Edinburgh Community Food is a social enterprise and a charity. As a leader in our city’s community food and health sector Edinburgh Community Food, following the four principles of dignity, works to promote health equality by providing affordable, healthy food, offering food education and supporting community health initiatives.
We offer both support for low-income communities and tackle health inequalities across Edinburgh through our Food and Health Development work and supply of free, subsidised and paid-for food to households across the city. We also run stalls in Edinburgh’s hospitals, supporting staff, patients and visitors and deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to businesses across the city.
ECF has recently won the 2021 Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) Presidential Award and the 2021 Caroline Walker Trust Charity Campaigner of the Year Award.
Commitment to sustainability
Improved Waste Recycling and Sustainability
In early Summer 2019, ECF signed up to the Zero Waste Leith Business Charter and have since continually been working to lower our carbon footprint, reduce plastics use and improve our sustainability agenda. We have made significant strides towards becoming paperless, have used environmentally friendly printers to print our recyclable food boxes, and continually have conversations with our suppliers and partners around reducing their plastic. In our development work, we emphasise buying and consuming local, seasonal produce, for sustainability and also for nutrition and affordability reasons. We support people to use fuel more efficiently, reduce food waste and to compost that which remains.
While we have always sought to buy as local as possible, we have forged new partnerships with new local suppliers to increase the range of local foods we offer. Recent items have included bread, tea/coffee, cheese, organic vegetables, chocolate and pate. During Winter 2021, we piloted a Local Food Box for sale on our website featuring only local & seasonal products.
All of our food boxes are almost entirely plastic free (what little remains being FareShare items, cucumbers and some soft fruit) and we have also removed all unnecessary plastic packaging from our popular Take’n’Make DIY meal kits. In addition to this, we have partnered with a volunteer-led cargo bike delivery group to deliver food boxes to households across North Edinburgh. In February 2021, we took proud delivery of a brand new all-electric delivery van and have had two charging points installed. We also provide warehouse space to Zedify, a sustainable cargo-bike delivery firm. We look forward to continuing to grow and develop our sustainability agenda through 2022 and beyond.
We’re achieving these goals
- Actively working to reduce carbon emissions
- Progressive business model (Social Enterprise, Community owned, Coop)
- Reducing food waste
- Reducing plastic packaging
- Using electric vehicles or cargo bikes for shop and customer deliveries
- Using local and/or organic produce
- Using local suppliers