Islington Council have topped the latest good food league table, published by London Food Link this week, having achieved top marks across 9 of the 11 measures featured in the annual review.
This ninth Good Food for London report reveals which councils are leading the way in securing a better food environment and culture for their residents, workers and visitors.
Coming out top of this year’s league table, for the second year running, is the borough of Islington, followed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and borough of Tower Hamlets.
Southwark and Newham have also been recognised as most improved councils, demonstrating significant progress since 2018. Last year Southwark was 17th in the league table, but this year moved up an impressive 11 places to 6th. Newham moved up seven places since last year to 22nd, the second biggest improvement.
Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food and farming alliance Sustain, which coordinates the report, said, “The progress that many London boroughs have made this year is inspiring. It is especially positive that despite so much political uncertainty, the power of good food to transform our health, green space and decent livelihoods in food production continues to be a focus for action by London’s local authorities and communities. Our city can be proud that we are taking tangible steps towards a time when good food is accessible for everyone and our food system plays its full role in protecting our health and the environment.”
The Good Food For London league table shows how councils are taking action to support access to healthy and sustainable food across 11 measures. It ranks performance on these measures, to assess if each council is supporting community food growing, infant health, the London Living Wage, Fairtrade, sustainable catering, animal welfare, healthier food environments and school food.
One area of significant progress in 2019 was commitment to healthier food; since 2018 four additional councils signed the Local Government Declaration (LGD) on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food, bringing the total to 14. Of these nine were as part of a national Sustainable Food Cities campaign, to tackle sugar overconsumption and encourage healthier food environments.
Fran Bernhardt, national SUGAR SMART campaign coordinator says “It’s brilliant to see new SUGAR SMART campaigns launching and councils signing the Local Government Declarations over the last year. These commitments take boroughs one step closer to guaranteeing healthier food for all their residents with particularly impressive work to bring healthy food to schools as well as the implementation of healthier food advertising policies.’
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Councils have continued to prioritise the best start for babies, with four more boroughs receiving UNICEF UK Baby Friendly accreditation, bringing the total to 30. Of these 12 achieved full accreditation, helping the wellbeing outcomes of both mothers and children.
This year 18 councils were awarded accreditation as London Living Wage Employers. Six of these also received top marks for also promoting the scheme locally to businesses and being a Living Wage Funder, to help ensure more local charities pay the London Living Wage.
Twenty-seven councils have taken significant action to ensure the future of fish stocks by committing to and implementing a sustainable fish policy. These policies make a real difference to the way fish is bought and promoted in London, including removing Marine Conservation Society ‘red rated’ fish from their purchasing, and therefore the related menus. In recognition of their progress on procurement of sustainable fish, Brent Council have received an award for their partnership with catering company, Apelona.
The report also covers how London councils are addressing other healthy and sustainable food issues through initiatives such as:
Further action, outside of the 11 measures is showcased in this year’s report with snapshots of other healthy and sustainable food initiatives. This year, London’s Child Obesity Taskforce set out their 10 ambitions to improve children health and Kitchen Social highlight their programme to help grass-roots organisations providing food for children and young people during school holidays.
In summary of the final year of their ‘Small Change Big Difference’ campaign, TRiFOCAL London give their insights and information on their free resources for reducing food waste. The report also tracks progress during the first year of The Mayor of London's new Food Strategy, which includes work on Good Food Retail, also featured.
The report is launched on Wednesday 30 October in London’s Living Room at City Hall, along with its sibling publication, Beyond the Food Bank. The full league table and interactive borough maps are online and in PDF format on the Good Food For London website . This work is supported by the Mayor of London.
Sarah Davenport, Good Food for London Coordinator
email@example.com / 020 3559 6777
Notes for editors
London Food Link
London Food Link: This is the umbrella for all of Sustain's initiatives in London. Our work includes helping to influence local government policy, hands-on food growing training, running sessions for public sector caterers, creating guidance for independent eateries and food producers, public awareness campaigns, and joining the dots between people around specific food issues. The LFL supporter network is open to everyone who grows, produces, teaches, peddles, promotes and simply enjoys good food in the capital.
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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.