DD2342 GLA London Food Programme 2019-20

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 April 2019
Decision by: 
Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Assistant Director of Skills and Employment

Executive summary

A budget of £144,000 has been included within the GLA’s 2019/20 budget in order to continue to support the London Food Programme and the implementation of the London Food Strategy. Officers responsible for the delivery of the London Food Programme and Strategy will deliver and support a range of projects, programmes and initiatives which will play a crucial role in achieving the London Food Board’s priorities and the Mayor’s commitment to help every Londoner have access to healthy, affordable and sustainable food as a key part of his economic fairness and social mobility agenda.


That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment approves:

Expenditure of up to £144,000 on the London Food Programme in 2019/20.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Greater London Authority’s (GLA) SMEs, Food and London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) team are responsible for developing and delivering food policy for London. Officers working on the London Food Programme have several areas of responsibility including; facilitating and supporting the London Food Board, implementing the new London Food Strategy; and supporting the delivery of projects, programmes and initiatives to help deliver good food for London.

The London Food Board (a non-statutory advisory board) was reconfigured in early 2017 and the new Board convened for the first time in March 2017. The board’s remit is to advise the Mayor of London and GLA officers managing the London Food Programme on food matters across the capital; on the delivery of the new London Food Strategy; and on the GLA’s London Food Programme. It aims to provide thought leadership across the broad agenda of food in London and build partnerships and collaborations to deliver improvements in London’s food system. A new Chair, Claire Pritchard, was appointed by the Mayor in February 2018.

The non-statutory London Food Strategy was published by the GLA in December 2018 and complements the full range of Mayoral strategies, many of which include commitments to support good food for all Londoners.

The strategy is the Mayor’s vision for how to make food better in London for everyone. The Mayor, supported by the London Food Board and working with public and private partners across the food and public health sectors, will work to deliver the strategy. It aims to help all Londoners, London boroughs and other partners to adapt the city’s food system to meet the challenges which lie ahead.

MD2387 approved publication of the London Food Strategy and supporting documents. It also approved a Mayoral Direction to Transport for London (TfL) in relation to restrictions on adverts promoting food or non-alcoholic drink high in saturated fat, salt and/or sugar and the promotion of healthier options across the TfL estate.

The London Food Programme comprises some projects which will commence in the coming weeks, as well as other projects which will begin later in the year to help implement Mayoral commitments within the new London Food Strategy and deliver priorities of the London Food Board. Previous iterations of the London Food Programme have supported established projects and initiatives including Capital Growth, the Good Food for London and Beyond the Food Bank reports, the Urban Food Awards and the Healthier Catering Commitment. The London Food Strategy commits to continuing to support these projects which align with the Mayor’s vision for every Londoner to have access to healthy, affordable, sustainable food.

The London Food Programme has a strong track record of delivering and supporting projects, programmes and initiatives that make a difference in improving London’s food system. It achieves much greater impact than the relatively small funding contributions would imply due to the strong influencing and advocacy role played by the team on behalf of the Mayor and the London Food Board. Officers will continue to work to build influential partnerships and explore innovative approaches in order to help us maximise the impact of the new London Food Strategy.

Objectives and expected outcomes
  1. In addition to broader health, economic, environmental and cultural impacts, the London Food Programme in 2019/20 will support the implementation of the new London Food Strategy and continue to address Mayoral manifesto commitments to reduce childhood obesity and reduce Londoners’ reliance on food banks.
  3. Through the implementation of the new London Food Strategy and aligning with its priorities and commitments, the GLA’s objectives are to:  
    • Support the charity Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming in the UK, to produce ‘Good Food for London’ and ‘Beyond the Food Bank’ reports to monitor the progress of individual London boroughs in making London’s food system healthier and more sustainable and tackling the underlying drivers of food insecurity.  
    • Support a further five boroughs to develop Good Food Retail Plans, which will help local authorities adopt a more strategic approach to ensure their residents have access to healthy, affordable food in areas of particular need.
    • Work in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London’s Kitchen Social programme to address increased levels of food insecurity for children from low-income households during the school holidays.
    • Profile and showcase the excellence of enterprises, initiatives, organisations and individuals working to improve food in London through the Urban Food Awards. This aligns with the Mayor’s commitment to support values-driven food businesses and social enterprises, especially those serving disadvantaged communities.  
    • Support the role of food businesses in tackling obesity, particularly in the most deprived parts of London where the prevalence of takeaways is much higher, and children are twice as likely to be obese, by informing and supporting the delivery of the Healthier Catering Commitment. The scheme is delivered in partnership by Environmental and Public Health teams and utilises a ‘health by stealth’ approach by helping takeaways make small, simple changes to their ingredients, processes and portions.  
    • Continue to support the Capital Growth programme, London’s largest supported urban food growing network, to help London to have a network of safer, highly-engaged communities working together through food growing to improve the skills, opportunities and quality of life for residents.
    • As part of the London Food Strategy’s focus on the environmental impacts of the food system, including the potential for climate change to affect London’s food resilience, commission research to understand the resilience of food supplies to vulnerable and older groups in particular. 
    • Continue to build on the success of the GLA’s Silver award from the Sustainable Food Cities network, engage in international food networks such as C40 Cities Food Network and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and help London to continue to be a world-class exponent of urban food policy.
    • Work with the London Food Board, its sub Boroughs Food Group and other internal and external working groups to ensure that the London Food Programme’s interventions and the new London Food Strategy are fully integrated and reflect the needs of different London population groups.
  1. The table below sets out the main elements of the work programme, overall costs and immediate expenditure-related decisions:


