Posted 15th Jan 2024

The North East has been chosen to pilot a project which will see the region work towards more healthy and sustainable food for its residents.

With support from the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and sustainable food partnerships, the North East has been selected to be the regional partner for Good Food Local over the next three years.

What is Good Food Local?

Good Food Local is a project run by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, with funding from Impact on Urban Health. Sustain has been working with local authorities in London for over 10 years to track data relating to the availability of healthy and sustainable food and wants to roll the scheme out nationwide.

The project will include agreeing a North East Good Food framework and benchmarking programme to encourage local authorities to make commitments to good food across the region.

Sustain's definition of good food is food that is produced, processed, bought, sold and eaten in ways that provide social benefits and which contribute to thriving local economies that create good jobs and secure livelihoods.

Good food should also enhance the health and variety of people's diets as well as of the plants and animals that feed on them. It should protect natural resources such as water and soil and help tackle climate change. 

Important role to play

Amanda Healy, our director of public health and Chair of ADPH North East, said: "Across the North East councils have an important role to play in creating a more healthy and sustainable food system so residents can access affordable, healthy and climate and nature friendly food. 

"To reduce health inequalities and close the gap between the most and least affluent people in our country, we need to understand the current situation within the North East in comparison to other regions. Benchmarking good food at a regional level will help to provide this understanding."


Bella Driessen, Sustain's local policy coordinator, said: "The survey has the power to completely transform a council's approach to food, with demonstrable impacts for its local community. One council that first completed the form in 2015 found itself right at the bottom of the rankings. By being able to demonstrate to the council just how far behind it was slipping, through learning from the case studies of leading councils, and by accessing the network of peer-support built up around the report, this council now sits among the leading councils."

Jill Essam, Food Durham Co-ordinator, said: "The survey will influence the food system in the North East and pave the way for a transfornmative approach to the food we eat.

"The North East, with its strong regional identity, is perfect for working collaboratively on healthy and sustainable food issues that are best addressed on a regional rather than local scale."

 Good Food Local | Sustain (