Photo taken at nursery run by childcare group the London Early Years Foundation
Photo taken at nursery run by childcare group the London Early Years Foundation

The London Food Strategy

The Mayor's London Food Strategy sets out his plans to help all Londoners access healthy, affordable and sustainable food - regardless of their background and circumstances. 

The Mayor has been working closely with the London Food Board and other partners to develop the strategy and ensure it can help deliver a fairer food system. 

Healthy and Sustainable Food for London

The Mayor has made food a key part of his social fairness and economic equality agenda. He realises the important part food plays in the lives of Londoners - it can help improve health and wellbeing, provide rewarding job and skills opportunities, build stronger communities and help protect the environment. 

In the London Food Strategy, the Mayor has therefore put food at the heart of London's approach to tackling a number of issues including child obesity, food insecurity and climate change. The strategy's six chapters reflect this approach:

  • Good Food at Home, and Reducing Food Insecurity - Helping to ensure all Londoners can eat well at home and tackling rising levels of food insecurity. 
  • Good Food Economy, Shopping and Eating Out - Supporting good food businesses to improve London's food environment and make healthy, affordable options more widely available to Londoners.
  • Good Food in Community Settings and Public Institutions - Working with public sector partners to improve their food procurement for the communities they serve. 
  • Good Food for Pregnancy and Childhood - Using good food to help give Londoners the best possible start to life. 
  • Good Food Growing, Community Gardening and Urban Farming - Promoting the multiple benefits of food growing for individuals and communities.
  • Good Food for the Environment - Reducing the environmental impact of our food system by making it more efficient, more sustainable and less wasteful. 

The Mayor has published an accompanying Implementation Plan which sets out the actions the Mayor will take and support between 2018 and 2023 to help achieve the strategy's objectives, alongside timescales and a range of indicators that will be used to measure and report on progress across London.  

TfL junk food advertising ban

One of the Mayor's key commitments in the London Food Strategy is to ban junk food advertising on the entire Transport for London (TfL) network from 25 February 2019. This represents a new groundbreaking measure to help tackle child obesity in London. Food and drink brands, restaurants, takeaways and delivery services will only be able to place adverts which promote their healthier products, rather than simply publicising their brands or placing adverts that directly feature food and/or non-alcoholic drink considered to be high in fat, sugar and salt. 

London has one of the highest child obesity rates in Europe and the ban is one of many commitments that the Mayor is making in the strategy to encourage healthy eating. These include:

  • Promoting London's status as a 'Veg City' and supporting the 'Veg Power' campaign.
  • Funding the development of Good Food Retail Plans by London boroughs and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), to improve access to healthy and affordable food. 
  • Proposing a stop on new hot food takeaways opening within 400m of primary and secondary schools. 
  • Helping takeaways to make improvements to the food they serve through the Healthier Catering Commitment
  • Supporting the Mayor's Fund for London Kitchen Social programme which provides healthy meals and activities for children during the school holidays. 

The consultation

The Mayor publicly consulted on a draft of the strategy between 11 May and 5 July 2018. The consultation included polling, online surveys, discussion forums and focus groups. This helped to ensure as many views were captured throughout the consultation period as possible and were representative of London's diverse communities. 

Having heard from boroughs, businesses, the third sector and Londoners on the Mayor's proposals and vision for a better food system in London, all of the responses and feedback received were reviewed and considered. Thanks to everyone who gave their views. 

The Consultation Response Report provides an overview of the responses and outlines the resulting changes that have been made to the final strategy. 

Finally, read the Integrated Impact Assessment of the draft London Food Strategy along with the Integrated Impact Assessment Post Adoption Statement. It examines the possible economic, environmental and social impacts of the strategy.