Sustainable Food Cities Framework


1 - Healthy eating campaigns - such as breastfeeding, healthy weight, 5-a-day, Eatwell, cook from scratch, and sugar, salt and fat reduction - that aim to change public behaviour, particularly among hard to reach audiences, are being delivered.


2 - Campaigns to promote more public consumption of sustainable food - including fresh, seasonal, local, organic, sustainably sourced fish, high animal welfare, meat free and/or Fairtrade - are being delivered.


3 - A food charter or equivalent that encapsulates the food ambitions/vision for your city/place has been developed and a range of organisations have pledged/committed to taking specific practical actions to help achieve those ambitions. 

4 - An identity (brand/logo/strapline) for your city-wide initiative has been developed and is being promoted to the public as an umbrella for all the great work on healthy and sustainable food in your city.

5 - Public understanding of food, health and sustainability issues is being raised through a variety of communication tools including web sites, social media, magazines, film shows, radio and press pieces, talks and conferences.

6 - The public have a wide range of free opportunities to see, taste and learn about healthy and sustainable food - e.g. through demonstration, sharing and celebration events such as food festivals and ‘town meals’.


7 - Community food initiatives and engagement opportunities have been mapped and are being promoted to the public through print, broadcast and on-line media and/or via open days, food trails and volunteer recruitment and support programmes. 


8 - People have new opportunities to buy affordable healthy and sustainable food - particularly in areas with little or no existing provision - through markets and mobile/pop-up shops and restaurants.


1 - A multi-agency partnership - involving key public and voluntary organisations - has been established to assess and tackle the full range of issues that contribute to food poverty in a joined-up strategic way.


2 - The living wage is being promoted through Local Authority policy commitments and/or via campaigns to raise employer awareness of the impacts of paying low wages and the benefits of raising them.


3 - For those in urgent need - and particularly benefit recipients facing delay or suspension in payments - relevant agencies are providing rapid referral to hardship funds and emergency food aid.


4 - Health professionals, welfare advisers and/or housing/voluntary organisations are trained in food poverty issues and are able to advise clients on accessing affordable healthy food and skills training such as menu planning, food buying and cooking.


 5 - A range of healthy weight services and initiatives are being provided, from dieting and nutrition advice and support to exercise programmes and facilities.


 6 - Efforts are being made to maximise the uptake of Healthy Start vouchers, free school meals and social food provision - such as lunch clubs and meals on wheels - for vulnerable people who might otherwise go hungry or suffer malnutrition.


7 - More healthy options are being made available in supermarkets, convenience stores, takeaways, vending machines and/or catering settings such as nurseries, schools, hospitals, care homes and workplaces.


8 - The council/city is working to prevent the development of food deserts (where people cannot access affordable healthy food within 500 metres of where they live) and food swamps (where the high street is dominated by fast food outlets).


1 - A network for community food activists that enables them to share information and resources and that helps direct them to advice, training, grants and/or tools has been established.


2 - Green and brownfield sites and/or redundant retail and other buildings that could be used for community food projects or allotments have been mapped and/or are being made available to local communities.


3 - Developers are incorporating food growing into existing and new developments through the creation of roof gardens and/or growing spaces in residential housing and commercial developments.   


4 - Community food growing is increasing through increased allotment provision and/or the development of edible landscapes in parks, borders and verges and through city-wide food growing initiatives such as The Big Dig and Incredible Edible.


5 - Primary and secondary schools are adopting holistic school food education and engagement programmes - such the Food for Life Partnership - including growing, cooking, farm visits and improvements to meals and dining culture.


6 - Tailored training opportunities on food buying, cooking, nutrition and hygiene skills and/or access to community kitchens are being provided for a variety of audiences including young adults, families and the vulnerable elderly.


7 - Local authorities are changing policy and practice to enable individuals and communities to get better access to resources that could be used for food enterprises or projects, for example through the introduction of meanwhile leases.


8 - Communities are protecting, taking control of and managing community assets for growing and other food related initiatives, for example by using mechanisms such as the Sustainable Communities Act.


