Granville Community Kitchen(GCK) is an ethical, sustainable, culturally diverse community food hub, offering food centred activities, services, education and training that is accessible, family friendly and open to all. We place the most disaffected at the centre, co-creating a local response to social issues whilst building capacity and lifting voices to advocate for structural change at local, national and international level.
Founded in 2014 as a community response to the entrenched deprivation, disenfranchisement and ongoing fragmentation of the local community. Granville Community Kitchen is located in The Granville, a heritage building of local architectural, historic significance and treasured by the South Kilburn community as a home away from home. We became a Society for the Benefit of the Community Number 7 in 2016 and we are community led. Our board of directors is primarily made up of South Kilburn residents and our co founders Leslie Barson and Dee Woods who have worked in The Granville for almost 30 years.
What we believe
Granville Community Kitchen is reimagining our localised food system, co-creating a community of abundance, healing and resilience with eaters, farmers and food producers, chefs and food businesses, community organisations, academics and researchers. We are guided by principles of equity, justice, respect and dignity and are working towards creating a just, equitable food system built on the Human Right to Food and Nutrition, Agroecology and Food Sovereignty.
At Granville Community Kitchen we believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and has the right to live in dignity. We value and respect the agency of people to make choices and decisions about their lives and how to participate in community and society. We practise dignity and apply the Nourish Scotland Dignity in Practise principles in our work.
This fundamental human right recognises and protects the right of all human beings to live in dignity, free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. The right to food is not about charity, but about ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves in dignity.
The legal right is protected under international human rights and humanitarian law. The government is legally required under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11) to secure the human right to adequate food and nutrition for everyone in the UK. It is defined as:
“ the right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, to be free from hunger and malnutrition, to have physical and economic access at all times to adequate food – in quality and quantity – that is nutritious and culturally acceptable or means for its procurement in a sustainable and dignified manner, while ensuring the highest level of physical, emotional and intellectual development.”
The right to food is part of the broader human rights framework, which is a social construction resulting from the struggles of individuals, social groups and peoples against oppression, exploitation, discrimination and abuses of power by governments and other powerful economic, political and religious actors.
July 2016, Issue 1. Series Struggle for the Right to Food and Nutrition
Food is much more than nutrition for GCK; it is multidimensional. Agroecology weaves all these facets of food together into a tapestry of understanding and practise from the political to the cultural to ecological and sustainable production.
There are ten interdependent elements of Agroecology, as recognised by FAO, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.
The ten elements of agroecology (FAO, 2018)
Food sovereignty puts those who produce, distribute and eat food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.
THE PRINCIPLES OF FOOD SOVEREIGNTY (in the UK context)
1. Food is for people.
Guaranteeing the right to food will ensure that everybody, regardless of income, status or background, should have secure access to enough, nutritious, culturally appropriate, good food at all times. Agriculture should focus on producing food to feed people, as opposed to food as a commodity for the global market.
2. Food producers are valued.
The people who produce and provide our food should be properly rewarded, protected and respected. This means decent living wages, secure contracts, fair representation and good working conditions for everyone involved in getting food from the field to our plates.
3. Food systems are localised.
Good food should be easily accessible across villages, towns, and cities, in both rural and urban areas, through numerous local outlets. Local provision and short food supply chains should take precedence over global export markets.
International trade will and should always be part of the global food system, but we must promote the formulation of trade policies and practices that serve the rights of peoples to safe, healthy and ecologically sustainable food production and ensure that we do not undermine the food sovereignty and food systems of people in other parts of the world.
4. There is democratic control over the food system.
Control over the resources to produce, distribute and access food should be in the hands of communities and workers across the food system. Civil society should be at the centre of food policy making, with the power to shape the way the food system functions and influence the policies and practices needed to transition to a just food system.
5. We build knowledge and skills.
The knowledge and skills needed to produce, process, distribute, and prepare food should be protected and invested in. The knowledges and cultures of food producers and communities should be prioritised including the ’ ability to develop and pass knowledge and skills to future generations should be supported through democratic and decentralized forms of education, and appropriate research and innovation.
6. Our food system works with nature.
Food production and distribution systems should protect natural resources, reduce environmental impact and work in harmony with nature. Agroecology should be the basis for all food production, where food is produced within the finite limits of our planet’s resources, protecting and respecting our environment and communities, and without compromising on the ability of future generations to provide for themselves.
[Taken from A People’s Food Policy, 2017]
Food sovereignty for GCK provides a radical and practical blueprint for change. GCK places people and those most affected by social inequalities at the centre of decision making. GCK is creating employment for local people and establishing strong workers rights to living wages, fair and safe working conditions and ensuring that volunteers are not exploited. We ensure education underpins everything we do from capacity building and training courses to the informal learning community of practise that enables people of all ages and abilities to share knowledge and skills.