Discussion about food sustainability is nothing new. Most of us know that we should be ‘thinking local’ when it comes to food; we are aware of the problems that intensive farming poses for diversity in wild species; we know that shopping at the farmers market is better for the local economy. We are very lucky in the South West to have such a great bounty of produce on our doorsteps, so persuading us to buy our cheese from a local dairy, some Devon Rose beef or a gallon of Scrumpy straight from the farm now and then isn’t such a difficult task. Despite this though, buying sustainable produce remains something of a luxury for most. In order to affect real change, we need to take sustainable thinking from the luxury, to the everyday.
And it seems that the folks who organise Eat Drink Bristol Fashion agree. Armed with a village of giant Tipis, they have invited a 200 strong crowd of local (to Bristol and the South West) delegates from the public and private sectors, including those from catering companies to hospitals, from schools to producers along with decision makers from organisations such as the Soil Association and The Bristol Pound. The aim of the summit, they say, is to ‘inspire thoughts on how to generate change’.
In 2012 the ‘Eat Drink’ team proved themselves capable of putting on a pretty spectacular celebration of all things culinary. The village of Tipis in Queen’s Square, Bristol, sheltered hungry diners who arrived in droves, undeterred by the spring rain. So it seems apt that this year the momentum has been garnered to not only stage a repeat of last year’s success, but to actually… well, make a difference!
Amelia Twine, Operations Director at Eat Drink Bristol Fashion says of the event ‘South West Britain is one of the most exciting areas of food production in the world and this summit is designed to bring together those talents to create a central platform for discussion, ideas generation and co-working.’
They have arranged an inspiring day full of cookery demonstrations, cafe table discussions and talks from leaders in the industry in order to promote dialogue between the attendees. George Ferguson, Bristol’s forward-thinking Mayor will also be giving a speech at the event.
The Summit, which takes place on Monday 13 May, opens two weeks of gastronomic delights from some of Bristol and the surrounding area’s restaurants, chefs from The Pony & Trap, Wilks and Casamia will all be participating, amongst others. But not only will the summit mark the start of two week’s serious dining, also, hopefully it will mark a starting point for some of the real changes that it aims to inspire.