Dundee City Council's Food Growing Strategy is empowering people to work together to make their neighbourhoods healthier, greener, happier and more resilient. Growing and eating fresh local food brings people together and reduces emissions long-term.

Dundee City Council

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Addressed Challenges:

  • Food security & supply
  • Greater fairness
  • Health & wellbeing

Action Areas:

  • Land Use, Food & Agriculture
  • Biodiversity & Nature

Initiative Purpose:

  • Mitigation & Adaptation

The Story

Cover of Dundee Food Growing Strategy

Dundee's Food Growing Strategy is a statutory requirement for Dundee City Council under the Community Empowerment Act, but it represents the recognition of the need for fundamental change in the food system, from production to transport to packaging to how and what we eat. This strategic document consolidates the idea that eating locally-produced food is an essential part of our collective transition to a sustainable future. This is about people being able to do something positive, healthy, convivial and rewarding.

Community gardens have been established across the city, focusing on its more deprived areas and working with local community groups to make the projects successful. This foundation has enabled the strategy to be more far-reaching than many, as we have already embedded local food growing in the Local Plan. The MAXwell Centre, the Ninewells Therapeutic Garden, the Attic Garden, Tay View, Fruit Bowls and Whorterbank Community Gardens and many more have all shown this can work. DCC now has ambitious plans to establish a major community market garden as part of the strategy.

Organisations like Social Farms and Gardens, Trellis, the Caley, One Seed Forward all offer support and inspiration. Authority for the FGS comes from the top, under Scottish Government legislation, but it is implemented from the bottom as people take steps to give their children a secure and healthy future.

Advice for others looking to do something similar

In addition to over 500 allotment plots, Dundee has a multitude of community gardens which have already started mobilising the cultural shift towards local food growing. In 2013, Dundee City Council established a Community Allotment Officer post and identified £200K of capital funding to establish community growing spaces focused in areas of deprivation.

These and independent projects such as the MAXwell Centre which has been growing for many years and has become a local institution with hundreds of school pupils benefiting from its wonderful growing space, have enabled local communities to become in growing on their doorstep. However, there is much more that can be done and the Local Food Growing Strategy makes recommendations that can start to make local food growing even more accessible. Several Dundee students have researched community growing and their work formed the basis for our Local Food Growing strategy consultation. Having an annual networking event helped boost people's confidence and was a useful source of suggestions.

home grown vegetables Pavillion at Fruit Bowls Community Garden with raised beds in front Food growing space