Following Hackney’s poor showing in both last year's and this year's Good Food for London report, Sustainable Hackney has helped to form a new Hackney Food Partnership. This will bring together groups and individuals interested in food issues to help create a more healthy and sustainable food system and aims to encourage and support action throughout the borough.
Cllr. Sophie Linden, Hackney Council cabinet member with responsibility for leading on sustainability issues, told the Hackney Citizen "It is disappointing to be so low down the league table as we are very committed to many of the elements that make up this report". Please email Cllr. Sophie Linden to ask why the council is not committed to all the elements of the report and to find out exactly what the council will be doing to ensure the borough moves up the league table!
The positive impact of some boroughs' initiatives is illustrated well in a five-page feature in the March 2012 edition of the the influential Cost Sector Caterer magazine - see pages 20 to 24.
We aim to build on what is going well, such as the many local food growing initiatives, and address a wider range of issues such as ethical, healthy and sustainable food procurement, promotion of local shops and markets, development of supportive planning policies, and food poverty.
Ways of developing a more localised and improved food sector could be through Scaling Up the Community Food Sector and forming mutually beneﬁcial relationships between community enterprises and private businesses - an approach explored in a report of July 2012, commissioned by Making Local Food Work. An appendix to the report gives detailed case studies from the UK and further afield, the nearest being Newham's Community Food Enterprise (CFE), and these will hopefully provide inspiration.
- 27/02/14 Draft Hackney Sustainable Food Charter prepared for launch at 2nd March Hackney Food Partnership meeting
27/02/14 SoleShare, claiming to be London's first community supported fishery, is now taking on new members for their Newhaven and Cornwall seafood. It’s caught with low-impact methods and brought to pickup locations in Hackney 3 days a week.
- 25/02/14 Hackney’s Five Points Brewing Company has become the first UK brewery to become an accredited Living Wage Employer. The independent craft brewery also runs an apprenticeship scheme for 18-24 year olds, gets its energy from 100% renewable sources and is committed to reinvesting 5% of profits in local charities and community projects. Three cheers for Five Points!
- 20/02/14 Government report on food poverty is finally published, showing a growing demand for help to meet food needs
- 10/02/14 Urban Food Routes - funding and advice on offer to help London food SMEs that are making positive differences in their local communities
- 03/02/13 Help Made In Hackney raise £12,500 and keep delivering cookery courses to local people - great rewards for donors
- Camden and Islington comes top for organic school dinners - why can't Hackney join them with their procurement and provide school dinners amongst the greenest in the UK?
The Soil Association’s Gold Food for Life Catering Mark was awarded to Caterlink who provide 16,000 meals a day to 98 primary schools in the borough of Camden and Islington. This is the highest accolade given out by the country’s largest organic organisation. Caterers with the gold Catering Mark use at least 15% organic ingredients, 5% free range, as well as a selection of ingredients produced locally, and offering healthiermenus amongst other criteria. For more info, see
- The Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust has produced a report on access to healthy food. It's based on North Kensington but its findings, including that large supermarkets are often the most expensive option for food shopping, are of relevance to food poverty issues in Hackney.
- A Steak in the Economy - 'Why food entrepreneurship is so important to the economy - and how best to support it' a report by Kitchenette includes an estimate that in the last two years Hackney Council has helped create 271 jobs in the food industry. Andrew Sissons, Head of Regeneration Delivery for Hackney Council, is quoted as saying that 'food is a cornerstone of our strategy for regeneration in Hackney'.
- Small or medium-sized business urged to sign up for free FoodSave support to reduce their food waste
- Vision 2020 report sets out a UK roadmap for achieving zero food waste to landﬁll by 2020
Fancy saving up to £50 a month on your food bill? Take the Waste Less Food, Save More Money Challenge! The challenge is open to all people who work or live in North London. Sign up here.
- 20/09/13 Ethical Olive Oil In Bulk - you can support organic olive farmers in Andalucia by buying olive oil in quantities of 2.5l and 5l (£18 and £30). Olive oil doesn’t go off so buying in bulk makes sense and you’ll be helping to “stop the uprooting of hundred-year-old olive groves, ancient irrigation systems falling into disrepair, and the subsequent desertification of the landscape”. Contact email@example.com if interested!
01/09/13 SoulShare, London's first Community Supported Fishery just launched. Their first hub will be based in Hackney at Unpackaged on Richmond Road.
