Our definition of local food: ‘the product should be produced within 30 miles of where it is sold’ was taken up and is still used by the supermarket chain Waitrose and FARMA, the UK association of farm shops and certified farmers’ markets.
Our From Field to Fork reports made the case for supporting local food from producer to customer through diverse high streets with independent outlets and thriving markets, a varied farming industry, and shoppers engaging with their food, caring about where it comes from and who produced it. This research has been welcomed by numerous senior politicians and MPs including chancellor George Osborne, and Environment minister Rory Stewart.
We produced a comprehensive Mapping Local Food Webs Toolkit to enable local communities to campaign for new local food outlets or to challenge out-of-town supermarkets. Volunteers who researched the Ledbury food web helped fight off superstore developments from Tesco and Sainsbury’s using their evidence of the town’s local food network and its contribution to local prosperity and keeping their area special.
We have also created a new leaflet, Local Food: your pocket guide, which gently informs consumers nationwide of the how's and why's of choosing local food.
Through engagement with key national policy makers, local food is now considered to be an important element in achieving a sustainable food and farming system. But more should be done by local councils to support local sustainable supply such as the excellent work being done by Bristol City Council.
We are working to change the way people think about where their food comes from so why not try our 30:30 challenge and tell us how you get on?