Re-fashioning food systems with sustainable diet guidelines: towards a SDG strategy - paper by Tim Lang

29 March 2017

In this joint Friends of the Earth and Food Research Collaboration paper, Tim Lang charts the policy progress of sustainable dietary guidelines, setting out a compelling case for their adoption to tackle health inequalities and environmental and social harm caused by current eating patterns. He shows that while official progress is slow, a host of new actors and activists – from cities and local authorities to academics and progressive businesses – are emerging to take the lead in making sustainable diets a reality from the bottom up.

The example of the Sustainable Food Cities Network is given where 'cities are holding food festivals, promoting pop-up markets, providing community access to land for growing, and using procurement powers to ensure healthy sustainable meals in schools and public services amongst many other practical projects.'

The report highlights that local food partnerships 'gain influence and survive if parented by the local authority or at least are well integrated into their workings. Their strength and attraction to elected politicians lie in bringing a combination of actors into town halls. They are building food democracy.'

It concludes that 'this city scale offers a second critical opportunity for the promotion of sustainable diets, alongside the international through the SDGs.'

Read the paper

You can read his blog about the paper on Friends of the Earth’s Big Ideas project website here.


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities
07 917 230 121

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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