Expected Outcomes and Planned Activity 19/20

Overall cost

London Food Board

  • Support for all Food Board meetings (full Board and Implementation Groups) and its sub-group, the Boroughs Food Group.
  • London Food Board events to promote the GLA Food Programme such as hosting food delegations from cities around the world.
  • Ongoing support for external initiatives that aren’t grant funded through the London Food Programme but are linked to London Food Board (as agreed with Chair) including Food for Life Served Here, the London Independent Living Service, School Garden Grants and Healthy Start vouchers.
  • Continue to convene relevant partners and stakeholders to inform programme priorities and support the London Food Strategy’s implementation.


The London Food Board will continue to be supported and will be integral in advising the GLA Food Team and London Food Board Chair on the implementation of the London Food Strategy. The budget for the London Food Board covers the cost of events involving the Board throughout the year, including catering, room hire, commissioning speakers and other related costs.


TfL Healthier Food Advertisements policy

  • Specialist support to provide advice on the nutritional analysis of products submitted for review through the TfL Healthier Food Advertisements policy.
  • This budget will be used by the GLA towards an employment contract or to commission consultancy support.


Good Food for London and Beyond the Food Bank London Food Poverty Profile Reports

  • Ninth annual ‘Good Food for London’ report published
  • Fifth annual ‘Beyond the Food Bank: London Food Poverty’ profile published
  • Coordinating the launch of both reports at an event hosted at City Hall.


The London Food Programme will continue to support and provide grant funding towards the production of the annual Good Food for London Report, published by Sustain and the fifth annual edition of ‘Beyond the Food Bank: London Food Poverty Profile’, which highlight how boroughs can deliver a range of initiatives to help tackle food insecurity. Both reports will be launched at an event hosted at City Hall in October 2019.



Urban Food Awards

  • Promotion and management of the Urban Food Awards nomination process
  • Urban Food Awards held in Spring 2020.
  • Increase scope and reach of Urban Food Awards whilst keeping within budget. Secure further sponsorship to support relevant Mayoral priorities.  


The London Food Programme will once again profile and showcase the excellence of enterprises, initiatives, organisations and individuals working to improve food in London through the Urban Food Awards 2020. The nomination and judging process, promotion, publicity and awards event will be managed and delivered by Sustain, through the provision of grant funding.



Healthier Catering Commitment

  • Through the provision of grant funding, support the Association of London Environmental Health Managers to deliver an e-learning resource for Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) delivering the scheme in their borough. This accredited resource will build their knowledge of the scheme and ability to establish business contacts in their borough, assess food outlets against the HCC criteria and expand the scheme’s reach.
  • The Healthier Catering Commitment group will copyright the accreditation and also develop and deliver a second-tier accreditation aimed at larger food businesses with a range of new criteria which focus on reformulation and sustainability, providing infant feeding friendly environments and promoting healthier choices at the point of purchase.

The scheme will continue to constructively challenge the spread of fast food shops and tackle childhood obesity in line with the Mayor’s manifesto commitment.



Empowering Good Infant Nutrition

  • Scope and commission research to build a stronger evidence base and inform future interventions which will help increase rates of breastfeeding in London, particularly for vulnerable communities where improved breastfeeding rates can address health inequalities, food insecurity and social mobility outcomes. 
  • Support the production of an action plan by 2020 for making London a ‘Baby Friendly’ city, drawing on the UNICEF UK Baby-Friendly Initiative.
  • The procurement route for specific activity will be confirmed in line with the GLA procurement framework.


