CFI Programme Networking Event in Cloughmills, Antrim

All ten projects from across the island attended our last networking event of the Community Food Initiatives Programme 2013-15 in wonderful Cloughmills in Antrim at the end of September.

Cloughmills was the ideal venue for all projects to realise and acknowledge our many achievements over the last two-and-a-half years. The garden and facilities offered the perfect space to reflect on work done and plan our next steps. The network was also delighted to welcome senior members of safefood staff and Advisory Board, as well as a representative of the North South Ministerial Council. The event was the perfect opportunity for our guests to witness the wonderful work being done at local level and for programme participants to share learning.

The event aimed to identify and celebrate successes of the projects and the programme, while also acknowledging challenges faced. In addition we discussed next steps for the programme and for the projects and how individually and collectively we aim to continue our CFI work.

The recognised benefits of being part of the programme included establishment of partnerships with local and national organisations; local CFIs being placed in the national context of food poverty; strengthened networks and opportunities for wider learning; seeing the changes in food behaviour of local people and the positive impact the CFI is having on local communities. Challenges included continuing the development of the CFI in a challenging funding environment with limited resources and capacity.

All participants agreed that something powerful has been created and everyone is committed to continuing their food related activities. HFfA is very proud to work with these wonderful projects and we look forward to continuing to build on the strong network that has been forged. For more information please contact Georgina at

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