The Growing Our Local Food Economy (GOLFE) project is coordinated by LESS, and has been very busy over the last year. You can keep up-to-date with the project by following news and events on our blog or by signing up to the GOLFE newsletter.
For those who don’t know, the GOLFE project aims to connect consumers with where their food comes from, in addition to identifying and removing the barriers to buying and selling local food in Lancaster District.
By using the term ‘local food’, we refer to food grown, produced, butchered, baked, pickled and sold within a 20 mile radius of Lancaster Town Hall. We are therefore working directly with independent food retailers and outlets that are in control of their own processes and purchasing practices (businesses that can increase their range of ‘local’ produce or organic and fairly traded produce if they desire – rather than having to go through a head office in London for example).
To help you find local food that meets the above criteria, we have created a local food directory for Lancaster District. This can be used to search for local ingredients, meals, drinks, organic produce, fairly traded produce and more. Businesses listed on the directory will soon be displaying local food window stickers, so keep your eyes peeled!
To inspire and support a move towards eating more local food we are running a local food challenge (source 30% of your food locally for three months). You can sign up to this challenge through the GOLFE here.
The GOLFE blog also provides a range of local food recipes, stories and resources that hope to make eating and cooking local food easier.
As part of the GOLFE project work, LESS has also been developing a Community Economic Development (CED) plan that hopes to lay out a strategy for growing Lancaster District’s local food economy.
The scoping work and market research for the CED plan have raised the need for a local food delivery scheme. This could use existing food delivery networks- such as milkmen- or could be created from scratch. To ensure that any local food delivery service meets local needs, we have created a quick online survey that hopes to gather your thoughts. You can contribute your thoughts up until the 4th March 2016 by visiting www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XP5CDYD
As part of the CED work we have also started to approach convenience stores and village shops throughout Lancaster District to try and increase their local food offerings. This work will hopefully lead to local food being more widely available.