Why veg?

We all need to be eating at least one extra portion of veg a day.

Many of us, including children, are eating hardly any veg at all. We should be eating 3.5 portions/400g of veg per day but 80% of children, 95% of teenagers and 80% of adults are not reaching that target. People on lower incomes eat half a portion less. Our veg consumption is in decline and is no better than it was in the 1970s, in spite of the 5-A-Day campaign.

What is the aim of Veg Cities?

Veg Cities is a feature campaign of Sustainable Food Cities (SFC), led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative.

The aim of Veg Cities is to increase availability and consumption of vegetables. Food partnerships and local authorities can achieve this by working with a range of local businesses and organisations, from convenience stores to schools and local markets, in six different areas:

  • Promote veg through marketing work, public facing campaigns, challenges and competitions
  • Improve access to veg through an increase in the lines available in retail, in out of school activities and to those particularly in need
  • Promote growing, cooking and eating through support to food growing and investment in training and skills
  • Support local businesses to increase veg on offer through access to land, in planning, business rate relief or other policy tools
  • Transform catering and procurement by getting at least two portions of veg in every meal of local restaurants and caterers
  • Reduce waste through monitoring, redistribution of surplus and roadshows, workshops and city-wide campaigns

Download the Veg Cities Campaign Handbook

The SFC Veg Cities campaign links with the Peas Please initiative which aims to secure commitments from industry and government to improve the availability, acceptability (including convenience), affordability, and quality of the vegetable offer in shops, schools, fast food restaurants and beyond. This will, in turn, stimulate increased vegetable consumption among the UK public, particularly children and those on a low income. Veg Cities works as the local expression of this national project.

Veg Power is a marketing fund created by Peas Please that will use the top people in the advertising industry to create impactful, innovative digital campaigns aimed at children. Veg Cities will tap into the resources coming out of Veg Power to help promote vegetables locally.

How it started?

SFC member Food Cardiff has been the Welsh ‘arm’ of the Peas Please initiative. As it worked with the founding partners Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland and WWF, it fell to Food Cardiff, together with SFC, to research the options around the role of urban food systems in driving up vegetable consumption.

Very quickly it became apparent that vegetables were the perfect conduit for working through each of the six SFC key issues. That concept started to garner interest among other members of the SFC Network and we then decided it should become a feature campaign for the network from mid-2018. “Eat more veg” is a positive, energising message that can rally people around a case. That is also why we are promoting action along 6 key areas that match the 6 key issues of Sustainable Food Cities.

Go to the Veg Cities campaign website


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk 

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