Making Local Food Work is helping people to find community enterprise approaches that empower them to meet their own food needs so that they can enjoy access to healthy and inexpensive local food. The project is being led by the Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with institutions such as the Soil Association and Campaign to Protect Rural England and aims to reconnect the producers and consumers of food, giving people throughout England better access to local food.
Headingley Pig Co-op near Leeds is just one inspiring example of the community enterprises that the Big Lottery-funded programme is working with. Based on a successful trial with chickens, a local community group has formed a direct buying co-operative in conjunction with a nearby organic farm. For a modest membership fee and a quarterly payment, each member is given a pre-agreed number of cuts of humanely-reared, free range, certified organic pork. Not only does this mean that the quality of the meat is assured and members are able to go and see for themselves that the pigs are well cared for and humanely slaughtered, but the guaranteed income and lack of a middleman mean that the farmer can afford to sell it to them at prices that are competitive with even the biggest supermarkets.
The farmer, Jo Cartwright (pictured below) says: “The Fowl and Pig Co-ops give my business an element of stability in these tricky times. It makes my life a lot easier, because I can plan for the coming months more accurately and I can pay the feed bill when it hits my doormat. I would recommend it to anyone!”
The Making Local Food Work website is full of advice on how communities can improve their access to fresh, healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food with clear provenance – exactly the kind of food that everyone should be entitled to.
The Making Local Food Work conference, Communities Taking Control takes place on 30th March in Birmingham. For further information about the conference and about how the Making Local Food Work programme is working with communities throughout England, contact Elizabeth of Mar on behalf of the Plunkett Foundation on 07870 276375 or by email.
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