Veg Cities – a National Campaign to grow, cook, sell, serve and save more vegetables

Veg Cities is a new campaign from the national Sustainable Food Cities network, and Glasgow is fully on board. Over the coming months there will be loads of action across the city to promote eating, selling, growing and cooking vegetables. Glasgow has been awarded £5000 from Sustainable Food Cities to support the campaign.

Veg Cities will be led in Glasgow by the Glasgow Community Food Network (GCFN). GCFN is linking it's campaign activities to the recent Roots to Market report, which looks to bring a change to Glasgow's food culture, promoting local food in menus and homes everywhere in the city and beyond. Roots to Market was published by GCFN and Glasgow based local food consultants Propagate in April 2018. Veg Cities launches in Glasgow on Friday 3rd August, at GCFN's networking event and AGM at the Kinning Park Complex.

Competitions are planned, including the 'Chef's Veg City Challenge' – involving 20 cafes and restaurants across Glasgow, who will be presented with a box of locally sourced veg from community gardens and market gardens. The 'Challenge' will be to create the best dish out of the randomly selected ingredients. Scotland's National Chef and Masterchef Winner Gary MacLean and food writer Cate Devine are to judge the meals, as well as a panel of Glasgow based food fans.

Ffion Smith, Chef at the Project Cafe commented “A move towards a nourishing, locally sourced, and creative food culture in Glasgow is something that lies close to the heart of The Project Café. We can’t wait to have conversations with other restaurateurs and chefs in the city and realise the huge positive impact we might have, as an industry, on the local food movement.”

Other Veg Cities activities planned include Open Gardens across Glasgow where local people can visit community gardens and market gardens, pop up producer markets to buy locally sourced produce, and challenges and competitions in schools to get more kids switched onto their 5-a-day. Veg Cities will work with local healthy eating organisations across the city to increase the impact. 

Abi Mordin, Chair of Glasgow Community Food Network said “we're really excited to be part of this national campaign. We've got a really imaginative programme of activities over the next 6 months – there really will be something for everyone! Eating more veg helps to improve not only our diets and health, but can contribute to a stronger and more resilient local food economy”

Veg Cities in Glasgow will also be looking to promote veg through advertising – local radio & tv, bus shelters and phone boxes may all have ads appearing, part of the national Veg Power campaign supported by Hugh  Fearnley-Whittingstall.  Last year 5000 adverts were run across the UK, and this year more local areas have come on board to push these adverts out more widely this Autumn as part of their Veg Cities campaigns. Glasgow will be part of that, along with Cardiff, Brighton and other cities. 

Sofia Parente, Campaign Coordinator at Sustain, one of the three partners coordinating the Sustainable Food Cities network, commented: “We are delighted with the level of interest in Veg Cities and so pleased that Glasgow is starting a campaign. At a time when vegetable consumption is in decline and childhood obesity figures are at an all-time high, organisations in Glasgow are rolling their sleeves to transform the availability and consumption of vegetables and demonstrating what is possible by working in partnership.”



1. VEG CITIES is a feature campaign of Sustainable Food Cities, led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative. The aim of VEG CITIES is to increase availability and consumption of vegetables. Food partnerships and/or local authorities can achieve this by working with different local businesses and organisations, from convenience stores to schools and local markets, through different actions from promoting vegetables to supporting local businesses and transforming catering and procurement.

2. Sustainable Food Cities is a network of food partnerships from over 50 local areas around the UK. Food Partnerships are groups which include public sector, business and community groups who are taking a joined approach to improve food in their local area, including supporting food enterprises and community food organisations, improving access to healthy affordable food, tackling food waste and the environmental impact of food and much more. Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme supported by Food Matters, Soil Association and Sustain, and funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. 

3. Glasgow Community Food Network was established in 2017 to bring together practitioners and organisations in the private, public and third sectors along with other interested individuals to develop a flourishing food system in Glasgow. We aim to work with everyone with an interest in food: chefs and restaurants, farmers and market gardeners, foodbank and soup kitchen volunteers and anyone else who cares about better food for Glasgow. We want to see a city where high quality, fresh, local, organic produce is available and affordable for all and where good food is a celebrated part of our culture.

4. and 

5. Glasgow Community Food Network invites you to our Summer 2018 networking event. This one takes us back to our roots, with a special focus on all the excellent community growing projects across the city. We'll be celebrating the remarkable progress and achievements of the growing community of Glasgow, hearing from speakers involved in different aspects and types of gardening projects.

6. Born in Glasgow, this 45-year-old multi-award winning chef has been hailed as a major talent, a gentleman of the kitchen, a world class educator and one who could step into a three Michelin-star kitchen and feel at home. Gary Maclean, husband, father and chef - is one of a kind.

7. A freelance journalist published in The Times, Sunday Times, The Herald, The Daily Record, The Sunday Post, The Caterer, The Staff Canteen, and The Telegraph. Cate Devine has been writing about the development of the Food and Drink Industry over the last 25 years with a 19 year stint at The Herald and is a member of the Guild of Food Writers. https://www.catedevinewriter.c... 

8. The cafe exists as a community platform for social exchange alongside serving a simple and wholesome menu in Glasgow’s city centre.  http://theprojectcafe.weebly.c...

9. Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.