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Sustain London Food Link Our work

Good Food Retail

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.

Get in touch to find out more

Our key resources

Find out more through the following:

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

Related Resources

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.

Download the Sustain Briefing on Good Food Retail

Download PDF


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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.

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