Sustain / Jobs

Local Action Officer - Sustainable Food Cities

Job title

Local Action Officer (Sustainable Food Places)


Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming

Gross Annual Salary

£24,595 on 0.8 FTE (FT equivalent £30,744). In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary. Further Note: that for 8 months, the salary payment equates to £16,397.


0.8 FTE / 4 days per week


Role is office-based in Cambridge Heath, London. Initially remote working available in line with the government’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Position type

8 month temporary cover with potential for short extension.

Annual Leave

16 days Basic Annual Leave based on 0.8 FTE + same proportion of public hols + office closures including between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Further Note: that for 8 months, the annual leave for this period equates to 11 days plus public holidays.

Closing date

12pm (midday), Thursday 2 December 2021

Contact email
Equal opportunities

Sustain is an equal opportunities employer. See our Equal Opportunities Policy. Sustain is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive employer, including recruiting for diversity. Read more about our approach here.

Right to Work Entitlement to work in the UK. You will need to hold the necessary rights/visa to work in the UK, Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits.
Other details Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis.

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.

About Sustain’s work on Sustainable Food Places (SFP)   

The SFP Network is a rapidly growing movement of over 60 food partnerships in cities and other municipalities across the UK. Through these cross-sector food partnerships, local authorities and other public bodies are working together with third sector, businesses and academic organisations to transform their local food system with the aim of improving public health and wellbeing; fostering community connection and resilience; building prosperous and diverse local food economies; and helping to tackle the critical sustainability issues of waste and the climate and nature emergency. Sustain is the lead organisation on campaigns and good food movement and manages support to the network ranging from grants to coordinated campaigns actions and advocacy on behalf of the network.

About this role: tasks and responsibilities

The Local Action Officer will have a varied and exciting workload, will work closely to support the work of the SFP Policy and Campaigns Coordinator and the Local Action Coordinator and will work in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management, campaign staff, and project partners. The Officer’s responsibilities will include:

Local engagement

  • Work with the Policy and Campaigns Coordinator to support local SFP members around the country to engage in the annual Day of Celebration and Action, including support before and on the day.
  • Support SFP and Sustain staff on local engagement on time-specific national thematic campaign actions, including Good to Grow Day engaging people in community food growing.

Campaigns and engagement support

  • Amplify the voices of those working at grassroots level in local areas or in different settings to ensure they are heard at a national level.
  • Maintain the workplan and systems for managing and monitoring engagement with Day of Celebration and Action, Good to Grow Day and Food for the Planet partners.
  • Organise webinars and/or workshops on the SFP campaigns including Sugar Smart, Veg Cities or Food for the Planet, or other emerging policy areas of relevance to the SFP network.
  • Maintain relationships with national organisations and national Sugar Smart and Food for the Planet campaigns and SFP partners – and to organise quarterly meetings with them to inform the work.
  • Support administration/monitoring of grants to Good Food Movements, Veg Cities and Food for the Planet.


  • Create and promote an engaging online and media campaign presence via the website(s), SFP network newsletter, external communications, traditional media and social media i.e. running the Sugar Smart twitter account.
  • Work with Sustain staff and project partners to develop useful assets e.g. social media cards, films, guides, posters, etc.
  • Lead on adding campaign, local action and good food movement news and case studies online.
  • Produce regular newsletters for Sugar Smart, Good to Grow and Food for the Planet.

The key policy areas that the Officer’s work will contribute to (but are not limited to):

Local action: Support expansion of the Sustainable Food Places network to support over 100 communities, working beyond cities to support counties as well, and galvanise action in these places through issue-specific campaigns.

Climate and nature emergency: Ensure government prioritizes the recommendations in the National Food Strategy to alter the Government Buying Standards and make public sector food reflect a sustainable and healthy diet in the White Paper and a future Food Bill. Ensure the views of our local partners help influence processes such as White Paper consultations. Contribute as needed to work led by other colleagues on the White Paper and further regulatory and fiscal areas.

The Officer will also:

  • Contribute to internal Sustain sub-group meetings e.g. local action sub-group.
  • General tasks/expectations e.g. attending and supporting the main SFP conference, SFP Ops meetings and other SFP internal meetings.
  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, and project participants.

Personal specification

Sustain is seeking a creative and experienced communicator with fantastic team working skills who shares our commitment to local action on food issues, and who has the following skills and experience or is looking to develop them:


  • An interest in – and some knowledge of – sustainability, health and equality issues in relation to food, farming and fishing
  • Interest in food, farming or environmental campaigns preferably with demonstrable experience and interest in how local action contributes to policy change or engaging people in grassroots action
  • Experience of working within a network or movement
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills in fluent spoken and written English with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, with high levels of self-motivation
  • Good project management, time management and organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines
  • A strong commitment to diversity and inclusion within the context of the role
  • Energy, enthusiasm, creativity and tenacity
  • Availability to commence work promptly following the recruitment process
  • Good relationship building and team working skills
  • Entitlement to work in the UK (Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits).
  • Knowledge of issues surrounding environmental impacts of food and healthy food


  • Experience of working within the not-for-profit sector
  • Track record of running successful campaigns
  • Co-ordination and motivation of networks and coalitions
  • Digital campaigning and social networking skills
  • Good public speaking skills
  • Experience in the fields of food and/or public health
  • Experience and/or knowledge of working with local authorities and the public sector
  • Experience of volunteer management
  • Experience of working with the media, including ability to give clear and convincing media interviews

Subject to government Covid-19 guidelines, the role is likely to involve travel around the UK and occasional overnight stays, to enable participation of a wide range of geographical locations through support, training, regional and national events.


Diversity matters to us. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution. Diversity helps us identify where change is needed and what is required to promote equity as well as reflect the concerns of our wide alliance of members.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire.

The Local Action Officer will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please email the following:

- a CV (maximum two pages)
- a Covering Letter telling us about your experience and how this relates to the personal specification (maximum two pages)
- a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form

As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please put Local Action Officer in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 12pm (midday), Thursday 2 December 2021

Interviews for this position will take place virtually the week commencing 6 December 2021.

The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2021
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