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London is a hive for good food work

Good food news for London as Sustainable Food Newham join the Sustainable Food Places Network and Southwark Food Action Alliance gain a Bronze Award.

Sustainable Food Places Day of Celebration and Action. Credit: Sustainable Food Places

Sustainable Food Places Day of Celebration and Action. Credit: Sustainable Food Places

Sustainable Food Newham have been successful in applying to join the Sustainable Food Places (SFP) network, while Southwark Food Action Alliance have received a Bronze award for recognition of their work across all six of the key issues of the food sovereignty framework.

London continues to be a hive for good food work, with the Greater London Authority leading the way with a food strategy, healthy food advertising across the Transport for London network, free school meals for every child in primary school and the Food Roots programme. This is complemented by council action on food, grassroots networks and organisations operating at the hyperlocal level, and the growing network of food partnerships bringing key local actors together to collaborate on food work. There are now 12 London members of the SFP network; Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, and the London Food Board, reflecting their innovative and collaborative work to making healthy, sustainable and diverse food accessible to all.

SFP is the national network for food partnerships in the UK, working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of local areas where people live. SFP is a partnership programme led by the Soil Association, who lead on membership, awards and funding, Food Matters who lead on partnership development and community engagement, and Sustain who lead on network action and campaigning. The network is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund.

SFP is a rapidly growing network, with five new members, including Newham, joining SFP in November. This takes the total number of SFP members up to 95 - just under a quarter of all local authorities in the UK.

“Newham is a thriving, dynamic food place with many of the ideas and initiatives we need for a sustainable future already here in our community. Newham is the home of Eat For Free, the UK’s longest standing universal primary education meals scheme, with community wealth building grant conditions and principles co-produced by schools. In our Newham Food Alliance approach to food security, each year we divert more than 2,000 tonnes of surplus food away from waste and into food clubs, banks and community meals as a direct result of grassroots organisations, council and regional partners innovating and problem solving together. Sustainable Food Newham partners from across the borough are hugely excited to now be a part of the Sustainable Food Places network where we hope to learn, share, connect and continue to grow an ambitious approach!” Andy Gold, Head of Food Strategy, LB Newham

An impressive 22 members received awards, including Southwark, with 15 receiving a Bronze award and seven receiving a Silver award. To receive a Bronze award partnerships must have a cross-sector food partnership in place, with activity and impact delivered across all six key issues, including an emerging good food movement and institutional support for a sustainable local food economy.

“Southwark Food Action Alliance are really excited to have won a Bronze SFP award, recognising the hard work and efforts across the borough from the entire partnership to promote access to good food for everyone in Southwark.” Trin Gong, Southwark Food Action Alliance Coordinator

To receive a Silver award partnerships must have a diverse, robust, and sustainable cross-sector food partnership in place, a long-term food strategy (or plan), a range of local authority policies and food access initiatives, and be effectively promoting access to sustainable and healthy food for all.

The six key SFP issues:

  1. Food Governance and Strategy – developing a representative and dynamic local partnership and food strategy/action plan.
  2. Good Food Movement – building public awareness, active food citizenship and and a local good food movement.
  3. Healthy Food for All – tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and improving food access.
  4. Sustainable Food Economy – creating a vibrant, prosperous and diverse sustainable food economy.
  5. Catering and Procurement – transforming catering and procurement and revitalising local and sustainable food supply chains.
  6. Food for the Planet – tackling the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming and an end to food waste.

Through our Good Food Local and Food Poverty work Sustain continue to work closely with London councils and food partnerships, including with our annual Good Food for All Londoners report which tracks and benchmarks council action on food. A major area of progress over the last few years has been the development of new food partnerships across London, with several boroughs now having or working on a whole-systems food strategy.

Read more about new members and award winners on the SFP website.

Published Thursday 16 November 2023

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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