Our Vision

  • Belfast is a city of good food for all, where healthy, sustainable food is available and accessible to everyone.

Our Mission

Belfast Food Network (BFN) will work with partners to:

  • Promote a greater appreciation of the role and importance of healthy and sustainable food – fresh, local, seasonal – amongst the public, policy-makers and institutions.
  • Inspire key organisations to work individually and together to link initiatives around sustainable food to drive positive social, economic and environmental change
  • Develop our broad cross-sector partnership to involve public sector bodies, the community and voluntary sector and local businesses which will work together to establish a successful Sustainable Food City in Belfast.

Advisory Group

Members of the Advisory Group (AG) represent all sectors of the local food system, drawn from organisations and individuals who are interested in creating a more sustainable food system in Belfast.  Members include representatives from:

  • Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (Chair)
  • Belfast City Council
  • Belfast Education & Library Board
  • Belfast Healthy Cities
  • Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens
  • Food NI
  • Food Standards Agency (NI)
  • Institute of Public Health in Ireland
  • NI Environment Link
  • NI Local Government Association
  • Public Health Agency
  • Queens University
  • Sustainable NI
  • Ulster University
  • Yellow Door
  • All members support BFN’s Vision and Mission and agree to work towards achieving those goals. AG members will agree the appointment of new AG members where there are gaps or when the group requires specific expertise.
  • The number of members of the AG will be a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20.


  • The AG will elect an independent Chair from a non-commissioning body[1] and Vice Chair from the group.  These posts will be re-elected annually by the AG and ratified by the SNI board which has overall governance responsibilities for the BFN Project.

Working Groups

  • Working Groups will be convened to address each of BFN’s six key issues to develop and deliver the agreed Action Plan.
  • Each Working Group will be convened by a member of the AG who will report on progress at the quarterly meetings.
  • The co-ordinator of the BFN will support the activities of the working groups as appropriate.

Working Group Conveners

  • The Convener will assemble a proactive and engaged group of relevant bodies and individuals to develop and deliver the thematic element of the agreed action plan.
  • The Convener will ensure that the working group meets often enough to deliver the agreed action plan and ensure that action points are disseminated in a timely fashion to the Coordinator and working group members.

AG Responsibilities

  • Oversee the development of the Belfast Food Network Action Plan and monitor its delivery.
  • Help to develop and strengthen cross-sector partnerships in Belfast and beyond that can help to deliver the BFN Mission.
  • Help to promote the BFN, its activities and the importance of healthy, sustainable food.
  • Help to develop clear communications, particularly to partner organisations, through our website, newsletters and social media platforms.
  • Assist in identifying funding, support funding applications and help to attract investment for projects that can help to deliver our Mission.

AG Meeting arrangements 

  • Meetings will take place quarterly.
  • The quorum for voting at meetings will be 50% of the group.
  • Meeting agendas, minutes and papers will be sent out at least one week before each meeting.
  • Members who have not attended four consecutive meetings will be assumed to have resigned from the group, unless, on the basis of information, the group decides otherwise.
  • A member of the group must identify any areas of personal or pecuniary interest before discussion on that item and if deemed necessary will leave the room for discussion on that item.

Clarification of relationship

  • Sustainable Northern Ireland (SNI) manages the Belfast Food Network under a three-year project (“Sustainable Food Cities”) 2014-2017
  • Under a Memorandum of Agreement with Sustainable NI, funding is provided by the Soil Association and Belfast City Council.
  • The Memorandum of Agreement describes the working relationship between the Sustainable Food Cities programme partners (Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain) and Sustainable Northern Ireland, as the accountable body of the Belfast Food Network.
  • As the accountable body under this agreement, the governance responsibilities for the project lie with the Board of Sustainable NI.
  • At least one SNI Board member should be on the BFN Advisory Group to provide an appropriate linkage to the project.
  • The role of the Advisory group of the Belfast Food Network is as otherwise described above.


[1] In this context “Non Commissioning Body” means a body that is not contributing finance to the project

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