Lancaster District Food Hub comes a step closer
A new initiative to connect local food producers and farmers with local customers gets off the ground with surveys of local farmers, food producers and processors and caterers LESS, a local social enterprise which works across Lancaster District to promote a fair, healthy and resilient food system, is now exploring the potential for a Food Hub in North Lancashire.
Food Hubs exist around the UK to support more direct trading between local food producers, businesses and individuals. The aim is to provide local infrastructure to strengthen our local food network, and promote and support a growing number of small-scale businesses who are producing food in a sustainable manner.
We have seen a number of shocks to the global food system in recent years – with Covid-19, coming out of the European Union and the war in Ukraine. In addition, extreme weather events have impacted food growing in Spain and other places which supply UK markets. This has led many people to question more closely where their food comes from and how it is produced.
Ellen Pearce, coordinator of the work at LESS, said: ‘The Food Hub idea comes from speaking with small producers around Lancashire and Cumbria, many of whom face challenges with marketing and selling their produce and the logistics of local sales and distribution, especially with rising transportation and fuel
At the same time, many people in Lancaster District would like to buy more locally produced food but find it hard to know where and how to source it conveniently.
The Food Hub concept aims to bridge the gap – bringing together local producers and providing coordinated distribution for local customers and businesses. The idea is that by sharing delivery routes and using decarbonised vehicles, food miles can be reduced and deliveries become more viable. It’s exciting to think that this could become a reality!’
Tara Morris, researcher for the Food Hub work, said:
‘Food Hub models vary by place and each of them is defined by and unique to the community that it serves.
We are now asking local food producers, processors and caterers to share their views via our surveys. We are interested in how the Food Hub infrastructure could help their businesses and make supplying locally more viable.
We see potential advantages in sharing back-office functions, which may also be
Existing successful Food Hubs have been developed around the UK, from Tamar Valley in Devon to Glenkens in Galloway.
To have your say, please visit https://foodfutures.org.uk/food-hub-survey/ for more information and links to the surveys. Deadline for responses is 3 December.