Globally, we waste around 25 to 30% of all food produced. Food and farming systems cause 80% of biodiversity loss and one third of global gas emissions. We're on a journey to become a carbon neutral city by 2030. Food is a priority area in our fight against climate change.
In 2020, Brighton & Hove became the first city in the UK to win a Gold Sustainable Food City Award with campaigns for a more plant-based diet, less single-use plastics, and tackling food poverty.
The Brighton & Hove Food Strategy Action Plan outlines how as a city we can achieve a healthy, sustainable and fair food system for Brighton & Hove, from production and distribution to consumption and waste management. The latest version of the 5-year plan was published in 2018 by the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and adopted by us.
The Food Strategy Action Plan is considered to be the most ambitious of its kind in the UK and contains 200 far-reaching actions involving almost 100 partners including 26 council departments.
Food use and food waste
The average family of 4 throws away £60 worth of food every month. Most food thrown away is household food waste. We launched our Carbon Neutral 2030 programme in June 2021 which includes plans to build on Brighton & Hove’s Gold Sustainable Food City Award with campaigns for a more plant-based diet, less single-use plastics, and tackling food poverty. One of our aims is to prevent food waste before it happens.
Our community composting schemes prevent food waste and help help more than 1,000 households compost and prevent more than 50 tonnes of food waste going into household bins each year.
There are many ways to reduce food waste at home. Find tips for reducing food waste at home and resources to help food businesses cut their waste. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign has tips on how to save money on your food.
Social enterprise supermarket HISBE is a local business working hard to tackle food waste. HISBE never throws away food that can be eaten and offers many products without packaging, so customers can buy only what they need.
Food growing and planning
Where and how we produce food can increase carbon emissions. We’re committed to reviewing the use of council-owned land to promote biodiversity food growing and re-wilding.
As the first council to adopt a Planning Advice, we encourage developers to include space for food growing in new developments. In 2020 to 2021, half of housing applications showed that food growing would be included in the development.
Across Brighton & Hove there are more than 75 community gardens. Many of these gardens are run in public parks or other council-owned land.
In Stanmer Park One Garden is a project run by Plumpton College in partnership with us to support local food growing. The project includes a garden, market, and café.
Food buying and suppliers
In April 2021 we created our Good Food Standards Policy to work towards a healthier and more sustainable food system. This is the our standards for purchasing food and catering services. It aims to:
- reduce food poverty
- support local food businesses
- reduce the environmental impact of the way we produce, consume and dispose of our food
Food is an important part of our plan to protect our environment and end waste and pollution. We want to keep materials in use and regenerate natural systems. Our Circular Economy Routemap will enhance and protect our environment.
Encouraging national action
In 2021 we signed the Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration.
The council supports the Right to Food campaign to make access to food a guaranteed right.
What you can do
If you want to waste less food at home, you can:
- use a stock rotation system in your fridge
- cook a meal from leftovers 1 day a week
- replace meat with plant-based foods once a week
- buy in bulk and shop at refill stores
- conduct a food waste audit
- buy food that is seasonal and produced in the local area
To waste less food in your community, you can:
- Join a community composting scheme
- Donate extra food to foodbanks
- Get involved in local community gardening
- Volunteer at a community cookery project
Find out more about local projects: