Last month, Bristol Food Producers paid us a visit as part of their quest for models to increase the amount of local veg being consumed in the city. Coordinator Steph Wetherell explains why that brought them to us...
Bristol Food Producers is a network of growers, producers, retailers, distributors and supporters who are working to increase local food production in the city. One of the big challenges we face in Bristol is that there's very little in the way of local veg reaching retailers and restaurants in the city. A group of us began meeting together to discuss how this could be improved. We have been aware of the work Kindling have been doing for a while through national events like the Oxford Real Farming Conference but we discovered Manchester Veg People when starting to look further into models of collaboration between growers and businesses.
We were inspired to visit Kindling because, as an organisation, they tackle so many different aspects around local farming and food, and this is what we aspire for Bristol Food Producers to become. We organised this trip specifically to focus on the challenge of linking businesses and growers more effectively and to find out more about Manchester Veg People (MVP), how it started and how it operates.
The journey both Kindling Trust and MVP have been on was really inspiring and left us all excited for the road ahead. We're actively looking into whether a similar model to MVP might have a place in Bristol and whether it is viable in the city. The information we learnt on the day will stand us in good stead on this investigation. In the bigger picture, we left encouraged to just try different projects and accept that some things will work, and some might not. But to keep trying!
It's also inspired us to think about future visits and farm tours; as a group it was a really inspiring trip and we'd like to build on that by visiting other organisations who are operating around the country and learn from them too!