Council recognised as national leader on food sustainability

A new report has been issued by food and farming charity Sustain that recognises Telford & Wrekin Council as a national leader when it comes to climate action around food.

Council recognised as national leader on food sustainability

The ‘Every Mouthful Count’s report, which was published earlier in November, highlights that six in ten councils omit food and farming from their climate plans, while the best councils have plans to support sustainable farming, tackle food waste and buy higher standard food for schools.

Out of nearly 200 local authorities analysed across the UK, only 12% (21 councils) - including Telford & Wrekin - were found to have made significant advances in their climate, nature and food strategies. Telford & Wrekin Council was the only West Midlands authority to be ranked in this top category.

The analysis took into account Telford & Wrekin Council’s consideration of farming through the authority’s partnership with Harper Adams University, which is leading the way on advancing technologies and methods which support autonomous agriculture. The council’s free weekly kerbside food waste collection also contributed to its high ranking.

Ruth Westcott, climate and nature emergency co-ordinator at Sustain, said:

“With food contributing to over a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions, action at the national and local level is needed immediately.”

“In the UK we have huge potential to grow more food, more sustainably, support great sustainable farmers and tackle the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis at the same time. 

“Some councils are taking commendable positive and ambitious action, demonstrating inspiring leadership despite growing pressure on limited resources, and are deservedly recognised as leaders in this report.

“Telford & Wrekin has rightly been recognised as one of the top performing councils, so thank you to them for leading the way.”

Cllr Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said:

“It’s wonderful to see our borough’s climate action work validated in this independent report. Telford & Wrekin Council is committed to tackling climate change and creating a more sustainable world, and we embed these values across all of our operations.

“I’d like to congratulate our catering team for their ‘local first’ approach to food sourcing and their work in schools around education, and also thank the council’s recycling team and partner, Veolia, for their ongoing food waste engagement campaigns and quality service.

Cllr Lee Carter, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, regeneration and the high street, added:

“Our charity partners, Telford Crisis Support and Telford Interfaith Council also deserve recognition for the vital work they do, distributing surplus food received from supermarkets, farms, orchards and local food outlets across the borough to help individuals and families in need.

“We’d also like to say a big thank you to our community for embracing positive change.

“Local people are doing a terrific job of reducing and recycling waste. Their adoption of food waste recycling has been particularly impressive – since the kerbside service launched in September 2019, our residents have recycled nearly 16,000 tonnes of food waste, resulting in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Find out more about Telford & Wrekin Council's climate change work at