Somerset Local Food is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, established in 2002 to support the local Somerset economy and our rural communities.
Nowadays, we recognise the wider impact local food has on health and for our local environment, so we also measure our success by:
In the eleven months from January to November 2019, Somerset Local Food has contributed around £635,000 to the local economy through wages to local people and purchase of produce from local suppliers.
Of the total supplier spend:
Our targets for next year reflect our ambition to transition our supplier base to increase our social and environmental impact, including protecting and improving natural habitats to increase biodiversity, and we really want to get better at telling you what variety of produce we are providing each week. In a season we will move through 9 varieties of broccoli and 13 varieties of cauliflower … at least!
We also want to get better at using more heritage varieties and bring back more nutritious, healthier fresh produce for future generations that would otherwise be lost.
We are working with both Coventry and Plymouth Universities to build a social impact reporting framework that reflects our commitment to our Somerset communities, the health and wellbeing of individual residents and our beautiful local environment.
This year we have also represented Somerset on the A Peoples’ Food Policy steering group, became founder members of and presented at the launch of the Real Food Campaign, helped establish the South West Good Food Network, are participating in the EU wide Ruritage Project, spoken at a Green Wedmore meeting and are helping to establish a ‘feed Glastonbury’ group led by Rob at Paddington Farm.
Any surplus food we may have is donated to Wells Foodbank, the Elim Centre to help them with meals for the homeless and Glastonbury Community Kitchen, and this year’s Christmas donations will help fund a community meal in Glastonbury to help those in need and to bring people together to form new friendships to help reduce isolation and loneliness.
So when we say “We don’t just sell food“ we really mean it!!
The industrial food chain globally generates 30% of all GHG emissions and 50% of that is transportation, refrigeration, processing, packaging and waste, not to mention change of land use and loss of natural habitat.
Strikes us the best option to quickly reduce your personal carbon footprint and help protect the natural environment is to buy fresh produce from local growers who care about their local communities and the land they work, pasture fed meat and dairy from local small herds whilst ‘eating less and eating better’, consume less processed food and teach our children how to cook ‘real food’, and only dine out at places that also source their food locally.
A farmer said to me recently “at the end of the day we run a business and we’ll produce whatever the customer wants to buy.” You have the power to change the farming industry, and the wider economy through your purchasing choices, so now is the time to stop blaming others and be the change you want to see.