Getting the Basics Right


Throughout the UK, pioneering communities at every scale - from individual institutions through to entire city-regions - have recognized the key role food can play in dealing with some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity loss to declining prosperity and social dislocation, food is not only at the heart of some of our greatest problems, but also a vital part of the solution.

The Sustainable Food Cities (SFC) Network is a rapidly growing movement of 48 towns, cities, boroughs and counties who share a belief in the power of food as a vehicle for driving positive change.

The SFC Approach

The SFC approach is a tried and tested model for transforming food culture that includes:

  • Establishing an effective cross-sector food partnership of key stakeholders (public agencies, businesses, NGOs, academics) willing to work together for positive change.
  • Incorporating healthy and sustainable food into local policy, strategy and planning to drive and embed longer term systemic change.
  • Developing and delivering an ambitious but achievable food strategy and action plan through which partners can successfully tackle key food challenges in a collaborative way.

To provide a framework for our work - including our resources, campaigns and awards - we have structured the Sustainable Food Cities programme 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.

To find out more about the Sustainable Food Cities Network explore this website and have a look at this presentation.


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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