Borough Good Food Retail Plans

  • Through the provision of grant funding, support at least five boroughs to produce plans to increase the availability of and access to healthy food, particularly for their more disadvantaged residents. This is part of a strategic approach to help increase equality and target intervention to reduce food-related impacts of child poverty.


More than 2.3 million Londoners live in poverty, often just one small crisis away from not being able to afford an adequate diet. Many of them live in areas where it is very difficult to access adequate amounts of healthy, affordable food. This work is a focused evolution of previous work with boroughs to develop food poverty action plans. GLA officers will also use the London Food Board and its sub-group, the London Boroughs Food Group, to disseminate learning and share best practice.



School Holiday food provision

  • Supporting governance and coordination of the Mayor’s Fund for London Kitchen Social programme, which seeks to develop and share best practice, build a strong network of provision, and recommend an appropriate model for London hubs to adopt.
  • Capacity and capability building activities to support hubs embedding holiday provision into their core activities.
  • Supporting holiday hubs to become sustainable in conjunction with local authorities and public health teams, including supporting them to make the most of the DfE future funding opportunities.
  • Influencing strategy to ensure that when holiday provision is rolled out across London and the UK, it is high quality, inclusive and does not add further pressures to the third sector without reimbursing actual costs.
  • Through both funding, training and direct delivery through a range of partners, the Kitchen Social programme will support 150 holiday provision hubs, including piloting a new 4:4:4 provision model in at least 10 sites.


Through the provision of grant funding, the GLA Food Team will continue to support the Mayor’s Fund for London on ‘Kitchen Social’, a holiday provision programme that supports clubs offering a healthy meal to children and young people from low income households during the school holidays.



Food and the night time economy

  • Commission research to help assess and inform improvements to the availability of healthy, sustainable food for night time workers in London, in line with priorities of Mayor’s Vision for London as a 24-Hour City.
  • The procurement route for specific activity will be confirmed in line with the GLA procurement framework.


Tackling malnutrition and food insecurity for older people

  • Commission research to understand the food needs of older, vulnerable and disabled groups across London. This will help inform future partnerships and approaches to providing improved access to healthy, sustainable, affordable food in the home and community to combat social isolation, food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • The procurement route for specific activity will be confirmed in line with the GLA procurement framework.

Only 48% of UK local authorities are providing a meals on wheels service now compared to 66% in 2014 and 1.3 million people over 65 are at risk of malnutrition in the UK.


Capital Growth


The London Food Strategy commits to continuing to support the Capital Growth programme. Through the provision of grant funding, the London Food programme will support activities focusing on expanding the skills, jobs and enterprise elements of the Capital Growth programme.   



Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor of London must have ‘due regard’ of the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

In 2018, GLA officers commissioned an Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) to assess the likely environmental, social and economic impacts of the Mayor’s commitments in the draft London Food Strategy. The IIA report was published alongside the draft strategy for consultation in May 2018 and comments were invited from stakeholders. Following the close of the consultation, the publication of the final London Food Strategy was accompanied by an IIA Post-Adoption Statement which sets out the recommendations from the IIA and how these have been addressed in the final London Food Strategy. The Post Adoption Statement concluded that there were no significant adverse effects identified in relation to the implementation of the London Food Strategy and that the changes made to the final strategy strengthened it further.

Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities are enshrined within the GLA’s programmes and activities according to the Mayor’s Framework for Equal Life Chances (June 2014) and the Mayor’s strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion. The framework aims to bring Londoners together rather than dividing them. It promotes outcomes for a diverse range of communities that seek to bring real changes to the quality of life for all Londoners. Projects under the London Food Programme aim to engage as many Londoners as possible and many focus specifically on harder-to-reach groups. Elements of food programme projects which help to meet the needs of people sharing protected characteristics under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 include:

• Capital Growth: 80% of Capital Growth’s sites are in the more deprived wards and 40% are in the most deprived wards. A third of Capital Growth’s 2500+ spaces are in schools and a fifth are on housing estates or run through social housing providers. 7% of Capital Growth projects are working directly with people experiencing mental health problems.
• Good Food Retail Plans: In 2019/20 one area of focus is addressing food insecurity for Londoners, both through supporting the ‘Beyond the Food Bank’ report and the Good Food Retail Plans programme. These areas of work will help map and profile the areas where Londoners lack access to healthy, affordable food and support boroughs to engage local retailers and respond to the differential impact that food insecurity has on certain communities and families.
• Schools Holiday Provision programme: 700,000 children in London live in poverty and obesity prevalence is twice as high for children living in the most deprived areas in London compared to those living in the least deprived areas. Working in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London, this is a targeted intervention to reduce inequalities experienced by London’s children and young people from low income households during the school holidays.
• The London Food Board: Members of the Board work across London’s food system. Of the 17 members, thirteen are women and three are from a black, Asian and minority (BAME) background. The London Food Board will ensure the London Food Strategy and the GLA’s London Food Programme develop a better food system for all Londoners.

