Nourishing Guernsey

On Thursday 7th March we held ‘Nourishing Guernsey, a food system mapping event’. 

The aim of the project is to understand how the Guernsey food system shapes our opportunity to access nutritious, affordable food. It involved over 30 local stakeholders representing retail, hospitality and catering, education, growing and farming, health, government, and the third sector who worked together over the course of a day to identify the key drivers of what we eat and how they are interconnected. We also explored public perceptions about what makes accessing nutritious food easy and difficult using the results of focus groups that we recently conducted. 

This is the first time that the food system and the way it shapes our diets has been mapped and we hope to identify ways in which the food system could be changed to improve community nutrition and health. 

The workshop, which took place at the new GROW hub was facilitated by members of The University of Cambridge Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR).

 It is hoped that the event will also create positive collaborations between the third, private and public sectors which are needed to collectively improve our opportunities to access a healthy diet and good health. Last year the CEDAR team undertook a similar exercise in Jersey, which the Commission attended. Once the Guernsey system map is created, the two islands will look for synergies between both Guernsey and Jersey food systems with a hope to identify some shared interventions. 

The results will help inform the Health Improvement Commission’s current and future initiatives as well as Public Health strategy and health policy priorities in relation to healthy nutrition. 

Dr Simon Sebire, Chief Executive of the Health Improvement Commission said: 

'Understanding Guernsey’s unique food system is a key foundation to identifying ways to make it easier for everyone to feed themselves well and improve our health in the long-term. Taking a systems approach acknowledges that what surrounds us, including the availability, affordability and appeal of nutritious and less nutritious foods shapes us and our eating habits. We are very grateful to the CEDAR team for their support with this project and all of the stakeholders who attended the workshop'.