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The Sustainable Food Cities approach is a tried and tested model for driving positive change which involves what we call the 3 Ps:

  • Establishing an effective cross-sector Food Partnership
  • Embedding healthy and sustainable food in Policy 
  • Developing and delivering a food strategy and Action Plan

Getting the Basics Right

Our Getting the Basics Right guide provides an overview of the process of setting up a food partnership and developing a food action plan as well as the process for applying for SFC membership. This should be the first point of call for newly emerging food partnerships wishing to become a member of the SFC Network. It may also be useful to food partnerships that have been dormant or operating at reduced capacity for a while that are now being reinvigorated.

Partnership Health Check

We have developed a food Partnership Health Check Tool for established partnerships to help you get a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses and where to focus your efforts and resources.


To drive really significant improvements, it is vital to put food at the heart of policy. Whether it is procurement, health and well-being, economic development or urban planning there are a wide range of policy levers that can further our vision. The following two guides should help:

‘Good Policy for Good Food’ provides a toolbox of food policy levers, along with clear practical examples of where these have been successfully used.

‘Engaging Local Authorities’ reflects the experience and lessons from the SFC Network to support members in understanding local authority decision-making processes; identifying who to engage with and how; and demonstrating how the SFC agenda can be used to achieve other local priorities.

Developing indicators

Being able to show the merits of what you are doing is fundamental to secure more support. For this reason, we have launched a project to develop a set of indicators that will help measure the positive impacts of developing sustainable food strategies and action plans at a local level.

Key issues

Based on a review of existing food strategies and action plans, much of the information in this website is structured around six key food issues:

    1. Promoting healthy and sustainable food to the public.
    2. Tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and access to healthy food.
    3. Building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects.
    4. Promoting a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy.
    5. Transforming catering and food procurement.
    6. Reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system.

See the key issues section for ideas for action, examples of how cities are putting them into practice and resources to help you get started.

If you would like more help on getting started please contact us - you will find our details below.


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 

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