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Transition Matters

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PaulS's picture

Cornish Diet for our Councilors

I have circulated the idea of 'Cornish Diet' to several of our local newly elected Councilors. If the Council would introduce the Cornish Diet' as a Council policy into every school and other eating establishments financed by the Council, it would have a large and lasting effect on the whole of the Cornish economy:


The Cornish Diet

The principle of The Cornish Diet is very simple: it requires that a large percentage of food consumed originates from Cornwall. Eventually this percentage could be set at 85%, but could start much lower and gradually increase.

Just imagine the impact of the Council adopting such a scheme for all the Council financed catering establishment in schools, colleges, council offices, perhaps hospitals and any other establishments either directly financed by the Council or where the Council can exercise its influence. Further more, with a bit of publicity, supermarkets as well as private food shops and farm shops could hopefully be persuaded to label all Cornish food as such, allowing the people of Cornwall to also do their best to follow suit.

Such a policy would have a great re-invigorating effect on Cornish farming, food processing, tourist, hospitality and indirectly on many other sectors and thus on the whole Cornish economy. It is win-win scheme for the whole County.

I hope you will put forward and/or support The Cornish Diet at the new Council.

Couple of practical points:

1. Your officers should be able to establish very quickly what the current percentage of Cornish food is in Council financed establishments. Having done that, I would suggest setting the Cornish Diet percentage at that level for the first three month and then increasing that percentage by 5% every three months.

2. To allow small scale suppliers to compete and grow to allow the Diet to be implemented, the Council would need to:
- Announce the scheme, give it fair publicity, including the increasing targets
- Have some simple registration process on the Council website for any Cornish food producers/ processors to indicate their interest in participating
- Put some effort into ensuring that even small producers are able to participate at least at a local level
- Apply the principle of subsidiarity - to delegate selection to the lowest possible level, where small local producers will be able to compete

3. Set the policy up with clear long term development path so that growers and producers can clearly see a potential future market for their produce and can therefore invest in capacity:
grain and flour production, potatoes, vegetables, meat of course, but also much needed increase in fruit and nut production and greenhouse produced vegetables to either extend the season (as is done in other Counties) or produce fruit and vegetable not normally grown in Cornwall.

I am sure there is much that could be done to develop the policy further and no doubt your officers will be able to do so. But time is short, so if you are in support of resilience for Cornwall, please try and have the scheme launched within the first 100 days in office, before the inevitable political rot sets in.