A partnership of regional fruit & vegetable growers and some of Manchester's greenest retailers have recently secured a £20,000 grant to work more closely together. Kindling has helped secure funds from Making Local Food Work to establish a possible co-operative to co-ordinate what organic crops are grown; share expertise and equipment; increase marketing, co-ordinate distribution and find new outlets for the sustainable fresh produce.
The group includes producers like Glebelands City Growers, the newly formed Moss Brook Organic Growers, Dunham Massey Organics and Tom & Julia Rigby near Wigan, as well as buyers and distributors like DIG Box scheme and Unicorn Grocery.
The vision is for a more collaborative approach:
Local organic growers and buyers working together to: avoid wastage of food, co-ordinate supplying demand as locally as possible and, by strengthening relationships between growers and buyers and creating a more stable market for produce, increase fairness in the food supply chain.
The group has six aims:
1. To sell organic fruit & veg as widely as possible, including encouraging new or existing growers to go organic.
2. To minimise the difference between farm-gate and retail prices.
3. To support our businesses so that we can make a living.
4. To engage customers and show them what’s possible in the North West.
5. To do the right thing environmentally.
6. To co-operate between growers and between growers and buyers.
Over the next year Kindling will be working with the group to develop the structure and ways of working leading to an efficient way of working collaboratively. The aim of the group is not to be a wholesaler supplying the market with the same fruit and vegetables year round, but to increase the supply of organic produce that is in season locally, and to influence a range of buyers to purchase increased amounts of local, organic produce.
For more information about Making Local Food Work please visit: www.makinglocalfoodwork.co.uk