MERTON AND ISLINGTON were jointly named as London’s top ‘Good Food Boroughs’ in a new report, which shows nearly half of London Boroughs had made progress since the previous league table was published in 2012. Hillingdon and Lewisham were also praised for having made the most progress. Over the past year, for example, Hillingdon has started to help local food outlets serve healthier food, and Lewisham has achieved “silver” Food for Life standards in its school catering.
The ‘Good Food for London 2013’ report compares London’s local authorities on their support for key good food initiatives, such as high quality school food, community food growing, improving food served by local food shops, and buying ethical food for schools and local authority canteens – including Fairtrade products, cage-free eggs and sustainable fish.
“In the wake of the ‘horsegate’ scandal, Londoners want to know that their boroughs are serving good food that they can trust,” said report author and London Food Link officer Ross Compton. “With our league table now in its third year, the Good Food for London maps paint an inspiring picture of progress by many London Boroughs towards better food. The maps also challenge those boroughs that are lagging behind to follow the good example set by Islington and Merton, and take more action to make it easier for their residents and visitors to eat healthier and more sustainable food.”
“This excellent report provides an informative snapshot of London’s food scene borough-by-borough, with the aim of showing the good example being set in areas such as Islington and Merton,” said Rosie Boycott, chair of the London Food Board, which advises the Mayor of London on issues relating to food in the capital. “In many boroughs, schoolchildren are now getting fresher, tastier and more sustainable food than last year, and tens of thousands of local residents have better access to green space for growing food. The maps are designed to share new ideas and good practice, helping other Boroughs make further improvements to help their residents eat better food. I am also very encouraged to see London Boroughs helping local businesses to serve healthier food on London’s high streets. This will improve Londoners’ health, provide good food jobs, and protect the sustainability of the food system on which we all depend.”
As well as Islington and Merton, seven more London boroughs out of 33 were praised for their good food work: Camden, Enfield, Greenwich, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond-upon-Thames, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Havering was also highlighted as a leader on good food buying, having helped several other boroughs to buy good food affordably through collaborative contracts.