1 - Retail, tourism, planning and economic development strategies, policies and services actively promote and support the development and long term success of healthy and sustainable food businesses.


2 - Vocational training and business planning, finance, development advice, support and/or grants are being provided to new sustainable food entrepreneurs, including producers, processors, retailers and caterers.


3 - Shops, restaurants and markets selling healthy and sustainable food are being promoted to the public using a range of communication tools, such as marketing and branding initiatives, directories, ‘restaurants weeks’ and food awards.


4 - Efforts are being made to increase consumer spending in independent local food businesses through the introduction of local currency and loyalty schemes.


5 - The council/city is supporting new independent healthy and sustainable food start-up businesses, for example by offering special loan and lease options or through business rates reductions and holidays.  


6 - The council/city is working to protect and/or re-establish vital sustainable food infrastructure, such as Grade 1 and 2 land, local processing and wholesale businesses, food hubs and/or distribution networks.


7 - Local producers can connect direct with consumers and/or better access wholesale and retail markets through events, on-line tools and cooperative marketing and retailing initiatives.


8 - Restaurants and other food businesses are working to improve sustainability across all aspects of their business through peer learning networks and/or through support from national organisations such as the Sustainable Restaurants Association.


1 - A cross-sector sustainable food procurement working group, network or equivalent forum has been established to bring together procurement officers, caterers, suppliers and other decision-makers.


2 - The Council has developed and formally adopted a city-wide Sustainable Food Procurement strategy and/or policy, incorporating specific commitments on a range of health and sustainability issues (see 3 below for examples).


3 - Individual public sector bodies have adopted healthy and sustainable food policies e.g. nutrition standards, healthy options in catering and vending, ‘tap water only’ policies and/or ethical standards such as cage-free eggs, sustainable fish and Fairtrade.


4 - Public sector organisations and large private caterers have achieved quality, healthy, sustainable and/or ethical food accreditation, such as the Food for Life Catering Mark, Sustainable Fish, Good Egg and other awards.


5 - The uptake of healthy and sustainable catering accreditation is being tracked and actively communicated to promote further uptake across all key settings, including nurseries, schools, colleges, hospitals, care homes and workplace canteens.


6 - Procurement officers and catering businesses are able to source more of their ingredients from local and sustainable producers and processors, for example via local supplier directories and through meet the supplier events.


7 - Small scale local producers and other sustainable food businesses are better able to access large scale procurement markets via cooperative marketing and supply initiatives and via on-line tendering databases.


8 - Restaurants and other small scale catering businesses are sourcing more healthy, sustainable, ethical and locally produced ingredients. 


1 - City-wide campaigns to raise public awareness of food waste and how to reduce it are being delivered - such as Love Food Hate Waste, Feeding the 5000, The Pig Idea and Disco Soup.  


2 - Farmers, growers and land managers are being provided with training, advice and support on how to adopt low ecological impact production and management techniques such as organic, permaculture and pesticide free.


3 - The Food Waste Hierarchy is being incorporated into relevant policies, strategies and services in order to reduce food waste and ensure surplus food and food waste are diverted to the most appropriate purposes.


4 - A food waste collection scheme for homes and/or for restaurants and other catering, retail and manufacturing businesses has been established and is redirecting this waste for composting, energy recovery (AD) or animal feed (where permitted).


5 - Producers, processors, retailers, caterers and the wider business community are better able to access training on how to reduce food packaging and waste and how to improve energy, water and other resource efficiency.


6 - Home and community food composting is being promoted through awareness and education campaigns and through the provision of composting tools, demonstrations, materials and sites for communities to use.


7 - A crop-gleaning/abundance volunteer scheme to collect harvest surplus from local farms and food growing sites and help local producers harvest and distribute food unwanted by retailers has been established.


8 - Local charities and social enterprises are collecting consumable surplus food and redistributing it to organisations feeding people in need, while working to raise the nutritional standards of the food aid being offered.