Oxford City Council takes pioneering step to help people reduce their sugar intake

15 March 2018

Oxford City Council has taken a pioneering step and become the first local authority outside London to sign the Local Government Declaration on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food.

Last year, the City Council teamed up with the Jamie Oliver Foundation, Good Food Oxford and other local organisations, to launch Sugar Smart Oxford.

The project, which is led by Good Food Oxford after it won a £5,000 grant from Sustainable Food Cities, aims to educate individuals, communities and businesses on the healthier choices that are available to them, and the responsibility we all have to highlight these choices.

The actions were chosen following a public consultation with Oxford residents, which asked people what steps should be taken, if any, to tackle sugar intake.

The Council has now pledged to:

  • Offer tap water stations in City Council cafés, and traffic light sticker system to explain sugar content on drinks sold
  • Display sugar content information next to vending machines in City Council-owned leisure centres – the City Council is working with Fusion to implement this commitment, having agreed to do so at the Leisure Partnership Board. Eye-catching floor stickers will be utilised to display this information;
  • Give preference to suppliers that offer tap water as standard, as well as healthier options, through the City Council’s procurement processes – the City Council’s procurement process is currently being reviewed to incorporate an approach to support sustainability and healthy eating;
  • Limit advertising of sugary drinks at City Council facilities and noticeboards -
  • Encourage Oxford’s businesses to sign up to Sugar Smart commitments through promotion and marketing, partnerships already in place and via local Business Networks we are a part of. Our Environmental Health Teams will also support this through their visits and work with local food establishments
  • Promote Sugar Smart Oxford at community events, on City Council noticeboards, and on social media

Councillor Marie Tidball, Board Member for Young People, Schools and Public Health said: “We’re fully behind Oxford’s ambitions to become a Sugar Smart city. The scale of challenge that diet-related disease poses to our country means we need a new approach. We need to move beyond focusing on individual responsibility and look more at the environment that people live in.

“Sugar Smart is a way for communities to take control and work with their local businesses and institutions, challenging them to make the commitments needed to tackle the burden that diet-related disease has on society.”

Read the full press release


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