Bristol Eating Better Award Bites Back Better

The Bristol Eating Better Award is a great opportunity for food businesses to provide food that is sourced, prepared and served in a healthy and sustainable way. As part of helping make Bristol a more sustainable food city, now is a great time for food businesses to get involved and promote the opportunities presented by the award. David Hudgell from the Communities and Public Health division in Bristol City Council explains.

The award has been running since 2017 and has over 200 businesses signed up already – current award holders have talked of the benefits of the awards:

“The more I learnt, the more I incorporated these factors into the menus we have today. I really think it has paid off because people trust that our food is healthy and filling.” Ruth Christianson, Maize Blaze Founder

“The Bristol Eating Better award illustrates how you can take a product generally regarded as processed and a more unhealthy option and make it into something much more nutritious and higher quality.” James, Sausagenius Co-owner

The award supports the city’s Going for Gold objectives and as we recover from COVID-19, looking after the local economy has come more into focus, with local shops, cafés and food businesses crucial to the local community. By encouraging businesses to promote health and use local food sources, this can support local manufacturers, growers, wholesalers and farmers, keeping money circulating locally.

COVID-19 has also highlighted how important our health is, with Type 2 diabetes and excess weight being risk factors for Covid. BEBA helps make it easier for people to choose the healthy option.  

The award has some key objectives of:

  • making small changes, for example in the ingredients you use or how you prepare food and what packaging you serve the food in
  • offering healthier alternatives, for example fruit or non sugary drinks
  • encouraging customers to choose these alternatives, for example by making the healthier options cheaper
  • encouraging customers to bring their own reusable cups and containers to reduce single-use plastic.

Some example actions we ask businesses to take to achieve the award include: providing free drinking water; lowering sugar, salt, and saturated fat in some of your products; agreeing to promote healthier food items; making fruit and vegetables a part of every meal; minimising food waste; buying fish that isn’t on the endangered list; buying locally produced food; considering sustainable food packaging; encouraging customers to bring reusable cups and containers.

These simple changes can be used as a promotional tool for food businesses to tell customers that you are offering healthier food. As people increasingly appreciate local shopping and supply, now is a great time to put into place these changes and tell your customers.

The award is coordinated and administered by the Communities and Public Health division in Bristol City Council. We are currently looking at ways of providing extra promotional opportunities to businesses who achieve the award, from profiling the company on the Bristol Eating Better website to featuring your company as a case study of good practice across media channels. Now is a great time to get involved as the economy reopens.

To find out more, see how other companies have benefitted, and to sign up for the award visit the Bristol City City Council website.

By setting the wheels in motion now, together we can transform the future of food in our city, building in resilience over the next decade. So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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