Policies for Local Food: How local and national government can support sustainable local food

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APPG Agroecology Meeting: May 8th

Policies for Local Food


On the morning of Thursday 8th May, in Committee Room 18, Kerry McCarthy MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) hosted a meeting on how to develop policies and strategies to promote sustainable, healthy local food. The meeting followed a previous APPG meeting on investing in local food, which addressed how to revitalise local economies by investing food production. This time the aim was to look at what national and local governments, and communities themselves, can do to develop resilient food systems. 

Addressing the meeting, Tom Andrews, from Sustainable Food Cities, explained why food can act as a focal point to help deal with a range of issues: social, environmental and economic, and bring together people working in different departments and organisations in a city to address them. Tom called on national government to implement policies that support sustainable food cities, including ensuring food knowledge and skills are taught throughout a child’s school career and aiming to send zero food waste to landfill. 

Joy Carey, author of the “Who Feeds Bristol?” report and member of Bristol Food Policy Council, said she believes that “policy follows from practice”. She then demonstrated to parliamentarians what this practice looks like in Bristol, from the city’s Food Charter to the development of a vibrant food culture and work being done in schools, communities and by social enterprises. 

Finally, Daniel Scharf, a planner with 40 years experience, addressed the absence of local food from most planning discussions and policies. Given the large overlap between the aims of sustainable development which guide our planning system and the benefits of local food production, he asked why local food is not embraced as a model type of sustainable development.                      

Further details of the meeting, including audio recordings and slides will be available soon on this website.