Writing a Food Strategy: How does a city go from concept to delivery?

27 July 2021

Florence Pardoe

Creating a city food strategy is a complex and challenging task that requires vision, knowledge, collaboration and cooperation. Many cities around the world have successfully developed and implemented strategies with exciting results. Many more are recognising the power of a food strategy to create locally-relevant policies and interventions that lead to better health outcomes, a stronger local food economy, happier communities and a healthier environment. In low to middle income countries, where financial resources and infrastructure is limited, the challenge is even greater. 

A webinar series developed specifically with these cities in mind is currently underway as part of The Food Foundation’s FOOD CITIES 2022 project. The series tackles the questions above to give cities who are planning or beginning to develop a city food strategy practical information to inform and inspire their own strategies. 

The series, A Food Strategy For Your City, takes a step-by-step approach to the process and each webinar features a ‘Knowledge Speaker’, who may be from an international NGO or an academic, who provides an overview of the topic and three ‘Practitioner Speakers’, who share case studies on practical interventions and policies that they are delivering in their cities.

If you are working on city food policy in a low to middle income country you are invited to register for the upcoming webinars through the links below:

TopicDate and Time
How are cities developing food strategies? 

23/06/21 • 10:00am GMT

What does a food strategy include? – Safe and nutritious diets

07/07/21 • 10:00am GMT

What does a food strategy include? – Sustainable food systems: Environment, economy and resilience

22/07/21 • 10:00am GMT

Your city, your strategy – Engaging stakeholders and citizens in the development of your strategy

04/08/21 • 10:00am GMT

Your city, your strategy – Data, audits and mapping

18/08/21 • 10:00am GMT

Turning strategy into action – Implementing your strategy through leadership and partnerships

01/09/21 • 10:00am GMT

Turning strategy into action – Creating a Good Food Movement

08/09/21 • 10:00am GMT

A Food Strategy For Your City Webinar Series

The series is being delivered in partnership with Eat Right India’s Eat Smart Cities ChallengeMUFPP and SHEFS.

The previous webinars, plus an introductory video that sets out the context and roles of cities in food system transformation, are available to watch back here on the A Food Strategy For Your City playlist.

Who are The Food Foundation?

The Food Foundation is a registered charity working in partnership with researchers, campaigners, community bodies, industry, government and citizens to galvanise agents of change in the UK and beyond.

Their vision is a sustainable food system which delivers health and wellbeing for all.

Their mission is changing food policy and business practice to ensure everyone, across our nations, can afford and access a healthy diet. They use surprising and inventive ideas to catalyse and deliver fundamental change in the food system by building and synthesising strong evidence, shaping powerful coalitions, harnessing citizens’ voices and driving progress with impactful communications. Through their work, they identify new opportunities for action, and trial new levers for change.

What is FOOD CITIES 2022?

Their Global Food System project works to action change through three key groups: Cities, Youth and Private Sector. 

As part of this wider project, The Food Foundation have launched the FOOD CITIES 2022 Learning Partnership.

Food Cities 2022 Learning Partnership is an exciting new initiative that supports cities to develop and implement city led food policies and action plans. They are building a network of cities who are developing their food agendas, with a particular focus on low to middle income countries in the Commonwealth. This Commonwealth focus was borne through their partnership with the Birmingham Commonwealth Association. Birmingham is due to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the FOOD CITIES project will culminate at a celebratory event around the Games.

Through the partnership, The Food Foundation are offering responsive support and advice through a combination of events, resources, peer-to-peer learning and access to experts. See here for the Food Cities 2022 Concept Note.

A FOOD CITIES 2022 online Learning Platform is being created, providing cities with access to resources, news and guidance on developing city food strategies. This will launch in late August. Case studies will be shared between the Food Action Cities platform and the FOOD CITIES 2022 platform, including the highlights presented during the webinar series. 


About the author

Florence Pardoe is the City Food Policy Officer at Food Foundation. If you are interested in finding out more about the FOOD CITIES 2022 Learning Partnership, please get in touch with florence.pardoe@foodfoundation.org.uk.