London Food Strategy

Client:
London Development Agency, London Food, Mayor of London and others
Start date:
October 2004
Completed:
May 2006

Brook Lyndhurst was responsible for researching and drafting the London Mayor's food strategy and for introducing amendments resulting from the public consultation on the document.

Working with a large number of partners, including the Government Office for London, health authorities and the London Assembly, we drew on a huge range of material to paint a complete picture of the state of the food system in London. This enabled London Food and other stakeholders to easily identify priority areas for action, which were then translated into the final strategy. More specifically, the project entailed:

A large scale literature review
We assembled and analysed almost 300 documents encompassing both academic and grey literature as well as policy documents and strategies from other sectors (e.g. the London Plan) and regions.

Developing a conceptual framework
In order to analyse London's food system in a way that could translate into meaningful, actionable conclusions for policy, we broke down the food chain into eight component parts encompassing everything from where food is grown (e.g. production) to its sale, consumption and disposal.

Facilitated discussion
The Food Strategy dealt with a number of difficult issues and Brook Lyndhurst played a key role in facilitating discussions between a wide variety of stakeholders to iron out challenging questions in a spirit of cooperation and compromise.

Consultation responses
Over 1,000 separate comments were received on the first draft of the strategy during the consultation phase. Brook Lyndhurst was responsible for integrating these into the final draft and for maintaining an audit trail to ensure transparency about the way in which comments were dealt with.

Action planning
Brook Lyndhurst was responsible for scoring possible actions to create an indicative action plan for the draft strategy and for running a workshop to assist partners in producing a full implementation plan after the publication of the main document.

The range of partners in this project meant that effective communication was essential. During presentations we ensured that we provided concise information which was clearly outlined and then summarised by the presenter. We also adopted similar techniques in written reports – for example, including regular summaries of key points together with effective linking of ideas, cross-referencing and bulleted conclusions and recommendations - to enable readers to prioritise the elements that required most attention.

The strategy remains 'live' under the new Mayor and the work of London Food continues under the chair of Rosie Boycott.

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