By Christopher Yap, Research Fellow, City, University of London
Since the start of the year, FixOurFood has been working with ShefFood, the local food partnership for Sheffield, to develop an innovative, multistakeholder local food action plan for the city. The development of the action plan has brought together almost 100 organisations to recognise and celebrate Sheffield’s current and future actions towards a fairer, more sustainable, and more resilient food system.
The past five years has seen a proliferation of local food partnerships across the UK, many affiliated with Sustainable Food Places. One of the key roles of local food partnerships has been the development of local food strategies in collaboration with local authorities. In this context, local food action plans have emerged as complementary mechanisms of local food systems governance, which build upon and strengthen commitment to local food policies and strategies.
In setting out to develop a local food action plan for Sheffield, FixOurFood and ShefFood aimed to:
- Embed the vision set out in Sheffield City Council’s forthcoming food strategy, ‘Fairer, Healthier, Greener – a food strategy for Sheffield’ in food networks, organisations, and institutions across the city.
- Support the development of the connections and networks that are necessary for the delivery of the local food strategy and identify specific actions towards its delivery.
- Critically reflect on the process of developing a local food action plan in order to share lessons with food partnerships around the country.
The action plan has been developed across twelve workshops organised by five working groups: Food, Health and Obesity Board, Good Food Economy and Procurement, Food Ladders, Growing and Composting, and Good Food Movement. Through the workshops we identified current and planned actions towards local food systems change as well as opportunities to enhance collaboration between diverse organisations in Sheffield.
In addition to developing the action plan, FixOurFood is conducting interviews with a range of individuals and organisations involved in the process. These interviews explore issues of participation and representation in local food movements, the process of building cross-sector networks, and the potential of local food action plans for food system transformation. Findings from these interviews will be published later in 2023.
The local food action plan will be launched at Victoria Hall, Sheffield, on Thursday 15th June 2023. For more information, please contact Dr Christopher Yap (Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org) and Selina Treuherz (email@example.com).
To attend the launch, please register here.