Our impact

Food partnerships bring together stakeholders from across the food system - from local authorities, to community and voluntary sector organisations, to farmers and local businesses - to develop a shared vision for a more sustainable food future and coordinate the action necessary to make this vision a reality.

By championing a whole system approach to food they interconnect issues such as food poverty, ill-health, agriculture, food security, and climate change to develop cross-sector solutions that are transforming food and farming.

This collaborative, cross-sector approach enables food partnership to have wide ranging impact across the food system, transforming food governance, tackling food poverty, fighting climate change and building more sustainable and resilient local food economies.

Explore our Impact Hub

Click here to view the full version of the new SFP Impact Hub (beta).

Over the last three years, the SFP programme has systematically collected a huge amount of data documenting the impact the SFP Network . This data demonstrates the widespread impact that food partnerships are having on every aspect of the food system. To capture and share this impact, and to document and share learning, we have created a new digital archive, the SFP Impact Hub.

Stored within this hub are over 1000 recorded actions and innovations, taken by 57 different food partnerships covering 34 different areas of food systems impact. The data behind the impact hub is provided by the new SFP Evidence Database.

Click here to learn more about the SFP Evidence Database.

Impact of local food partnerships

Guided by the SFP six theme framework food partnerships instigate, coordinate and deliver change across the whole food system.

Food Governance and Strategy: Food partnerships create more inclusive and collaborative food decision-making by working closely with local authorities to deliver robust and representative food policies, strategies and action plans.

Good Food Movement: Food partnerships expand public awareness of food related issues, engaging communities, empowering local food citizenship and driving the momentum of the good food movement.

Healthy Food for All: Food partnerships tackle food insecurity by working to ensure that all are able to access healthy and nutritious food in a dignified and equitable way. 

Sustainable Food Economy: Food partnerships are building prosperous local food economies by supporting local food businesses to grow and develop, and by helping to build more resilient and sustainable local food production.

Catering and Procurement: Food partnerships are innovating how caterers procure food, making local supply chains more resilient and sustainable.

Food for the Planet: Food partnerships are at the forefront of tackling climate change by supporting local sustainable food production, protecting the environment and minimizing food waste.

How local food partnerships impact food systems

All food partnerships do things a little differently based on their unique context. However, food partnership have impact through five main activities, they:

Deliver – their own projects and programmes, directly involving themselves in local food action.

Coordinate – action across the food system, sharing knowledge, and connecting stakeholders across sectors.

Influence – local food decision making, helping to make local food policies, strategies and action plans more inclusive and representative. They also influence the hearts of minds of local people through campaigning and public engagement.

Instigate – work by sharing knowledge of good practice and innovation and facilitating collaboration between stakeholders.

Amplify – by sharing and promoting the work of others, helping to build the momentum of a local good food movement.

Impact of the Sustainable Food Places programme

Impact Report 2019-2024

Download the full report here 

Since 2013, the Sustainable Food Places programme has been the driving force behind the UK’s rapidly growing place-based food partnership movement.

A partnership programme coordinated by three national food charities— Food Matters, the Soil Association and Sustain— the Sustainable Food Places programme supports a national network of food partnerships who are making healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where people live.

We support local food partnerships to grow and prosper by providing support, guidance and training. We provide a framework for systems level change by benchmarking success through our SFP Awards programme and guiding action through our six theme framework.

We connect stakeholders across a disparate national food system by convening and coordinating a national net-work of food system stakeholders and by joining up work across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We put communities at the heart of local food decision-making by providing tools, guidance and training on facilitating meaningful, iterative community participation.

We facilitate peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange by convening spaces for learning and sharing of good practice and by facilitating peer-to-peer support through our coordinator mentoring programme.

We drive change at a strategic and policy level by supporting partnerships to develop local food strategies and action plans and by advocating on behalf of local partnerships at a national level.

We fuel the growth of a nation wide good food movement by leading national campaigns that empower, inform and inspire local food action.

We evidence the impact of the food partnership approach by providing tools, knowledge and expertise in research and evaluation.