Getting the Basics Right

These pages provide an overview of the process of setting up a food partnership and developing a food action plan as well as the process for applying for SFC membership. Membership of the SFC Network offers many benefits including an opportunity to apply for an award, receive advice and guidance from the SFC team, access funding for coordinators and join in with national campaigns.

These pages should be the first point of call for newly emerging food partnerships wishing to become a member of the SFC Network. It may also be useful to food partnerships that have been dormant or operating at reduced capacity for a while that are now being reinvigorated.

Download a Pdf version of the Getting the Basics Right guide

A guide not a blueprint

At the outset it is worth stating that there is no ‘correct’ way to set up a food partnership. Each city or place is different, with its own set of circumstances that will influence the process. The lens through which you view a sustainable food system could be based on the SFC’s 6 themes or you may choose to frame it around the 3 pillars of sustainability (environment, economic, social) or a different framework. It is important that whichever approach you take there is a sense of ownership of the process and the way the partnership works. This guide is not therefore intended as a blueprint for developing a food partnership and action plan, it is simply a guide to the steps that could be taken.

We recommend these pages are read in conjunction with the Food Partnership Structure Guide. Our Start-up Checklist may also provide a useful overview of things to consider and work towards as you develop your partnership. The checklist may look a little daunting at first, but it is only a guide and should not be seen as a rigid blue-print.


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

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