The Centre for Food Policy’s Dr Christopher Yap is a lead author of the new Local Food Action Plan for Sheffield.

By Mr Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer), Published

The local food action plan is a collective vision for food systems transformation that is rooted in current and future commitments to action. It recognises and celebrates Sheffield’s current and future actions toward a fairer, more sustainable, and more resilient food system. Almost one hundred organisations were involved in the co-creation of the plan including growers, farmers, caterers, businesses, food provision services, public servants, and residents from across the city.

This plan is one of the first of its kind published in the UK and represents an important example of ‘bottom-up’ policymaking in action. The document sets out 73 specific commitments to action: what have diverse organisations actually committed to doing in the next seven years to make Sheffield’s food system fairer and more sustainable? These actions are organised into five strategies:

  • Strengthen food networks by developing skills and learning together
  • Build collective capacity to share and use data on Sheffield’s food system
  • Participate in making and delivering ambitious local food policy
  • Build an inclusive food movement
  • Leverage spaces for food initiatives.

The local food action plan was developed through a collaboration between ShefFood, the local food partnership for Sheffield and part of the Sustainable Food Places network, and Dr Christopher Yap, as part of his role on the large interdisciplinary research programme, FixOurFood, led by the University of York, which aims to understand and build pathways towards more regenerative food systems in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Reflecting on his contribution to the development of the plan, Dr Yap said:

Over the past year I have been very fortunate to be able to work with brilliant partners in Sheffield to develop and deliver this local food action plan. Our approach brought together diverse organisations and groups that are committed to driving food systems change and contributes towards realising the vision set out in the local food strategy, ‘Fairer, Healthier, Greener’, developed by Sheffield City Council.

On one hand this represents a small step towards a fairer and more sustainable food system in the city. On the other, this represents a new, multistakeholder approach to making local food policy that aims to be ambitious, cross-sector, inclusive, and participatory, and which we hope can be replicated across the UK.

You can read the full plan here.

Dr Christopher Yap is an urban geographer based at the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London. His research draws on political economy and political ecology perspectives to examine intersections between land, food, and governance.

This project received funding and support from FixOurFood (BB/V004581/1), The York Policy Engine (TYPE) at the University of York, Sustainable Food Places, and Sheffield City Council.

For more information contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

Find out more

Read the Local Food Action Plan for Sheffield 2023-30 on the ShefFood website.

Visit the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London webpage