About us

Food Exeter is an independent multi-sector partnership organisation working for sustainable and healthy food for all in Exeter. We became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in March 2019 with registered charity no. 1182605. The new CIO will have a membership-based structure, and will be formally launched in the summer of 2019.

We seek to rediscover and redevelop localised food systems in and around Exeter. Our Strategy sets out a long term vision for change, across a wide range of food-related issues – poverty, waste, supporting the local economy, cooking, growing and food know how skills, environmentally positive growing and processing.

We have ambitious but we think achievable goals, which link to the broader strategy of Sustainable Food Cities. If you or your organisation are interested in working with us to achieve any of the goals in the strategy, or you have ideas about other strategic level changes, please get in touch: info@foodexeter.org.uk

How we work

Food Exeter is all about collaboration across sectors and organisations. We have no statutory powers and so work through dialogue & persuasion, sharing information and opening up opportunities to see things differently.   Most of our work over the past few years has been done voluntarily, but thanks to a number of successful grant applications from April 2018 onward we have been able employ part-time staff to help support our activities.

The Steering Group meets every few months to check on progress towards the aims set out in our strategy, and more regular administrative work is done by the Exec Group. The real work of discussion, research, and generating new ideas, takes place in the Working Groups.  We have two active working groups at present – ‘Fair Access to Food’ and ‘Routes to Market’, but others could be set up if the Steering Group believes that there is a strategic issue that needs exploration.

Work in progress

Our history

Exeter Food Network was set up in 2014, in response to the growing number of projects, groups and businesses that had interests relating to local food. Membership grew steadily, members met every few months, many useful links were made and sharing of resources and information blossomed.

In 2015, the Network agreed to sign up as one of the UK’s Sustainable Food Cities, a commitment which required the network to work towards ambitious goals and to produce a Strategy document setting out those goals.

It became clear that a loose network couldn’t take on this role, so a Steering Group was formed from some of the Network’s members. The Steering Group began the slow process of developing a strategy that was both ambitious but achievable in the medium to long term.

The last stage of this process was the decision to change our name to Food Exeter – a name that embraces both the Steering Group and the Network.

The first Food Exeter Strategy was launched in October 2017.