Sustain London Food Link


Elsyia Catering

Elsyia Catering

At these unprecedented times we are working to support London’s good food businesses and organisations as they respond to the Coronovirus crisis and the implications on our food supply and food scene.

Here we have a round of up some of the local London responses and guidance that you might be interested to learn from:


Good Food Businesses webinar: rebuidling, reopening and retaining new customers

Listen again

A webinar organised by Sustainable Food Places and Sustain, with the Real Bread Campaign and London Food Link.

Good Food Businesses have shown their ability to adapt during the Covid-19 lockdown by swiftly establishing new and different ways to continue to supply food to their local areas.  Now that lockdown is starting to lift and we begin to shift to a 'new normal', this webinar will showcase several Good Food organisations who are finding innovative ways to re open right, build back better, retain new customers and the maintain the revived interest in local, and better, food.

We will be hearing from: The Sustainable Restaurant Association, Better Food Traders, Local Greens, E5 Bakehouse, Boatyard Bakery & Cafe and Good Food Exeter, with time for Q&A's for attendees


Good Food enterprises: adapting business models 

Many Good Food enterprises have adapted to delivering their products. This has been done a few different ways including using online tools and adapting their own websites, or simple forms and email inboxes.

Not running an enterprise but want to support one? Check out this blog from Jellied Eel on 6 ways to support good food businesses during Covid-19.

Here are a few more examples:

Cookery schools

  • Made in Hackney: one of the first to step up in and change their enterprise to create and deliver meals on wheels to vulnerable people.  They have not only raised £63,000 through crowfunder to do so but also created a film to show how (see below).
  • Bread N Butter: providing free nutritious meals to vulnerable and isolated residents in Barnet and Enfield, using redistributed food from the Felix project and others.
  • Be Enriched and Brixton People’s Kitchen have joined forces to deliver emergency food boxes, producing home cooked meals in collaboration with Lambeth and Wandsworth Councils. They are working with mutual aid groups, are fundraising online, and have repurposed funds from their existing funders.
  • Spitalfields City Farm are conducting online cooking sessions and sending out ingredient parcels to local families so they can cook along with the video as part of their Farm to Fork sessions.  Videos are on Facebook Live and will stay available online if you aren't able to make the live session.
  • Migrateful - cookery classes taught to you online by expert refugee and migrant chefs from around the world.
  • Heart and Parcel - are live-streaming their free online cooking and English classes: Women, ESOL and dumplings. 


  • Elysia are using Myshopify to create an online store, selling groceries and ready meals within zones 1&2.
  • Seven Cherries have adapted their own website to contain an order form for deliveries. They have also created a great scheme #YumPlusOne, where they donate a meal to a vulnerable person along with your order.
  • Wild by Tart  are using a simple form on their website to order one of their curated recipe boxes.

Shops and Bakeries 

  • Chalk Hills Bakery: used the webtool to set up their online shop for deliveries of bread, dairy and groceries.
  • Today Bread: offering deliveries to local postcodes of their bread and a few other items, using Square Up.
  • The Butchery: offering no contact home delivery to various postcodes

Many package free shops and buying groups continue to operate – including Naked Larder, Get Loose and Cups and Jars, with addition measures to ensure safety and social distancing.  

Spare a thought for local cheese makers or dairies (see our Meat and Dairy Around Town lockdown special for dairies in London you can shop with)

Growers and Wholesalers

  • New Covent Garden Market have an extensive list of their businesses who are delivering, the order mechanisms vary, from online shops, to simple email requests.
  • Pale Green Dot, are now doing veg deliveries and a veg box using their own website.
  • Good Food in Greenwich are keen to set up a food box scheme in collaboration with as many local food businesses as possible.  They are currently in ideas stage but are keen to here from local organisations who’d be interested in getting involved.
  • The Calthorpe Project are co-ordinating a weekly food delivery to self-isolating older people and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Restaurants and Cafes

  • The Hornbeam Café/ Gleaners Café has now changed community food distribution centre providing freshly cooked nutritious ready meals on a pay as you feel basis.
  • The Castle Climbing Centre has turned into a Castle Food Service’, providing 500 home cooked meals every week. They are also fundraising to cover the costs for the new project 
  • Well Kneaded  are among many wo have switched to online platform sales platform to  give people access to their amazing sourdough pizzas.
  • Pidgin – a sit-down high-end restaurant – are continuing to serve their amazing dishes through a direct order and collection scheme.

Guidance and useful links

If you are thinking of switching to online platform and delivery models check out this handy list, designed specifically for small food enterprises and producers.

Enterprises championing local supply chains 

Credit: Cheryl Cohen London Farmers Markets

A number or retail outlets that support local farmers and short supply chains have shown how critical they are at this time, and how resilient they can be.  Examples include:

Better Food Traders

This network of box schemes has seen unprecendeted growth and are now operating a waiting list.  They are encouraging people to join and will prioritise those most in need. 

London Markets

Many independent London Markets have worked to keep their gates and these important supply chains open including

  • London Farmers Markets: who have been encouraging social distancing and enlisted extra stewards to help
  • Growing Communities’ Farmers Markets who have been encouraging pre-orders.

Some markets on council land have closed but since re-opened now adequate measures are in place

Guidance and useful links 

Check out Sustain’s  Supporting Food Markets page for information

Better Food Traders are also putting together guidance for box schemes.

Supporting those most in need  

St Hilda's Food Coop

Many organisations, including enterprises have stepped in or ramped up their services to support those most in need – including the medically vulnerable, older people, those experiencing food poverty and NHS workers

Food redistribution

City Harvest, Fareshare and the Felix project have joined forces to create a network of local hubs from which to redistribute food surplus.

Meals and meal kits for vulnerable people

Made in Hackney were one of the first to step in and change their enterprise to create and deliver healthy nutritious meals to vulnerable people.  They have created a film to show how (see below).

Supporting the NHS

Many have adapted to support NHS workers including who are raising much needed funds, and more local responses such as our favs at Club Mexicana who are using funds raised from sales of NHS clothes, to fund meals for NHS staff


Funding Information

Check out London Food Link funding information page

Visit Sustain’s Coronavirus funding page with further information about how we are communicating with funders as well as information on some of the key funders.

How you can support  

Read Sustain's Blogs on:

Five ways to support our farmers  

Five food actions we can take


London Food Link: London Food Link brings together community food enterprises and projects that are working to make good food accessible to everyone in London to help create a healthy, sustainable and ethical food system for all.

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