An initiative which seeks to tackle food poverty and promote healthy produce has been endorsed by East Lothian Council.

A ‘Good Food Charter’ has been drawn up by the East Lothian Friendly Food Network, which brings together most of the community food initiatives and projects operating across the county - including the Pennypit Trust and Fundamental Foods, East Lothian Foodbank, Our Community Kitchen and various pantries and other local initiatives that arose out of community responses to the COVID pandemic.

The council – which supports the Network with funding for a part-time staff to administer the Network and the East Lothian Fareshare Hub, which provides supplies to community food initiatives – has endorsed and signed up to the Charter.

Fully supportive

Councillor Colin McGinn, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing, said:

“We are fully supportive of the East Lothian Food Network’s mission, which is that every person in East Lothian should have access to healthy, affordable, and good nutritious food. A key part of this is that food should be local and sustainably sourced where possible.

“We very much welcome the fact that this is a partnership led initiative to promote dignity in practice and harness people's voices to impact real change. The mission recognises that, by working in partnership to build strong relationships, we can address food inequalities and tackle issues that affect food insecurity and food poverty to make a difference.

“At a time when the rising cost of living and rising energy bills is a real challenge for many families, the work of the network is incredibly important. The Charter is very much in line with priorities as set out in strategies and plans such as the existing Council Plan, the Poverty Plan and the Climate Change Strategy.

“We want to build on the support the council has given to people experiencing financial hardship and have been consulting the Network on ways in which support for low income households affected by the food and fuel price crisis can be deployed.”

Seven goals

The Charter sets out seven goals, each with a set of actions that will contribute towards the Network achieving its mission:

  • Promote health and sustainable food to the community
  • Tackle food poverty and food insecurity
  • Tackle diet related illness and health
  • Build community food knowledge, skills and resources
  • Promote a diverse and vibrant food economy
  • Transform catering and food procurement
  • Reduce waste and the ecological footprint of the food system

Ruth Davie, East Lothian Friendly Food Coordinator, Pennypit Trust, said:

"The East Lothian Friendly Food Network are delighted to announce the council has signed up to the good food charter. This partnership led initiative will connect communities and build stronger relationships with partners to tackle food inequalities. The network aims to be inclusive, progressive and representative of those with lived experience. This rights based approach is key to develop and design services at local and national levels."

For further information please contact Ruth Davie on 07515952631 or

Published: Wednesday, 25th May 2022