Sustainable Food Places Northern Ireland

Making healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where people live.

This website has been developed as part of a new 5-year Sustainable Food Places programme which will also involve significant new work in the each of the devolved nations. These work streams, which will include adapting and extending the SFP model to local circumstances and establishing devolved nation governance structures, will be developed over coming months and will include the development of nation specific content on this website.

Sustainable Food Places (previously Sustainable Food Cities) is one of the fastest-growing social movements today. Our Network brings together pioneering food partnerships from towns, cities, boroughs, districts and counties across the UK that are driving innovation and best practice on all aspects of healthy and sustainable food.

Sustainable Food Places is a partnership programme led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. It is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Our Approach

We believe that a transition to a healthy, sustainable and more equitable food system requires not only strong national policy but also collaborative action between policy makers, businesses and civil society at the local level.

Since 2013, we have helped places across the UK:

  • to establish a cross-sector food partnership involving local authority and public sector bodies, third sector organisations, businesses and academic institutions;
  • to develop a vision, strategy and action plan for making healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live; and
  • to work together to realise that vision through concerted and coordinated action across a wide range of food issues.

From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity loss to declining prosperity and social dislocation, we believe food is not only at the heart of some of our greatest problems but is also a vital part of the solution.

Due to the complexity and interconnectedness of these issues, we promote a systems approach that involves and connects key actors at all levels and across all parts of the food system. This approach is encapsulated in the six ‘key issues’ of our framework for action:

  • Taking a strategic and collaborative approach to good food governance and action
  • Building public awareness, active food citizenship and a local good food movement
  • Tackling food poverty, diet related ill-health and access to affordable healthy food
  • Creating a vibrant, prosperous and diverse sustainable food economy
  • Transforming catering and procurement and revitalizing local supply chains
  • Tackling the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming and an end to food waste.

We believe that food partnerships can drive a fundamental shift in local food culture and the local food system and become the hub of a rapidly growing good food movement of active and engaged citizens.

We provide grants, advice and support to enable local food partnerships to drive changes to local policy and practice and to undertake campaigns, practical projects and public engagement initiatives.

As members of the Sustainable Food Places Network, partnerships are committed to sharing their learning and expertise as part of a community of evolving good practice. We have also created a national award scheme, based around the framework for action, that benchmarks, motivates and recognises achievement.

How to get involved

Sustainable Food Places works closely with its member food partnerships to drive a shift towards a healthy and sustainable food system. We aim to connect and support all efforts - whether at an individual or organisational level - to improve people’s lives and reduce our impact on the planet through food. There are various ways you can get involved:

Partnership Development Grants

As part of the Adapting & Extending work strand of our current Phase 3 programme, we are offering a small number of development grants to places interested in, or already beginning to develop, a food partnership across a local authority area in Northern Ireland. For full details on the focus and eligibility criteria for these grants, please download the application below. For further information, or to discuss a prospective application, please contact the relevant SFP staff member via the contacts details included in the form.   

Download application

Become a member

Find out how to bring together a local food partnership and start the food systems thinking and action in your area.

Read more

Keep in touch

Sign up to our monthly newsletter, join our very active email discussion group, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Keep in touch


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