NESFA is the North East Sustainable Food Alliance. NESFA is an informal alliance, originally created between the three founding Sustainable Food Places partnerships in North East England – Newcastle, Middlesbrough and County Durham. It now includes new and fledgling partnerships in the region, including Sunderland Good Food Partnership, and the Hartlepool and South Tyneside food partnerships, and we hope more in the future. NESFA’s main aim is to focus on food systems activity at a larger, more regional scale than the individual food partnerships. This provides a collective Sustainable Food Places voice in regional discussions and consultations. The alliance is independent of other regional food initiatives but collaborates with other organisations on a project-by-project basis, in accordance with NESFA’s aims and principles. NESFA’s key aims:

  • build relationships between food partnerships and with relevant cross sector partners
  • provide a platform for collaboration
  • explore and agree common ground
  • provide mutual support
  • share knowledge and expertise
  • develop and deliver joint projects
  • amplify the voice of food partnerships in the region

NESFA’s definition of sustainable food and drink

NESFA defines sustainable food and drink as that which is produced, processed, traded, consumed and disposed of in ways that:

  • Support North East food and drink businesses, contributing to thriving local economies that sustain the livelihoods of people working in our region
  • Promote environmental sustainability, protecting the diversity and health of plants and animals, avoiding damage to natural resources and minimising our contribution to climate change
  • Provide social benefits, ensuring people have access to good quality, safe and healthy products, as well as opportunities to come together, learn about food and drink, nature and our great North East cultural heritage.

Collaborative projects

Active – Good Food Local North East: The North East has been chosen to pilot a project which will see the region work towards more healthy and sustainable food for its residents. A regional partnership led by the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and supported by NESFA and other emerging food partnerships will deliver Good Food Local North east over the next three years.   Good Food Local is a project run by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, with funding from Impact on Urban Health. Sustain has been working with local authorities in London for over 10 years to track data relating to the availability of healthy and sustainable food and wants to roll the scheme out nationwide. The project will include agreeing a North East Good Food framework and benchmarking programme to encourage local authorities to make commitments to good food across the region. Good Food Local | Sustain (

Active – Dynamic Food Procurement (DFP) in North East England: This project aims to further DFP in the North East of England. NESFA has convened and facilitated several meetings with procurement organisations, local authorities and other anchor institutions to promote and support the adoption of DFP. The project is ongoing and the final report will be made available here.

Concluded – Good Food Economy Pilot: This project aimed to grow the sustainable food economy in the North East, increase local businesses’ understanding of food sustainability and trial a new way of working regionally. It was a collaborative project between NESFA and Food and Drink North East (FADNE):


To contact NESFA, please email one or all of the following people:

Alex Young

Middlesbrough Food Partnership

Julian Penton

Hartlepool Food Partnership