Steering group forms to develop a food partnership for Eastbourne

3VA is excited to have recently convened a meeting to provide local groups with the opportunity to share views on the potential development of a food partnership for Eastbourne. At the meeting, Edible EastbourneCommunity StuffEastbourne Hospitality Association and other participants decided that a steering group be formed to develop a food partnership for Eastbourne, which should be an independent community initiative.

The idea of a food partnership or network in Eastbourne was originally discussed at the Eastbourne Community Network meeting in July 2017 and was subsequently the subject of an exploratory meeting of community network participants and others on 11 September. At the most recent meeting, Stephen Hughes, 3VA's Community Development Officer for Eastbourne, circulated a report from Sustainable Food Cities and a check-list for groups considering adopting the sustainable foods partnership model.

Participants considered what the key issues and priorities might be for a food partnership in Eastbourne, what sort of vision there might be and the options for structure and governance arrangements.

Key issues and priorities discussed included:

  • Cooking and cookery skills
  • Fair Share and issues around storage and distribution, accessing good quality food and linking with food markets and supermarkets community objectives
  • Influencing the public and policy makers
  • Education, campaigning and food poverty.

A ‘vision’ for the food partnership was discussed and it was agreed that it could focus on some or all of the issues discussed and be accompanied by clarity of purpose and values such as sharing information, collaboration and mutual support for funding purposes. Development of a coherent vision will be essential as this will form the basis for the food partnership's aims and objectives moving forward.

Participants at the meeting also discussed the options for a formal structure that would support decision making and provide the best vehicle for delivery of its activities and funding. The group discussed how other food partnerships have developed and decided that the partnership should be open to all sectors, including the private sector. In terms of funding, the partnership's need of a dedicated resource in terms of staff time was discussed, so funding would be needed for a part-time salary for a coordinator to get things moving and be self-servicing.

3VA is delighted to continue to facilitate meetings and record partnership decisions until the food partnership becomes self-servicing.

Next steps

There is still time to get involved to help shape the group's aims as the next meeting take place in the new year! If your group or organisation is interested in joining the steering group, please contact Stephen Hughes at or on 01323 639 373 ext. 208 (landline) or 07539 887 845 (mobile).

You can also read the minutes from the meeting in full.