During 2019 we supported six councils to develop Good Food Retail projects as part of the Mayor of London's small grants programme.
What is Good Food Retail?
Referred to in the London Food Strategy, Sustain has developed a briefing note to explore what this might look and how we work towards it. The sector includes grocers, shops, markets, box schemes and home deliveries that sell food for consumption at home.
Broadly it refers to retail outlets doing at least some of the following:
- Selling sustainably produced meat, dairy and fish, wholegrain foods and Real Bread
- Less likely to serve highly processed fatty, salty and sugary foods and sugary drinks
- Providing safe and nutritious food for diverse needs
- Treating employees and suppliers fairly
- Developing collaborative relationships with suppliers
- Reducing environmental impact
Good Food Retail is one element of a Good Food Economy. Find out more in our new publication.
Credit: Ian Francis, Shutterstock
Supporting councils to take action
Good Food Retail can provide many benefits across council priorities. Primarily this is often related to access to healthier food, addressing health inequalities and tackling food insecurity.
During 2019 and 2020 Sustain’s London Food Link team supported 11 councils to develop Good Food Retail projects as part of the Mayor of London's small grants programme. A facilitated Community of Practice, provided support, helped draw in external expertise and shared learning with wider community.
Additionally, a considered approach to support the good food economy, including retail, can also build community wealth and create good jobs, livelihoods and skills. There is also much potential for smaller food enterprises, start-ups and social enterprises to innovate and provide access to sustainable food, shifting consumption towards low waste options, with reduced climate and nature impact e.g reducing meat and dairy consumption. Councils can support this transition through targeting their business support and engagement.
Our key resources
Find out more through the following:
- Summary Good Food Retail report from 2019 and 2020's council cohorts. Updated July 2021.
- Download our Good Food Retail briefing and our Good Food Economy Report
- Listen again to our webinar
How can councils help Good Food Retail?
Our briefing covers how councils can support Good Food Retail in more detail. Broadly this includes things such as:
- Development of a Good Food Retail Plan
- A joined-up approach between public health, economic development, regeneration and planning teams
- Supporting retail outlets accepting Healthy Start Vouchers,
- Encouraging street markets with thriving fruit and vegetable stalls
- Access to premises and street food trading opportunities
- Loans or grants for start-up costs with business support from an enterprise specialist
- Innovative retail approaches to tackling household food insecurity.
Credit: Zoe Walde-Aldam
- Bite Size: Breaking down the challenge of inner-city childhood obesity (Impact on Urban Health 2018)
- Building Healthy Corners: A Best Practice Guide in Three Phases (D.C. Central Kitchen 2018)
- Buywell Retail Project: Supporting local convenience stores to improve access to fresh, affordable and sustainable fruit and veg in low-income areas of London (Sustain 2010)
- Delivering public health outcomes: vending machines should stock healthier food and drinks (University of Bristol, 2019)
- Engaging with convenience stores for healthier food provision: what works? (Food Research Collaboration 2019)
- Ensuring all residents have physical access to good food (Food Power 2018)
- Families and Food: How the environment influences what families eat (Shift and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity 2018)
- Good Food Retail: Six London boroughs taking action (London Food Link, 2019)
- Healthy Returns: Opportunities for market-based solutions to childhood obesity (Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity 2018)
- Improving the uptake of Healthy Start vouchers (Food Power 2018)
- Shop Healthy: Summary report on a pilot project with local retailers to increase access to healthy food (Rice Marketing, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 2018)
- Super Market Failure: Research briefing (Sustain 2019)
- Supporting community food retail (Food Power 2018)
- Tipping the scales: Case studies on the use of planning powers to limit hot food takeaway (Local Government Association, 2016)
- Too many takeaways? How the food environment affects the health and wellbeing of communities (University of Bristol, 2019)
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