Good Food for London 2018 Report: 5 Sustainable Food Cities top the charts

05 November 2018

New report shows London boroughs prioritise healthy eating despite budget cuts

This eighth annual 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 at the top of this year’s league table for the second year running is the Royal Borough of Greenwich, followed by the boroughs of Islington, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth and Lewisham. All of which are members of the Sustainable Food Cities Network, taking a joined-up approach to food. Of these, two are SFC Bronze Award holders.

The London boroughs of Barnet and Bexley have also been recognised as most improved councils, having demonstrated significant progress since 2017. Last year Barnet was 28th in the league table and has moved up an impressive 20 places to 8th place. Bexley has moved up 12 places from 26th to 14th place since last year.

Claire Pritchard, Chair of the London Food Board said: “Continuing the pattern of previous years, we have seen progress in many of the measures, demonstrating the sustained commitment of boroughs to adopt new programmes and areas of work in relation to good food.”

Top areas of improvement

The Good Food For London league table shows how local councils are taking action to support access to healthy and sustainable food. It ranks performance on 11 different measures to assess what each council is doing to support community food growing, infant health, the London Living Wage, Fairtrade, sustainable catering animal welfare, healthier food environments and school food.

Since 2017 six additional councils have joined the initial four signatories of the Local Government Declaration on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food. This gives a borough-wide framework for councils to support a variety of initiatives, such as limiting the advertisement of junk food in council-owned spaces.

Twelve councils are now running SUGAR SMART campaigns, a national programme to reduce sugar overconsumption and to support healthier food environments. For example, as part of its campaign, Enfield council is encouraging schools to replace desserts with yoghurt and fruit at least once a week and Enfield Catering has reduced the amount of sugar in menus by 25%.

This year sixteen boroughs are now London Living Wage Employers. Six of these also received top marks for not only being accredited, but also promoting the scheme locally to business and being a Friendly Funder, which helps ensure more local charities pay the London Living Wage as well.

About its work, Croydon Council said, “It has never been more important to ensure that our residents can enjoy the social mobility and wealth that will be created in Croydon’s £5.25 billion regeneration programme. The Council actively works with its business community to highlight the many benefits of paying staff the London Living Wage through our Good Employer Croydon network, which now represents over 10,000 employees.”

The report also shows how local councils are continuing to support other healthy and sustainable food initiatives, such as

To encourage council actions beyond the 11 annual measures, the report features snapshots of other key work on healthy and sustainable food in London. This year Guy's & St Thomas' Charity shares their principles for a place-based approach to tackling childhood obesity and TRiFOCAL London highlights their campaign 'Small change, big difference' which aims to reduce food waste and increase sustainable eating. The Mayor of London's draft Food Strategy, drinking fountains and the new Veg Cities campaign are also featured.

The report is being launched on Monday 5 November 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 available online and in PDF format on the Good Food For London website. This work is generously supported by the Mayor of London.


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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