#NourishElectionAsks – Ask 1: Cross-sector Food Partnerships

With the local elections right around the corner, Nourish is asking candidates to support their ideas for how Local Authorities can catalyse some vital changes in our food system. Full details of the #NourishElectionAsks and how to sign up as a supporter are available here.

From now, until the elections, we’ll be posting blogs about each of our asks.

Nourish is currently campaigning at a national level for a new legal framework for the food system in Scotland. However, alongside a better framework underpinning our food system, we need local action to bring about a real transformation of how we do food. Local Authorities across Scotland can work to ensure that everybody in their constituency has access to enough nutritious food, can support sustainable rural development by bringing conservation and food production together, can encourage a dynamic food culture with community food growing and shared meals, and can protect the environment so that it is alive with wildlife for future generations.

This shift in our food system, to one that is fair, healthy and sustainable, necessitates a joined-up approach. We have to think of it as a system, and ensure we’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle working together. That’s why Nourish’s first policy ask is to:

Develop Effective Cross-sector Food Partnerships

We want to see each Local Authority in Scotland develop an effective cross-sector food partnership that works to embed good food in policy and practice. We need those working on all elements of the food system to be involved in designing the transformation. Partnerships could include public bodies, producers, local businesses, health professionals, community groups, NGOs, and others, to ensure a coherent approach to delivering a better food system.

Local Authorities could join the UK-wide Sustainable Food Cities network to advance this and learn from the experiences of Edible Edinburgh and the Glasgow Food Policy Partnership.

Since many Local Authorities will be revising their Single Outcome Agreements in 2017, we ask for authorities to ensure that good food is considered as a tool for delivering local outcomes across all areas of policy.

Lastly, we want to see Scottish cities join the 2015 Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, which has been developed by 40+ cities from every continent and has 132 signatory cities so far. It recognises the strategic role cities have to play in developing sustainable food systems and promoting healthy diets, and encourages international collaboration and knowledge exchange.


Case Study: Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove was one of the first cities in the UK to take a citywide, strategic approach to food issues. ‘Spade to Spoon: Digging Deeper‘, a food strategy for Brighton & Hove, was developed in 2006 by a coalition of individuals and organisations articulating their common vision for a better local food system.

The strategy has been adopted by Brighton & Hove City Council and the Local Strategic Partnership and embedded in other policies and strategies across the city. Spade to Spoon includes an ambitious but practical action plan involving over 50 partners in its delivery.

An independent organisation, ‘The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’, was established to bring the action plan forward, report on progress, and deliver some of the actions.

Based on experiences from different cities, the Sustainable Food Cities network offers a helpful briefing on how to develop a food plan.