Examples of Food Durham's work around the county

Veg Cities Durham

Did you know that very few people eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables every day? Only 20% of children and adults eat their 3.5 portions and for teenagers that drops to just 5%!

Veg Cities Durham is part of a national campaign led by Sustain in collaboration with the Peas Please Initiative.

The message is simple:

By working together in County Durham we can

Grow, cook, sell, serve and save more vegetables

Organisations and businesses including schools, community centres, cafes and restaurants, leisure centres and health settings are signing up to the local campaign and committing to lots of small actions that help people to include more vegetables into their daily meals.

Get Involved

You can join in the VEGCITIES (Durham) campaign by visiting the VegCities website to make your own pledge. You can find out more about the VegCities campaign and #EatThemToDefeatThem here and follow Veg Cities Durham on Twitter

Sugar Smart Durham

Did you know, some people eat as many as 40 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR every day? That’s more than five times the recommended daily allowance.

Sugar Smart Durham is part of a national campaign led by Sustain and the Jamie Oliver Foundation.

The message is simple:

Joined up local action to make a real difference and help people to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet.

Organisations and businesses including schools, community centres, leisure centres and health settings are signing up to the local campaign and committing to lots of small actions that help people to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet.

Get Involved

To join in the Durham Sugar Smart campaign, visit the Sugar Smart website. 

Sustainable Fish City

A national campaign coordinate by Sustain, it requires local businesses, schools and public sector providers to pledge to only serve sustainable fish.

On 1st July 2015 at a mini-conference about Sustainable Local Food Procurement for the Public Sector we celebrated achieving 4 stars with the support of the then Deputy Mayor of Durham, Cllr Bill Moir.

Then after two years of hard work Durham City became only the second city in the UK to achieve the full 5-Star award, which was presented to Cllr Bill Moir, Deputy Mayor, by Ruth Westcott from Sustain at a food procurement conference in early July 2016.

Their five-star Sustainable Fish City rating means that food served across all Durham University colleges and departments will only ever contain sustainable fish, as will all meals served to patients, staff and visitors in County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. Sustainable fish will be on the menu at Durham County Council’s offices, in school meals in all the county’s primary schools, and in food served in New College Durham, East Durham College and Finchale College, Durham’s Botanic Gardens, and across many of the city’s top restaurants. The combined commitments cover businesses and institutions serving well over twelve and a half million meals per year and mean that the majority of fish served out of home will be covered by a pledge.

Celebrating the achievement at the second food procurement mini-conference, Deputy Mayor Bill Moir said “We are delighted to have become only the second city in the UK to achieve Sustainable Fish City status. I am proud of all the businesses and institutions in Durham that have come together to say that they will only serve sustainable fish. Cities like Durham can do a lot to help protect our oceans by saying that they will only buy fish which is verifiably sustainable, and this sends a clear message down the supply chain that we want to reward responsible fishing.”

The institutions involved have committed to remove all products containing fish considered to be ‘fish to avoid’ by the Marine Conservation Society, and serve those considered ‘fish to eat’ and those which are MSC certified. A number of Durham’s pledges will have a big impact outside the city, including supporter Tiffin Sandwiches, who produce over 7 million sandwiches per year for sale in shops and take-aways across the country. Taylor’s, the local fish suppliers, have customers across Northern England and Taylor Shaw, the company that supplies school meals across the county are strongly considering rolling out this initiative across all of their business.

Durham’s campaign has been led by Food Durham and the catering team at Durham University. Liz Charles, Manager of Food Durham said ‘It is fantastic to see what we can achieve as a city when we come together to say that we only want to serve fish from sustainable stocks. This award is fantastic for Durham but even better news for the beautiful marine ecosystems that are at risk from overfishing.”

The award comes as part of Food Durham’s wider initiative to create a healthier, fairer, and greener food system by getting more people growing food, improving access to good food and supporting local supply chains.

Get Involved

It is not too late to make a pledge to buy and serve sustainably sourced fish, and you don’t need to be in Durham City. If you run a business anywhere in the County that provides food  to staff or customers that includes fish, please get in touch.

More information about the campaign, and to see who has signed in Durham, visit

Waste Less, Save More

The Waste and Resources Action Programme estimates that the average UK household with children throws away £700 worth of food that could have been eaten.

Food Durham has been chosen by Sainsbury’s to be a Discovery Community member and has received funding for 12 months to try out new ways of helping residents to reduce food waste in the home. Led by Durham County Council’s Strategic Waste Management Team, and involving delivery partners such as REfUSE CIC we are working with communities and businesses on a suite of activities including:

  • Three community fridges have been installed in community venues at Shildon, Chester-Le-Street, and Consett. Food that would otherwise have gone to waste is donated by local businesses an is available for anyone to pick up.
  • The food sharing app Olio is being promoted in Durham City and other venues. This is a simple way of anyone sharing unwanted food with others via an app:
  • Zero Waste Kitchen Challenge – 10 households try to reduce food waste over a 4 week period
  • Feed the 1,000 events: add dates and venues

To follow the campaign visit

For more information about Waste Less, Save More see:

Other Partner Campaigns and Projects