Food Systems

Food Matters believes that building sustainable fair food systems requires a localised approach which gives communities greater control of the food system.  Food Matters has pioneered local food systems initiatives in the UK through our work in Brighton and Hove, where for the last ten years we have collaborated successfully with individuals, community groups and organisations and statutory agencies to create a sustainable food system in the city.  Much of this work has involved training individuals and community food groups and providing the skills required to better understand food systems and to make change.

We can take credit for the development of the many food strategies and food partnerships that are now appearing in cities and towns, having led the way with the first community-developed food partnership and strategy in the city of Brighton and Hove.  This approach is now being mainstreamed nationally through our lead role in the Sustainable Food Cities Network in partnership with Sustain and The Soil Association.

Building and strengthening local food systems depends on developing action plans and food strategies.  There is much that can and should be done at a community level to improve how we produce, consume and dispose of food in order to create more sustainable and healthy food systems. A strategy and action plan can provide a framework in which to do this.  Food Strategies can provide a vehicle for understanding food systems, identifying actions, raising the issues across all sectors of the community and highlighting the connections between communities, food, health, the environment and the economy.

Food Systems work themes include

  • Strategic support for local food partnerships:

Brighton and Hove  –  Lambeth  –  Incredible Edible, Lambeth  –  Sustainable Food Cities Network  –  Cardiff  –  Leicester  –  Newcastle  –  Bristol  –  Causeway Coast and Glens  –  Portsmouth  –  Hull  –  Leeds  –  Oldham  –  Liverpool  –  Food Poverty Network

  • Resources and research on local food systems:

Building Local Food Systems handbook
Mapping Local Food Webs toolkit

Ongoing Work

Sustainable Food Cities Network

Case Study

Brighton and Hove Food Partnership