the support, hard work and contributions of a multitude of organisations, businesses, and individuals across Bristol; Bristol Going for Gold has been a truly city-wide effort, kickstarting a decade of transformation through food to 2030.

The Bristol Going for Gold ambition is aligned with Bristol’s One City Plan.

Partners & Sponsors

Why food is central to our recovery?

It’s easy to take food for granted when, if we’re lucky, it’s never further away from us than a trip to the shops. But behind the scenes, food is deeply connected to the things that will drive our recovery from the pandemic. A true recovery—one where we come back to a world better and more resilient than the one we left when COVID-19 hit—is about so much more than eradicating the virus. Click the link below to find out how food connects to every dimension of the recovery.

Find out more

What now?

The Gold award was never intended to be an end point. Despite the tremendous variety, spread and scale of activity taking place in Bristol’s good food movement, there is still action to be taken. There is still land that could be turned to nature-friendly food growing. There is still edible food going to landfill. Our citizens are still experiencing food insecurity, and food related ill-health. Our independent food businesses still need our support.

We’re asking you to continue to #BiteBackBetter for Bristol by taking actions as indivudals, communities and organisations. See what actions you can take today.

Take action and participate

What next?

Across Bristol, hundreds of individuals and organisations are working hard to improve the long term sustainability of our city’s food system. From ensuring that every citizen has enough to eat, to safeguarding land for growing; from improving the way that households dispose of food, to teaching essential cookery skills to school children.

Behind the scenes, the partners who coordinated and delivered Bristol’s Gold Food City bid are planning the next phase of work to ensure that Bristol remains on track to deliver the food related goals of the One City plan, and takes radical an urgent action to address the climate and ecological emergencies by 2030.

Now is the time to share your vision for food in Bristol, as well as your ideas for how it might be achieved. Join the Conversation by clicking the link below and have your say on what lies ahead for good food in Bristol.

Join the conversation