The Co-operative Party is the first political party to call for support to local food partnerships or set up ones where they don’t exist. Sustain is calling on other parties and candidates to follow suit.
In the run up to the local council elections in England, the number one idea in the Co-operative Party’s ‘12 Ideas for Local Government Manifestos’ links to their Food Justice Campaign and it recommends candidates to:
Food partnerships thrive in local areas led by different political parties. While we would like all parties to follow suit and get behind the call for one food partnership and lead on food in every local area, we also recognise that local parties and candidates’ manifestos are shaped by more than just the broad lines of their parties but by local priorities, the character of the place and the concerns of their constituents. Only last year, despite the Government refusing to extend support to free school meals for children in England during the October half-term, many local authorities, including Conservative-led ones, stepped up and paid for free school meals for their most vulnerable children.
Food partnerships are a brilliant way to bring together citizens, local government, community groups, businesses and academics to promote good food for all. In places where they already exist, they have helped drive collective progress on the most pressing food issues of our time. We are also calling for a lead in the council, either a member of staff or councillor, whose role is to lead on developing and delivering the vision set out in the food strategy.
That’s why we are inviting everyone in England to write to your local elected leaders and ask them to support a food partnership in your local area.
If there is already a food partnership then please do change your message to your councillors to mention them, and encourage the councillor receiving the email to support them. We’ve written the copy for you, and identified your councillors, all you need to do is press send.
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The ‘Building a food partnership’ theme of the SFP Toolkit – the pink section – contains resources to help you establish an appropriate and representative food partnership. In particular these resources will be useful:
Get the right people involved by encouraging and planning Stakeholder engagement and steering groups
Sustain's Food and Covid-19: How local authorities can support recovery and resilience report highlights three key areas that contribute to a strong local response: principles, processes and partnerships.
Bristol Food Policy Council secured strong references to food in the Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The HWB has a key strategic aim to use ‘our combined influence and commissioning to support work to tackle obesity, nutritional deficiency and food poverty’. The Health and Wellbeing Strategy has 10 key priorities, one of which is food (page 5). The aim is ‘to create a healthier, more sustainable, more resilient food system for the city to benefit the local economy and the environment’.