Food Durham Advisory Group Partners

Food Durham Advisory Group consists of partners that have roles to play in differing areas of the food system. The partners help to guide and advise on the work of Food Durham and represent the private, public and voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.

Business Durham

Business Durham is the business support service for Durham County Council, helping to deliver more and better jobs and a strong competitive economy. We aim to take the stress out of the many issues businesses face, providing tailored support to meet those unique challenges. We have the knowledge and experience to guide businesses of any shape, size, and age, with access to funding, premises, and an extensive network of partners who can add to our offer. We will tailor our support package to give you the best possible guidance and practical help for your business to thrive in County Durham. Business Durham works closely with partners to encourage an enterprise culture, helping entrepreneurs to turn bright ideas into successful reality and students to develop enterprise skills to become our future business leaders.

Darlington and Durham NHS Trust

Durham Community Action

Durham Community Action (DCA) is recognised as the leading infrastructure organisation for County Durham; we provide advice, support and assistance to frontline groups operating in the Voluntary and Community Sector and to various communities of interest. DCA advocates for the Voluntary and Community Sector in County Durham through a range of networks and partnerships. We also collaborate and work with networks of organisations that share common purposes, have shared objectives, and deliver key services for those who need them.  The Community Growing and Food Network is facilitated by Durham Community Action to bring together like-minded organisations with projects, or an interest related to growing and food.  It enables community groups and organisations from all sectors with similar visions to connect, communicate and collaborate, supporting each other through sharing good practice in delivering community growing and access to food and also in volunteering and taking social action.

Durham County Council, CYPS (Food Durham Chair)

Availability of good quality food is a key element of providing children and young people with a good start in life. Durham County Council supports many schools overseeing their school meal provision through a food procurement framework which is closely monitored to ensure its effective, providing good value for money and good quality food. The wider food system is a key element of sustainable development across County Durham and cuts across many services and plans which are supported by Durham County Council and the wider County Durham Partnership relating to the climate emergency, public health, the ecological emergency, food poverty, waste and many others.

Durham County Council, Low Carbon Economy Team

The Net Zero Team Leader- County in the Low Carbon Team at Durham County Council focusses on bringing down emissions of the County. In relation to food systems the team has delivered schemes such as the Food for the Planet Campaign, which has seen carbon ratings of food across multiple County Durham sites, a £1 vegetarian discount launch in Council canteens (for 1,800 meals in 2022) and carbon costed restaurant nights. As the council has little control, only influence, over the County’s emissions as a whole it is vital that we all band together to tackle climate change as partners, and this is why the FDAG is so important. Food is a multifaceted topic, and one that impacts every area of life, and is incredibly personal. Therefore, we need to develop projects and communications that reflect this complicated issue in the right way to bring down carbon emissions associated with food as quickly as possible, to reflect the true emergent nature of the climate emergency.

Durham County Council, Public Health Team

The Public Health team works with partners and communities to improve people's health, improve health services, reduce inequalities in health, prevent illness and disease and improve life expectancy of our residents.  Our work includes promoting healthy behaviours, identifying and targeting the greatest health needs of our communities, commissioning evidence-based services and interventions and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.  This also includes codesigning and implementing a whole systems food/healthy weight approach. The aim is to ensure food security and a healthy and sustainable food environment for all who live, visit and study in County Durham.  

Durham University

Durham University appreciate the partnership with FDAG and have been a continuous supporting member for many years. As a higher education institute we benefit from sharing good practice, and understanding initiatives that partners are prioritising and working on. An example of this is carbon ratings of menus, which we are looking to launch in April 2024 on our new menus providing students with a simple signposting ranking to make more informed choices on the carbon ratings of the food provided in catered colleges.

East Durham College

East Durham Trust

East Durham Trust is a leading front-line community development trust serving the 2 towns and 22 villages of East Durham. Our communities are some of the most deprived in England and are furthest away from the food agenda. We provide food crisis services for thousands of households and are focused on how we can improve food security and quality in all of our communities.



OASES vision is ‘to create a more sustainable world where all can thrive’.  Through its work OASES enables people, especially young people, to understand the environmental implications of their ‘everyday’ choices, including their food choices.  OASES has delivered numerous community and school gardening and growing projects. OASES employs the Food Durham Coordinator.


REfUSE is a community organisation based in Chester le Street working towards a healthier, more sustainable food system. 

We want REfUSE to be a community which, through shared activity around food, connects people together, creates networks of trust and reciprocity, and inspires people to make a change in their own households, communities and networks.

We intercept around eight tonnes of food per month that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into healthy, accessible meals, served on a “Pay as You Feel” basis at our volunteer run community cafe serving over 400 people a week. We run training and engagement projects from the café and in the community including our Eat Smart Schools program that engages primary school pupils in the causes of and solutions to food waste in their schools.

In the next five years the REfUSE community will continue to play an integral part in driving the transition to a healthier, more sustainable food system by supporting and encouraging both individuals and organisations to be part of the change with us.

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