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About Food Flagships

In June 2014, the Mayor launched our Food Flagship programme with two pilot boroughs: Croydon and Lambeth. Using the national School Food Plan as a foundation, our Food Flagships are encouraging the wider community to make healthy eating normal.  

What is a Food Flagship?

After a competitive bidding process we chose our two Food Flagship boroughs in 2014: Lambeth and Croydon.

Being a Food Flagship means taking part in new and existing food-related programmes. The activities in these boroughs are designed to:

  • improve the quality of food available to schools and communities
  • increase understanding of how diet effects health
  • develop practical cookery skills
  • encourage a love of good food

Background to the programme

In July 2013 the then Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, published the independent School Food Plan. This plan set out a programme to improve food in schools across the country.

This plan included a commitment from the Department for Education to support City Hall, the London Food Board and the Mayor’s Fund for London, to launch two Food Flagship Boroughs in London.

These flagships would use the Schools Food Plan as a basis to encourage change in schools and communities.

Involving the whole of London

Although there are only two flagship boroughs, the benefits will impact all of London.

The flagship boroughs demonstrate, to a national and international audience, the positive effect that a ‘whole environment approach’ to food can have on health and attainment.

The knowledge gained from transforming the food systems in these two boroughs can be shared across the whole city and beyond.

As well as their Food Flagship activities, Lambeth and Croydon are also making the most of the other city-wide programmes available to all London boroughs. These include Food Growing Schools: London, Healthy Schools London and the London Healthy Workplace Charter.

Food Flagships in the media

Rosie Boycott – Chair of the London Food Board and champion of the Mayor’s Food Flagship programme – was interviewed for two articles in the Guardian and the Evening Standard.

These articles state that our entire relationship with food has to change if we're going to tackle the obesity crisis:

Food is a drug, and we have to learn to say no . . . inactivity is no longer excusable. That’s why, this week, we are launching an initiative in two London boroughs, Lambeth and Croydon, to transform the way we eat. We’re starting with the schools, building on the School Food Plan . . . But it doesn’t stop there: we’re going to lobby fast food outlets, local restaurants, supermarkets and food manufacturers to change how and what they sell.