Joined up action on food (Sustainable Food Places) - looks at the Council's approach to joined up working and collaboration on food issues, to improve the healthiness and sustainability of food for all Londoners.
Food poverty alliances and collaborative approaches - assesses council action and activity around food poverty partnerships and plans, ensuring there is attached accountability.
Cash first approaches to addressing food poverty - reviews what council action is being taken to maximise household income for lower-income families, using cash first approaches to tackle household food insecurity.
Food access - looks at how councils are ensuring that there is targeted provision and access for specific groups within local communities and how these activities might be addressing inequalities.
Children’s food - reviews what Council’s are doing to ensure that all children have the start that they deserve, including in school settings, despite their circumstances.
Healthier food environments - from schools, workplaces and communities to catering, high streets and advertising hoardings, our four measures of a healthier food environment encompass leadership in all areas that affect the lives and health of all Londoners.
Good food economy - reviews how councils are joining up work on improving the local economy and regeneration, with the availability of affordable, healthy and sustainable food including any work undertaken under the Good Food Retail agenda.
Food growing - looks at the approach the council is taking to enhance and increase opportunities to grow food across the borough, as well as the amount of land available for food production.
Climate and nature emergency and food - reviews commitments and actions taken on food to tackle the climate and nature emergency including signing up to the Every Mouthful Counts Toolkit.
The report is a valuable resource to support councils and food partnerships to identify where to take action on critical food issues that affect the food system as a whole.
It also includes case studies to celebrate good practice and a league table to celebrate acheivements and benchmark performance year on year to give a wider view of progress.
As in previous years, Sustain designed a survey to collect the information used and scored in this report, based on our decades of close work with councils on food issues. External partners and feedback from councils were used to shape criteria. All councils in London were invited to complete a survey and self-report on action taken and future plans. Where available, data from external sources has been included for councils that did not respond to our survey.
The scoring and maps show three levels of action based on survey responses: foundations, good practice and leadership. For some measures, we identified actions to indicate a council’s progress level; for some measures, it was the total number of actions taken that was used to determine the level.
The league tables provide an overview of council performance in each theme (indicated by colours), how they ranked comparatively (indicated by order and percentage score), with an indication of councils who achieved overall leadership.
For the Beyond the Food Bank chapter, we assessed councils as being leaders overall by achieving good practice in at least nine measures and achieving leadership in at least 6 of these. For the Good Food for London chapter, those highlighted as showing leadership overall, were councils taking significant actions across all measures, this included scoring good practice in all themes and leadership in at least one area.
What's happening in your borough?
Recommendations for action
Taking action on food poverty
Actively support a food poverty alliance, with resources and a clear refreshed food poverty action plan that focuses on building more resilient local food systems.
Have a cash first approach to tackling food poverty, drawing on mechanisms that maximise household incomes for lower income residents, as well as become a London Living Wage Employer and Funder.
Provide tailored support to specific groups including older and disabled people, Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and those with no recourse to public funds.
Ensure a good start in life and support for children and families through: i) supporting breastfeeding through the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Gold standard; ii) setting a target to increase Healthy Start uptake; iii) supporting free school meals and holiday provision with food for all potentially eligible families; working to ensure that these are healthy and sustainably sourced.
Supporting good food for London
Support a joined-up approach to food by investing in a local food partnership, guided by a joint food plan or strategy so all residents benefit from healthy sustainable food.
Continue to make progress on healthy food environments, led by public health teams, extending the impact through opportunities such as a Healthier Advertising Policy.
Ensure approach is joined up with business and economy departments, recognising the opportunity to create a local food economy that builds community health and wealth; and reach out to food SMEs run by or serving underrepresented groups.
Improve opportunities for food growing by increasing access to land for food growing, mapping land available, and making publicly owned land or assets available for larger scale food production.
Review climate action plans so they explicitly include reducing food-related greenhouse emissions, using the Food for the Planet Every Mouthful Counts toolkit as a guide.
Good Food for All Londoners is produced by London Food Link
London Food Link is the umbrella for all of Sustain's initiatives in London. Our work includes helping to influence local government policy, hands-on food growing training, running sessions for public sector caterers, creating guidance for independent eateries and food producers, public awareness campaigns, and joining the dots between people around specific food issues.
We are particularly grateful to the Ellen McArthur Foundation and ReLondon for their support and to the Trust for London and the Mayor of London for funding this work.