Another catch up post… during my blogging sabbatical I’ve agreed to take on a couple of new roles. Unpaid of course! (I shouldn’t need to say that, but some people think that’s what we all do. Nice little earners in consultancies on the side).
Firstly, I’ve been asked to become a Vice-President of the League Against Cruel Sports. I’m looking forward to working with them in particular on the fight to stop the badger cull going ahead. Here’s an old blogpost, from April, but it has of course since been confirmed – on the very last day of Parliament before recess – that the cull would be going ahead.
As I said during that statement “It has been obvious to those of us who attend Environment, Food and Rural Affairs questions that the Government have intended for months to sneak this statement out on the last day before the recess. That is because the Secretary of State knows that the science does not support culling or the new blood sport that she has just created. When will the Government stand up to the farming lobby and tackle the impact of cattle movements and farmers allowing cattle that they know to be infected to go to market?” The Secretary of State replied that they’d just been taking their time to get the policy right… which is nonsense. They wanted to avoid a fuss. I’ll blog on the issue separately when I get time, but there is a big coalition forming in opposition to the cull, and I really believe this could be the next ‘forests’ for the Government, i.e. an issue on which overwhelming public opposition forces them into a u-turn.
Secondly, I’ve agree to become a trustee of Food Cycle– http://www.foodcycle.org.uk/ – a brilliant project where volunteers make meals out of surplus food donated by supermarkets and serve them in local community cafes. There’s one in Bristol which I’m visiting soon – it’s mostly staffed by students, so isn’t running in August – and I’m also off to visit their flagship Bethnal Green project in a couple of weeks time. Oh, and all the food is vegetarian too. I’ll be involved in trying to encourage more supermarkets to sign up to support them – I won’t name and shame at the moment! – and getting MPs to support new projects opening up in their constituencies. It’s such a great idea, addressing several issues at once: food waste, poverty, getting people involved in volunteering and teaching them new skills (not just cooking but all the logistics around getting a local project off the ground). As they say on their website,
What we tackle:
An estimated 400,000 tonnes of surplus food can be reclaimed each year from the food retailer industry to be made into healthy and nutritious meals.
There are 4 million people affected by food poverty in the UK. BAPEN estimates that malnutrition costs the NHS 13 billion pounds each and every year.
Over 2.4m people in the UK are currently searching for work, including almost 1m 16-25 yr olds. These people need opportunities to develop skills and affect their community positively.