The journey to Gold: a citywide effort

In 2020, Brighton & Hove became the first place to ever receive a Gold Sustainable Food Places Award. Although the Food Partnership coordinated the bid submission, our success comprised the huge citywide efforts of individuals, community organisations, businesses, schools and Brighton & Hove City Council. We are often approached by other places in the UK looking to learn from our work, and we aim to share wherever we can. This page outlines our route to Gold and shares the resources we developed along the way.

Benefits of the Food StrategyThe Groundwork

Our plan for how we would achieve Gold status was developed alongside our existing Food Strategy work. Launched in 2006, refreshed in 2012 and 2018, the Brighton and Hove Food Strategy Action Plan sets out how collectively as a city we will achieve a vision of a healthy, sustainable and fair food system for all in the city.

It was through this framework we succesfully coordinated a bid to receive the first ever Silver Sustainable Food Place (SFP) Award in 2015 and we built on that to go for Gold in 2020. This meant providing evidence that the city had continued to work on key areas of the food system as outlined in the bid for Silver – such as work around food poverty and nutrition – as well as expanding the work across other areas of the food system.

We conducted a year-long consultation involving over 600 participants in 2017 alongside the development of the 2018-2023 Food Strategy Action Plan. This was coordinated by Brighton & Hove Food Partnership with oversight by the Food Strategy Expert Panel.

The SFP bid for Gold was launched in 2018 and endorsed by Brighton & Hove City Council via the Health & Wellbeing Board. Brighton & Hove City Council further pledged to support the bid for Brighton & Hove to become a Gold Sustainable Food City in their 2020-2023 plan for ‘a fairer city, a sustainable future’.

We ran a two-year citywide campaign on social media (#goldfoodcitybid) and also raised awareness of the bid though email footers, newsletters, press releases, at Community Kitchen classes, at Healthy Start awareness sessions, at Plastics and  Food Waste events… really at any opportunity we could think of!

Shareable resources

To call people to support the Gold Bid, we created pledges, resources and toolkits for action:


The award submission, a 45-page document showcasing all the good food work in the city, was submitted to SFP in October 2020 and by the end of November, we had received the amazing news that we had been succesful.

Our planned celebratory event was moved online due to the pandemic. We invited all the partners involved to virtually join us in celebration, to thank them for their part and to screen a short film we had made on what it means to be a Gold Sustainable Food Place:

Our Food Strategy and Policy work is all kindly funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

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