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Local Food Directory

This is our free directory to local food producers in suport of the Cornish Diet idea: 80%+ of your food produced in Cornwall. Miles better value than any supermarket : Reduction in food miles and energy use + Better for the local economy: more jobs + Increase in food security + Better animal welfare + Better social cohesiveness + Better value for money + Better deal for farmers + Better quality, fresher + Reskilling in traditional food preparation.
Free entries for Cornwall based food suppliers. Just click on 'Add new comment' describing your local food business or use the 'Contact us' form to send in your advert/ message to publish.
To comment on a producer, click on the producer item and click 'reply' at the bottom of the page.

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Cool dude in Bude

Cool dude in Bude

by Barb Baker

Paul Sousek of Cottage Farm Organics started the Bude Food Assembly in North Cornwall, UK
A fantastic sustainable food initiative has started in Bude, North Cornwall, UK – it has already won the Best British Food Initiative in the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2015 and they’ll also be featured on BBC Countryfile on BBC One, scheduled for broadcast on 15th November. The idea is to bring people together to buy fresh food directly from local farmers and producers so that farmers get a fairer price for what they produce and people who join the Assembly get locally sourced food – from producers within 150 mile radius of where they live.

The Bude Food Assmebly was started by Paul Sousek, an organic farmer from Bude (www.cottagefarmorganics.co.uk). He explains that in a way it’s a bit like an online farmer’s market – local people can buy local food (from fruit, veg, milk and bread to cheese, meat, pies, cakes, beer and wine) just as they would at a farmer’s market. There are around 30 producers at the moment in the Bude Assembly, offering about 300 products – all from within a 20 mile radius of Bude, and as word gets round, more are signing up. Once registered, the 700 plus members already registered with the ‘click & collect’ scheme can choose their products online, pay by debit or credit card and then either collect their shopping from a specific venue, or have it delivered. It’s free to register and there is no fee to pay, no commitment to buy and no minimum spend.

‘For me, one of the best things about the Assembly is seeing it work – and for that to happen it needs to be almost as convenient as shopping at a supermarket or local shop: good choice, reasonable prices, convenience and a one-stop solution. The Food Assembly achieves that, plus it allows producers to retain almost all of the retail price, not just the 20-40 per cent they would typically get from a supermarket chain, or the 30-50 per cent they’d get if they sold in a shop. Selling direct via the Food Assembly means our farmers and producers receive over 83 per cent of the retail price, which is amazing,’ says Paul.

Paul says the biggest challenge is encouraging people who have signed up to be members to actually order something. Out of their 700 members, only about 200 have placed an order so far.‘We have to continue to be innovative and add features to help people decide to actively support it – home deliveries, unusual products, seasonal food, and as wide a choice of local food as possible, so they can genuinely get their weekly shop with us if they want to.’ Paul is constantly on the look-out for new ideas to inspire people to support the initiative. For example he now organises a monthly Taste Fest too, when many of the local food producers bring along samples for everyone to try – ‘a sort of mini Bude For Food Festival’, says Paul.

It seems to me that this brilliant concept which empowers people to eat fresh, local food and enables producers to sell directly to consumers, definitely deserves success. It ticks all the boxes in terms of sustainability and is also a way to bring communities together. It’s great to mooch around a Farmer’s Market and buy local food. And it’s great to have a veg box delivered too. But signing up to be part of a specific local group, all interested in supporting specific local producers and perhaps meeting up at the regular venue when you collect your purchases, is appealing. People moan about new supermarkets opening up in their area at the expense of smaller shops, but if we all supported initiatives like these, then more farmers and food producers could get a much fairer price for all their hard work.

If you’re interested in starting a Food Assembly in your local area (known as being a ‘Host’), check out www.foodassembly.com.

Keep up with the latest happenings at the Bude Food Assembly at https://www.facebook.com/BudeForFoodAssembly

Quick Notes

The Food Assembly concept started in France where it is known as La Ruche qui dit Oui!. The first UK Assembly was launched in the UK in July 2014, in Hackney, London. There are now Food Assemblies throughout the UK as well as in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Italy (around 900 in all). Each Assembly is an independent and local project, but also a part of The Food Assembly collective.

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