Food Economy Working Group

FoodFutures aims to support local residents in becoming food citizens; empowering people to shape both the local and global food system for the better through their actions and buying choices. Through these combined actions we can help increase fresh food access, create meaningful and secure food jobs, regenerate our environment, and support sustainable food producers around the world.

The Food Economy and Procurement working group exists to increase demand for sustainable food and increase the capacity for local, sustainable food production in the region. It facilitates strategy and projects that help to build a thriving local food economy.

This group currently meets every two months.

This group’s two year priorities:

Cultivating food citizenship and creating demand for local food
  • Seek funding to develop a North Lancashire Chefs and Growers Network and the co-creation of a North Lancashire Diet.
  • Develop a Resilient Food Game to use as a resource for conversations across our communities – from school students to grandparents.
  • Seek funding for feasibility work and development of a Good Food Charter – building on our Resilient Food Checklist
Pathways for sustainable and regenerative food production locally
  • Coordinate and scale up the North Lancashire FarmStart Scheme (The Plot) to increase training and business opportunities for new entrant growers. This should include: increasing membership of the FoodFriends fundraising scheme; establishing other sustainable funding mechanisms; supporting trainees in establishing new businesses; and seeking out collaboration with local further education institutions to create supportive career pathways for students and trainees.
  • Seek funding to support farmers in transition, including a coordinator role to work with other local networks to support farmers in the transition to agroecology as recommended by the ‘Our Future in the Land’ report from the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.
  • Trial approaches for a FoodFutures producer forum to act as a sounding board for emerging ideas (such as food hubs, new procurement approaches, grower co-ops) and a network for sharing knowledge, skills and training opportunities.
Re-economy: growing our regenerative food economy
  • Seek funding to support feasibility work on food economy infrastructure and pathways including: an online marketplace, distribution models including food hubs, closed-loop enterprise opportunities and local food directory development.
  • Seek funding to support emerging REconomy ideas through community grant-giving and ‘Dragon’s Den’-style events to support the growth of community and social enterprises across the district that protect and heal natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimise waste. 
  • Complete a ‘land audit’ to map out potential land for allotments, community gardens, market gardens and biodiversity corridors.
Annual activities
  • Develop case studies that highlight good practice around regenerative food production, enterprises and economies – feeding into FoodFutures magazine, weekly food columns in the Lancaster Guardian, blogs, videos and an annual campaign.
  • Support coordination and development of the Northern Real Farming Conference – an annual gathering of farmers, growers, food producers, food activists and others working to put regeneration, fairness, people and nature at the heart of our food system.

How to get involved

  • If you are interested in supporting the work of the food economy and procurement working group, contact Ellen Pearce: ellen@lessuk.org You can find dates of upcoming meetings, learn about our future plans and read past minutes here.
  • Become a FoodFriend and support the development of sustainable food work in Lancaster District.
  • Buy from the local food businesses listed on our Local Food Directory.
  • Start your own sustainable food business! We would love to hear about your ideas and support you where we can. We can also list new businesses on the local food directory and promote your work in our weekly food column and via our networks.
  • There are LOADS of food events going on in the District all the time, so check out our calendar to see what’s on over the coming weeks.
radishes in a hand

Food Economy Resources

Use our Local Food Directory.

Check out our Seasonal Food calendar

Check out this UK-based guide to buying local and seasonal food

Aims to identify and establish practical initiatives that increase the accessibility of local produce in the District

Read

Sign up as a customer or a retailer

www.independent-lancaster.co.uk

Ethical Consumer magazine

www.ethicalconsumer.org

Learn how to to set one up with friends and neighbours (PDF)

The Landworkers Alliance

A union of farmers, growers, foresters and land-based workers aiming to create a better food and land-use system for everyone.

Join as a member or supporter

Case Studies

  • Become a FoodFriend and support local farms Written by Ellen...

  • Lancaster District’s FarmStart Scheme Anna Clayton, a food...

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