Uniting for Sustainable Food

Monmouthshire Food Partnership’s
Collaborative Approach

Monmouthshire Food Partnership is a county-wide collaboration of people and organisations from the community, third, public, and private sectors who this food is worth taking seriously. Together, we are committed to taking positive action towards a sustainable food system within the county and beyond. Monmouthshire Food Partnership aims to:

  • connect people, projects and partners in the development of a sustainable local food system
  • take collective action to shape the local food system
  • be a collective voice for food that positively shapes policy and shares best practice

We are particularly interested in education and enterprise, in their broadest senses. Current activity includes:

  • developing cookery courses for delivery by community members
  • linking local food producers and schools through regular video calls
  • linking food businesses with buyers and each other
  • supporting communities to grow their own food
  • improving public understanding and perceptions of agriculture and agricultural careers
  • building local supply chains in the public sector

At policy and strategy level, Monmouthshire Food Partnership is recognised as a strategic delivery partner for Gwent Public Services Board’s Wellbeing Objectives, and we are also referenced in Monmouthshire County Council’s Community and Corporate Plan. Reflecting our geographical location, we are also working with local authorities and food partnerships cross-border to complement the activities of the emerging Marches Strategic Partnership.

Monmouthshire Food Partnership is grateful to have been funded by Welsh Government and Sustainable Food Places.

Steering Group Members

Monmouthshire Food Partnership’s Steering Group comes together every six weeks to guide the Partnership’s activity, manage finances, and discuss strategic opportunities. We welcome new members so please get in touch if you’d like to join us.

Martin Sutherland
Martin SutherlandVolunteer Chair of Monmouthshire Food Partnership
Martin has been involved in the food industry since studying food marketing as an under-graduate at Aberystwyth University and University of California, Davis. After graduating, he joined the faculty at Aberystwyth University and lectured in marketing. Martin has a MSc in Food Policy from City University.

Martin’s commercial career started at McVitie’s, where he was Marketing Manager for Penguin biscuits (Martin put the jokes onto the Penguin wrappers). Following marketing roles with Tesco and WHSmith, he was a director at a number of food companies, including Somerfield Supermarkets.

Martin is now the Commercial and Marketing Director at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He is responsible for the Marketing Team and the Food and Drink Research Group.

Martin is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is a Vice-Chair of the CIM Board in Wales. He lives in Monmouthshire.

Elaine Blanchard
Elaine BlanchardMonmouthshire County
Elaine has have a keen interest in food and the impact it makes upon our environment. As Sustainable Food Engagement Officer for Monmouthshire County Council she uses her skill base of chef, NNEB nursery nurse and nutritional advising to build a network that values producers, cooking and community. She sees Monmouthshire Food Partnership as a way to bring that network together create a diverse and strong food system for Monmouthshire.
Ryan Coleman
Ryan Coleman
Ryan is the Tackling Poverty and Inequality Lead for Monmouthshire County Council. He is passionate about food, food insecurity and supporting people in becoming self-sufficient and resilient – whether this is people growing food, cooking and eating together, or learning new skills. He is also a firm believer in collaborative and cooperative partnership working. As Ryan puts it: ‘I recognise that to truly make a difference, it is key that we work with as many partners as possible, to share good practice, learn what is successful in other places and to pool our expertise and resources for the benefit of our local communities across Monmouthshire. The Monmouthshire SFP is an excellent partnership which facilitates all this.’
Sarah Davies
Sarah DaviesVolunteer Chair of Monmouthshire Food Partnership
Sarah is a Senior Public Health Practitioner at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. In her own words: ‘Bringing together the economic, health, social and environmental perspectives on the local food system is vital if we are to create a positive vision for the future way we feed ourselves. Monmouthshire Food Partnership is a space for convening these important conversations and I am very pleased to represent the Health Board in those discussions. I am keen to see the Food Partnership operating at all levels, from practical projects on the ground, to influencing policy. I have worked on sustainable local food systems for 20 years and am passionate about the change we can make together.’
Andrea Gibbons
Andrea Gibbons
Andrea is the Sustainable Food Places Network Coordinator at the Soil Association. She has come a long way to be here: from a professional career as community organiser to policy lecturer to social network builder, and from Tucson to Los Angeles to Salford to Monmouthshire. Andrea says, ‘I’m so excited to have built a home in Wales and be part of food partnership here. Transforming our food system enables us to improve physical and mental health, build more inclusive communities, increase jobs and create new futures, and enjoy every bite of the ever more delicious food we grow and eat. It also helps each of us be part of a wider movement to tackle poverty, hunger, biodiversity loss and climate change. As an avid gardener who sometimes feels a little helpless in the face of such big problems yet hopes to leave this world a better place for the next generations, this feels quite wonderful.’
Marianne Fisher
Marianne Fisher
Marianne coordinates Monmouthshire Food Partnership. She is also Sustainable Food Projects Manager at Monmouthshire County Council. Marianne is motivated by her love of the working landscape as the source of great produce to feed happy, healthy people and wildlife. The Food Partnership is a way of bringing people together from across the food system to explore ways of doing things better for Monmouthshire, Gwent and the Marches.

Before moving into her current role at the Council, Marianne had a varied career in academia and publishing.

Fiona Wilcock
Fiona Wilcock
Fiona has worked in the food industry for many years and now runs an independent food business called White Oak, making chutney, jam and other condiments. She is also a Monmouth Town Councillor.

Fiona is interested in the Monmouthshire Food Partnership, as she is keen to promote local business and network across the county improving the opportunities for small businesses. Her passion is food, especially good quality, wholesome foods that have little negative or no impact on the environment.

Fiona says, ‘I see Monmouthshire Food Partnership as a fantastic opportunity to bring together expertise from the industry and improve the education of the community, help charities to be more efficient with food projects and deliver the best results for the people of Monmouthshire.’

Sustainable Food Places is a partnership programme led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

Latest news

Lads’ Lunch, Chepstow

June 21, 2024|

“It’s always more than just food.” To find out more about Lads’ Lunch, Chepstow Food Bank, or Bridge Church email communitykitchen@thebridgechurchonline; or just walk in on a Thursday lunchtime at Unit 1A Critchcraft Buildings, Bulwark, Chepstow, NP16 5QZ. In 2023 Monmouthshire Food Partnership ran a community grants scheme open to third-sector organisations, community groups and social enterprises who are contributing to Monmouthshire’s good food movement. In this series of articles we are visiting some of the successful applicants to find out how they used their grants and what is happending now. Today we are with [...]

If You Eat Meat, Know Where It Comes From

June 13, 2024|

“It’s not necessarily about whether you’re eating meat or not eating meat. If you’re going to eat meat, know where it comes from, know that it’s had its best life, know how it’s been treated.” Jessi Stephens, Monmouthshire Fayre   As Monmouthshire is a rural county, with vast swathes of agricultural land, it’s easy to buy food that hasn’t travelled very far. Whether you’re sourcing vegetables from a farmers’ market or your eggs and cheese from a grocery store, you can find a range of suppliers who will be local to you. The same is true [...]

Josh’s Jerseys: A New Generation of Front-Line Vendors

May 7, 2024|

Josh’s Jerseys vending machines are located in the Abergavenny Market Hall and at Raglan Farm Park. The vending machines supply re-usable glass bottles.   Farmers across Monmouthshire and the Marches are reviving the old tradition of selling directly to the public. Read on to learn about one Monmouthshire dairy farmer who is making a splash with his delicious milk. Josh Morgan grew up on a fourth-generation family farm. He was encouraged by his parents to live a life away from farming, but after spending his 20s working in construction and renovation, he returned to [...]