Our colleagues at Transition Town Faversham have been working with Protect Kent to produce a report on how local food is working in their community ... some food for thought for us in Deal?
From the TTF website at http://ttfaversham.wordpress.com
From Field to Fork: Favershamon May 28, 2012
The Campaign to Protect Rural have just published a fantastic report ‘From Field to Fork: Faversham’ about the local food web of Faversham.
The report is a heartening read; there is so much to be proud of within the town and surrounding area!
Key Facts about Faversham’s Local Food:
- Local food is abundant and accessible in Faversham – there is a huge amount of food grown locally to Faversham.
- There is a strong public demand for local food. 39 outlets out of 58 sell local food in Faversham. Annual sales of local food are estimated at £1.2-2.8 million!
- Local food supports local jobs. The report estimates that about 160 jobs are supported by the sales of local food in the Faversham area. In addition to this there are a further 250 jobs supported at the suppliers.
- Food contributes to the character and identity of our town. People are proud of Faversham’s local produce.
- The quality and freshness of local food is the main reason people buy local food. People also like the personal service they receive from local businesses.
- Local food strengthens our community. When people shop at local food businesses they talk to the producers. They also talk to people they know or neighbours whilst in town shopping locally.
- The town is aware of its local farming heritage and so local food contributes to a sense of community and belonging.
- Local food businesses use other local businesses – local hardware shops, local solicitors, local accountants etc.
- Local food businesses have a strong commitment to saving energy and reducing waste. There is often less packaging and waste from local food businesses.
Swale Borough Council should ensure strong and effective local planning policies are in place to:
- Maintain and strengthen Faversham’s retail diversity through a clear ‘town centre first’ approach to develop the vitality and vibrancy of the centre.
- Ensure the need for new retail space is objectively assessed using independent evidence.
- Set an appropriate size threshold for new stores above which they will be assessed for their impact on the town centre, on the economy of the rural area and on local food production.
- Support the growth of new local food outlets such as the farmer’s market, the community gardening and the allotments.
Local food business should work together to:
- Improve the marketing of local food so shoppers can identify local food and understand its benefits. The follwing would help: trying to overcome perceptions that shopping at local food businesses costs more, offering more information on who produced the food, where and how, holding local food tastings and events, developing ‘local’ brands.
- Explore and support local food initiatives to reduce costs and increase access to local food, such as co-operating to form a local food distribution hub.
- Shop widely to encourage a variety of local businesses and local food.
- Buy local food through local shops, markets and delivery schemes.
- Ask where the food we buy comes from and how it’s produced.
- Contact local planners and councillors to encourage them to support local food businesses. Start by sending them a copy of this report and asking them how they intend to use it!