GLA Officers managing the London Food Programme will put in place mechanisms to help the GLA continuously review the potential to make their existing and emerging projects advance equality of opportunity for groups which have characteristics noted in the Equality Act. This will include continuing to work closely with as well as strengthening the relationships with the external partners and community organisations who support vulnerable groups (i.e. those most likely to be affected by food insecurity) on a daily basis.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

The GLA will manage the overall operational aspects of the programmes, using its standard corporate approach to project management. The key risks and issues are outlined below:

Due to limited capacity and resources at its disposal, the GLA Food Team may struggle to deliver the visions and ambitions of the new London Food Strategy. However, the GLA Food Team has historically worked effectively in partnerships with both internal and external stakeholders and will continue to do so to deliver the London Food Programme. Officers have developed a workplan in order to align the priorities, commitments and objectives of the London Food Strategy with those of the London Food Programme and London Food Board which will enable a more joined up and efficient approach. Officers have also developed an Implementation Tracker to monitor the implementation and progress of the strategy’s commitments. The London Food Programme will contribute towards the priorities and ambitions of the London Food Strategy and the London Food Board will also advise on policy as well as share their insights and expertise with the Chair and the Food Team to help shape the London Food Programme.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

In terms of Mayoral Strategies, individual projects will contribute towards:

• The implementation of priorities in the new London Food Strategy.
• Food-related elements of the Health Inequalities Strategy particularly on childhood obesity, food access and the better health of all Londoners.
• The Economic Development Strategy – food is a major employer and offers significant training and apprenticeship potential as well as high potential to increase business start-ups and innovation.
• The Transport Strategy, including improving the way food industry vehicles in London operate making Londoners’ journeys healthier.
• The Environment Strategy – Food waste and the impact of the food system on climate change are both major challenges that food projects help to address.
• The London Plan, including policies on land for food, access to fresh food, hot food takeaways and transforming Londoners’ obesogenic food environments.
• The Culture Strategy – celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of London’s food cultures and supporting food-related community food projects.
• Team London objectives to encourage and enable Londoners to volunteer in their communities.

c) impact assessments and consultations.

An integrated impact assessment was undertaken in parallel with the consultation on the draft London Food Strategy between May and July 2018. An Integrated Impact Assessment Post Adoption Statement was published alongside the final London Food Strategy in December 2018 and examines the possible economic, environmental and social impacts of the strategy.

As part of the development process of the London Food Programme in 2019/20 and implementation of the London Food Strategy, the Food Team will consult widely to ensure that the London Food Programme interventions and Strategy are fully integrated and reflect the needs of different London population groups, including but not limited to: Londoners experiencing food insecurity; infants and schoolchildren who need access to a healthy diet, new and expectant mothers on low incomes; young people seeking employment; older people who may be engaged through the Programme’s community growing focus, London’s diverse communities, and others.

The Food Team is part of the Regeneration and Economic Development Unit, and will continue to work closely with GLA Health, Environment, Planning, Intelligence, Economics and Culture teams. This will ensure that interventions under the Food Programme are intelligence led and complement and maximise the impacts of ongoing programmes of work undertaken by these teams, such as work on crowdfunding, health inequalities and the reduction of food waste.

Financial comments

A budget provision of £144,000 has been included in the 2019-20 GLA budget to support the above-mentioned activities for the Food Programme in 2019-20. It should be noted in addition to the 2019-20 budget allocation, an additional £55,000 from the 2018-19 budget will be carried forward to 2019-20, a direct result of project slippage on the 2018-19 programme and has already gone through the Authority’s decision-making process (MD2309).

Planned delivery approach and next steps

GLA officers in the SMEs, Food and London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) team are responsible for continuously monitoring and delivering the London Food Programme. The London Food Programme’s activity will be procured throughout the year in line with the GLA procurement framework.

Activity table



Procurement of contracts

May-December 2019

Delivery Start Date

June 2019

Delivery End Date

March 2020

Project Closure

March 2020

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