Croydon’s Food Flagship Programme

Growing food, learning to cook healthier food, and understanding the importance of a balanced, nutritious diet in preventing obesity are the principal aims of Croydon becoming a Food Flagship Borough.

Croydon’s Food Flagship Programme

Food Flagship legacy

Croydon and Lambeth were chosen to be London’s first Food Flagship boroughs to deliver projects between 2014 and 2017 that aim to tackle obesity among children and adults and support families to live longer and healthier lives.

The work in Croydon received funding from the council, Mayor of London and Department of Education. This included food growing projects in schools and the community, helping families to cook healthier, more nutritious meals and working with businesses to improve cooking methods.

The Mayor of London’s food adviser, Rosie Boycott, hailed Croydon’s Food Flagship a success.

Watch our video to see how the Food Flagship’s legacy will support healthy eating and food growing initiatives.


Going forward, the Flagship work will focus on Croydon becoming a Sugar Smart borough and a signatory to The Local Government Declaration on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food, an initiative helping local authorities tackle the proliferation and marketing of unhealthy food and drinks.

Plus, 3 more schools will be granted Food Flagship status to further embed healthy eating into their curriculum. More businesses will also get involved in the Eat Well Croydon scheme, adopting healthier cooking methods as well as improving menus for customers.

Residents can also find healthy eating and nutrition advice on the Be Food Smart page at


  • up to 21 schools have benefitted from the healthy eating skills offered by Croydon’s three current Food Flagship Schools – Rockmount Primary, Fairchildes Primary and Meridian High
  • infant school meal uptake has increased from 81% to 85.2% and key stage 2 meal uptake has increased from 53% to 64.5% across Croydon schools
  • 57 schools have increased their food-growing activities with pupils
  • a new Croydon school food plan, and staff training in food preparation, has led to healthier menus at breakfast and afterschool clubs and lunchtimes, and more kids eating school meals
  • more than 300 residents attended cooking and nutrition or horticultural courses at the Community Food Learning Centre in New Addington
  • 3 edible playgrounds were built across 4 schools, encouraging pupils to grow their own fruit and vegetables and consume the fresh produce
  • a new pop-up healthy food zone in partnership with local entrepreneurs opened outside Croydon College
  • residents who received training as master gardeners and food buddies clocked up over 1,000 hours of conversations with the public about food growing and nutrition

Food Flagship Programme evaluation

The Greater London Authority commissioned Prederi to look at what worked best for Croydon and Lambeth’s Food Flagships so that this knowledge can be shared with other organisations, boroughs and cities. 

More information

To find out more and the Croydon Food Flagship legacy programme, contact: Ashley Brown, Public Health Principal:

Visit the Change 4 Life for more information and support to make simple, healthy changes to your life.


Watch our first Food Flagship video which highlights how the Croydon Food Flagship set up the work with schools, communities and businesses to promote healthy eating and encourage food growing.