About Food Plymouth
Food Plymouth was established in 2010 as a pioneering member of the national Sustainable Food Places (SFP) movement, quickly becoming the Plymouth city-region’s recognised cross-sector local food partnership and network. SFP is all about transforming food systems for the better, making positive contributions to the three domains of sustainable / regenerative development – social; environmental; and economic – delivered through a six strand framework – food governance and strategy; good food movement; healthy food for all; sustainable food economy; catering and procurement; and food for the planet; with race, equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) being a rapidly emerging additional key issue.
Against this background, Food Plymouth acts as a ‘central connecting hub’ for all food-related matters locally. Enjoying the direct support of the Soil Association in its early years, Food Plymouth successfully transitioned to providing its own infrastructure support in 2014-15 with the formation of Food Plymouth Community Interest Company (CIC). Operating on a social enterprise basis, the CIC fulfils responsibilities for supporting, facilitating and resourcing the partnership and network.
The Food Plymouth partnership and network comprises a diverse mix of public, private and community and voluntary sector organisations, social enterprises and businesses, plus individual citizens, with some 275 members actively contributing to delivery. Of these, around 35 members are directly active within the partnership. Partners are fundamental in delivering the SFP outcomes, with Food Plymouth CIC innovating and filling gaps through direct delivery of certain services and projects while simultaneously earning income to resource the partnership and network’s infrastructure support. The partnership and network is currently supported by a core enabling team of seven people, which is soon to be expanded.
Working to a tried and tested ‘collective impact’ model, everyone involved shares the desire and determination to increase the supply and demand of fresh, healthy, local, sustainable and wherever possible affordable food in Plymouth and surrounding areas, taking the recognised ‘food ladders’ approach.
Plymouth was awarded Sustainable Food City Bronze status in 2015 through Food Plymouth, successfully retaining this status in 2019 while building towards the now Sustainable Food Places Silver standard. This three-year plan is the latest expression of this concerted drive and reflects a growing emphasis on regional cooperation with adjoining local food partnerships and other organisations contributing to the local sustainable food agenda.
Faced as we are by multiple and severe social, environmental, and economic challenges at local, national, and global levels, we have a deep responsibility to the well-being of future generations. Operating locally and regionally within a national movement and with international links, Food Plymouth is well positioned to help us to continue to fulfil this responsibility, as illustrated in the following pages.
The diagram below provides an overview of some key milestones in Plymouth’s journey as a Sustainable Food Place to date, moving upwards from the initial formation of the Food Plymouth Partnership and Network in 2010 through to the present day.