Agenda item

Leeds Food Strategy

To receive the report of the Chief Officer, Climate, Energy and Green Spaces which provides the Committee with an oversight of the Leeds Food Strategy.


The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer, Climate, Energy and Green Spaces which provided an oversight of the Leeds Food Strategy.


Andrew White, Climate, Energy & Green Spaces team and Sonja Woodcock, Zest and Food Wise Leeds provided a presentation, highlighting the following issues to the Committee:


·  The background to the development of the current Leeds Food Strategy which was launched in July 2023, as a partnership of Food Wise Leeds and Leeds City Council (Public Health, Financial Inclusion, Climate, Energy & Green Spaces teams). The Strategy has three missions which align with the three pillars of the Leeds Best City Ambition:

o  Mission 1: To improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the city through eating well.

o  Mission 2: To ensure we can all access affordable, nutritious food as part of a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant food economy.

o  Mission 3: To ensure the way Leeds produces, consumes, and disposes of food is fit for the future and supports our climate action plan.

·  Each mission has its own objectives which reflect the what the Council can undertake and the areas where the Council will work in partnership. Each objective will be implemented differently in response to different parts of the city.

·  The Strategy includes 42 actions and overall progress on the actions will be reported to Executive Board in Spring 2024.


During discussions the following issues were identified as matters to explore:


·  A review of the food offer in leisure and cultural sites, such as vending machines in leisure centres, to ensure healthy options were more readily available and promoted. It was noted that the Public Health team had undertaken work on vending machines on the LCC estate and that the snacks offered were under a specific calorie level. It was felt that the initial focus for the council needed to be on the food the Council served and procured, however the discussion had identified a further challenge to follow up with procurers.


(M Shahzad and A Hannan withdrew from the meeting at this point)


·  Further work with schools and colleges which did not buy food from the Council to encourage a broad offer of food for students was available. Anecdotal evidence showed that if students did not find something they wanted to eat at school/college, they would be likely to buy food from fast food/high street on the way home.

·  Having more space to grow in the city centre and further discussions on the city’s land use strategy.

·  Work with the farming community to ensure they followed good employment practices, noting that the Strategy reflected on the broader aim for sustainable good places to work with. It was also noted that the team were working to build good relationship with the National Farmers Union.


The Committee noted the reported difficulties in implementing community composting schemes due to an issue with Waste Transfer Licences which community composting should be exempt from. This issue needs to be resolved to enable the project to flourish. Members lent their support to the initiative in order to encourage administration of the exemption.


The Committee also supported the suggestion that the draft report measuring the success of the Food Strategy actions be discussed by the Committee’s WG prior to being presented to the Executive Board in Spring 2024.



a)  To note the contents of the report, particularly the three overlapping themes of Health & Wellbeing, Food Security & Economy, and Sustainability & Resilience.

b)  To note the progress made to date, as well as the longer term ambitions for partnership, engagement and policy alignment so that the Leeds Food Strategy delivers for the city.

c)  To support the communication, delivery and development of the Strategy by members of CEAC and additionally, the Committee’s support for community composting be included as a call for action in a future Leeds Food Strategy Newsletter.


Supporting documents: