Food Partnership and Action Plan

Help us develop a Good Food Plan for Barking & Dagenham!

The City of London’s historic wholesale food markets are planning to relocate to Barking and Dagenham from 2027. To ensure our residents benefit from this major development, we’re creating a Good Food Partnership and Action Plan that will help all our residents access the food they want and need for happy, healthy lives. 

A Food Partnership is a network of local organisations and individuals working together on different aspects of food. Together, the network will create an Action Plan for shaping a fair, nourishing and environmentally sustainable food system that celebrates the borough’s rich heritage and diversity. 

If you would like to know more, or are interested in joining our Food Partnership, please sign up to our mailing list.

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What we already know about food in Barking & Dagenham  

We commissioned local community enterprise Company Drinks and national charity Sustain to ask residents, community food projects and local food businesses about the priorities for the borough’s food landscape.

What they did

  1. Formed a resident research panel to map existing resources and initiatives, identify our diverse food cultures and talk to residents across the borough about their food priorities
  2. Organised learning sessions with food champions from within the borough and further afield 
  3. Created a report with recommendations for our food programme and examples of good practice from other places 

Who participated in the research

  • 500+ residents (interviews, focus groups or online survey) 
  • 20+ social sector organisations  
  • 20+ businesses

The findings

The research team pulled together eight community demands and four priority areas:


Findings from community

Themes from community findings

What we're doing

The research is guiding the development of our Food Partnership and Action Plan, and other projects, including:

Improving food education and careers 

We are developing the vision for a borough food school in Barking town centre as a unique place to gain skills in world cuisine and food innovation. The school will support communities into good food jobs created by the markets and across London, as well as meeting the skills needs of the traders.  

We’re also working with schools to improve food education across the curriculum – with support from local good food entrepreneurs, the charity School Food Matters and our Council-owned, London Living Wage catering company BD Together, which is recognised by the Soil Association for its work to provide healthy and environmentally sustainable food to schools (Food for Life Silver Award). Contact our Food Education Coordinator on email if you are a local school and would like to find out more.  


Vicarage Field Food Hub

Architects Studio Egret West for Pinebridge Benson Elliott

Improving the food offer in Barking Town Centre 

We are developing plans for a food hall in Barking town centre including community kitchens and subsidised space for food entrepreneurs. It will provide a key resource to support local diverse, ethical, community-led food businesses to thrive as well as improving the food and beverage offer in the town centre. 

Supporting Good Food Enterprise   

We’re developing a Good Food Enterprise Programme to support both our early-stage and more established food enterprises. Support will include mentoring and grant opportunities, as well as advice and guidance around nutrition, sustainable supply chains and waste reduction. To find out more, join our mailing list. 

Helping residents to Grow, Cook, Eat good food 

We are working with social sector organisations to help communities grow, cook and share food together. Food is a great connector: as well as helping people access skills and support to be more food secure, participants are spending time together, sharing their food stories and creating recipes together. Everyone has something to contribute!  

The sessions are taking place in a number of community settings across the borough between March and June 2023. To find out more, email or sign up to our mailing list. 

Place Time Open to: Dates     Contact Name Contact email
Marks Gate Community Centre. Rose Lane, Chadwell Heath, Essex, RM6 5NJ 9:00-13:00 All 03-May 10-May 17-May Asma
Park Active Age Centre, Rectory Rd, Dagenham RM10 9SA 11:00-15:30 All 16-May 13-Jun   Jocey
The Source, Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, Ripple Rd, Barking IG11 8DQ 10:30-14:30 All 05-May 12-May 19-May Kay
Thames Community Hub, Bastable Ave, Barking IG11 0LH 17:00-19:00 All 18-May 15-Jun 13-Jul Khushnood
Future Youth Zone, 201-225 Porters Avenue, Dagenham, Essex, RM9 5YX 16:15-20:45 8-19 year olds, up to 25 years for those with additional needs Mondays and Thursdays     Laurence
Urban Promise UK, St Marks Church Centre, Belben Court, 165 Rose Lane, RM6 5NR 15:00-17:30 After School Club: Primary school children   Student Leaders: Ages 14-16 Mon - Thurs     Luke

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Church Elm Hub ‘Come Cook With Us'

Left to right: Church Elm Hub ‘Come Cook With Us!’; Asma Haq from Marks Gate Relief Project handing out slow cookers to residents as part of cooking clubs; Jocey and Lee from Church Elm Hub; BBC Radio London visit to ‘Come Cook With Us!’ at Marks Gate Community Hub; Masala Chicken, Vegetable Rice and Raita as made by the ‘Come Cook With Us!’ participants at Al Madina Mosque; Company Drinks research into resident’s favourite meals; Marie at Church Elm Hub ‘Come Cook With Us!’; Training Session for ‘Come Cook With Us!’ facilitators; Church Elm Hub ‘Come Cook With Us!’; Marks Gate resident  Shakina Tandra teaches cooking club participants how to make Bean Prawn Curry