On 21st March 2018, the Greater Manchester Mayor will be hosting a Green Summit to bring together a variety of individuals and organisations from across the city-region to explore ways to make Greater Manchester one of Europe’s leading green cities. The outcomes from the Green Summit will feed into a ‘Green Charter’, which will outline priorities for Greater Manchester’s journey towards carbon neutrality.

In the weeks prior to the event, listening events were held at a number of locations on a range of topics, from community energy production and energy democracy to green technology and the decarbonisation of heat. As part of this series, the FoodChains 4 EU UK-based partners - Manchester Metropolitan University and Oldham Council - hosted a food listening event on 13th February in order to discuss sustainable food in Greater Manchester and to feedback the preliminary findings and recommendations from the recent FoodChains 4 EU peer review.

The event was organised in partnership with the Kindling Trust, the Good Food Greater Manchester Partnership, and the Self-organising Action for Food Equity (SAFE) research project. After an initial introduction, each organisation was given 10 minutes to summarise their projects and to talk about their work. Dominic Coleman from Oldham Council talked to the participants about the FoodChains 4 EU project, describing the peer review process and summarising the preliminary findings. The audience was then given time to discuss and reflect upon the information provided.

Ben Messer of Food Matters expertly facilitated the event and brought the afternoon to a close by gathering opinions and ideas from the diverse group of participants. The resulting list of ideas will form the basis for our recommendations to the Mayor’s Green Summit, which will in turn influence the Greater Manchester Green Charter. We hope that through the timely peer review process and our resulting engagement with the Green Summit consultation process, we will help to make food a political issue.

The importance of the Food Listening event was joining up, coordinating and bringing together different approaches to food across Greater Manchester – all in one place! The expert findings from FC4EU Peer Review represent a key part of this independent and impartial approach that will make food, a priority for the city-region of Manchester.