A new pilot programme has launched in Cardiff, The Planet Card, which aims to make healthy, planet-friendly food accessible and affordable for everyone – especially those facing low incomes and health inequalities.

Food that is good for both health and the planet often comes at a higher cost than less healthy and/or planet-friendly alternatives. Bridging the Gap is an initiative established to tackle this. Through this initiative, pilots have been launched across the UK to explore ways to make sustainable healthy food – especially sustainably-produced organic fruits and vegetables – more accessible to lower-income people.

The Cardiff pilot programme is ‘The Planet Card’ – a collaboration between Cardiff Farmers Markets, Food Cardiff and a group of organic growers, social enterprises and community organisations. ‘The Planet Card’ will be a card with a value of up to £11 per week – enabling holders to switch their normal weekly shop for fruit and vegetables to organically produced versions, without being left out of pocket. Shoppers will be able to use the card at a choice of organic fruit and vegetable stalls at any of the Cardiff Farmers Markets across the city (found weekly in Rhiwbina, Roath and Riverside).

Cardiff Farmers Market is leading the pilot with an initial group of 20 shoppers. Once that trial has been evaluated, a second phase with 120 shoppers will run later this summer.

Final plans for the development of the card were co-produced at a community workshop in Canton in March, which brought together representatives from across the city who would be interested in trialling the scheme. The evidence from both phases will be used to support proposals for changes to food policy at a local and national level.

People interested in taking part in the second phase of the project this summer are encouraged to contact Carol Adams at carol@cardifffarmersmarkets.org.uk

Author WCS

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