12/07/13 The School Food Plan is launched today, with aims of increasing the the role of food in school life and helping all schools to develop develop a strong food culture. It also hopes to help divert some of the £1bn parents spend on packed lunches back into schools. See the press release here but note academies are not covered by local authority regulation so parents, staff and local communities need to encourage their uptake of good practice.
- 11/07/13 Sustain has published a Guide to Good Food - Providing advice on what you can do, and ask others to do, to help make our food and farming system fit for the future
- 04/07/13 The UK Party Labour unveils its plan to promote a food-growing culture in Britain and launches a policy review on Feeding the Nation.
- 18/06/13 Another article on why food banks are not the best way to tackle hunger and poverty, and one on developing a post-food bank approach.
- 13/06/13 London's Mayor backs pilot to boost jobs and growth in London’s small food business sector, and Hackney's Unpackaged is taking part
- 27/03/13 London Assembly report warns that, with thousands in our city already going hungry, food poverty is set to get much worse
- 07/03/13 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is offering £5m over a period of three years as part of a new food funding strand. Applications are invited from organisations focused on understanding and investigating the critical role that food plays in wellbeing and the interplay between food, sustainability and poverty.
- 09/02/13 Food Matters publish a Building Local Food Systems Handbook, to unpick some the key food issues and enthuse people to explore, discover and act.
- 08/02/13 Organiclea are recruiting a 3 days per week Horticultural Trainer and Outreach Gardens Development Worker
01/02/13 New report Growing Success: The impact of Capital Growth on community food growing in London calls for food growing spaces to be provided in all public spaces, all new residential development and in all schools.
- OrganicWick, a vegetable box scheme for Hackney Wick, run by local residents, is back in action.
- Global Food - Waste Not Want Not report shows how 50% of all food produced in the world can end up as waste, and the Sustainable Restaurant Association calculates that restaurants waste almost five times more food than the average UK household - 0.48kg per diner per meal vs. 0.1kg per diner per meal in the home.
- Hackney Homes encourage estate residents to grow their own food
- 12/01/13 Funding available to transform derelict land into food growing spaces
- 30/09/12 Better Breakfast Guide launched – to help businesses serve more sustainable fare
- 25/09/12 What if I told you: you eat 3.496 litres of water? See this infographic about hidden/virtual water in our lives – food, washing, living etc. (just scroll down it). Also published in The Guardian.
- 12/09/12 'Ugly' fruit and veg to be sold in some supermarkets - will others follow suit?
- 07/09/12 John Rensten, who previously set up The Green, a gastro pub in Clerkenwell EC1, has now started a new Forage London website: www.foragelondon.co.uk. Sign up to a monthly newsletter for tips on what to pick, and when and where to find it. More info from John below.
- 22/08/12 A government publication, Space for food growing: Guide, highlights the health and environmental benefits that community food growing can bring and encourages people to 'spot a plot'.
- 03/07/12 Top tips for reducing environmental impact
- 06/06/12 Hackney Foodbank preparing to open - is this the way to address food poverty?
Hackney Food Grower's Network
People interested in Food
Hackney Food Map
24 TED talk videos about food issues and solutions for our failing food system
A Steak in the Economy - Why food entrepreneurship is so important to the economy - and how best to support it.
Building Local Food Systems: a Handbook
The City Planter - magazine for urban gardeners
Community orchards: How to guide
CPRE local foods publications
Edible Geography and Food: An Atlas
GLA report on child hunger and food poverty in London
Good food for London - London Food Link
Hackney Sustainable Food Charter (draft)
Healthier Catering Commitment
Is eating local good for the climate? Thinking beyond food miles
Making Local Food Work
Map of London’s breweries
A guerilla gardener in South Central LA - “We gotta flip the script on what a gangsta is — if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta.”
The School Food Plan
Sustain’s Food Legacy Pledge
Sustain's Jellied Eel magazine
UK Food Statistics Pocketbook 2012
Edible Forest Garden
Hackney Allotment Society
Hackney City Farm
Made In Hackney
North London Master Gardeners
The People's Kitchen
St Mary's Secret Garden
Capital Growth - London's food growing network
Children's Food Trust
Community Food Growers Network
eat the seasons
Food Ethics Council
Food for Life Partnership
London Permaculturalists Ning
London Permaculture Network
Marine Stewardship Council
Real Bread Campaign
School Food Plan network
Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming
Sustainable Food Cities
Sustainable Restaurant Association
This is Rubbish
Tristram Stuart on food waste