There has been an increasing focus on the potential of city-based initiatives to address the negative impacts of the global food system. Adopting a meso-level policy perspective, this study aimed to explore whether, how, and why the UK non-government organisation led Sustainable Food Cities (SFC) programme has influenced this food agenda at the level of city governance. The research fills a gap in our understanding of the detailed processes through which trans-local food networks influence the capacity of local food partnerships to effect change, sustain themselves, and through a collective effort, to shape the attention of national and international decision-makers. Based on documentary evidence from 29 of the most active member cities and interviews with a purposive selection of stakeholders, the analysis suggests that SFC provided a point of origin for solutions and inspiration on a major and complex issue. However, the absence of a national sustainable food policy framework and little formal national-government recognition of local food governance together with the paucity of funding opportunities threatens the long-term viability of local food partnerships and ultimately places significant constraints on the ability of the programme to effect long-lasting, systemic change.
Jones, M., & Hills, S. (2021). Scaling up action on urban sustainable food systems in the United Kingdom: Agenda setting, networking, and influence. Sustainability, 13(4), https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042156