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Sharing Learning from the Project

One of the ideas that the Food Supply and Distribution strand project aimed to investigate was whether a social enterprise model can address the problems of distribution from small-scale producers to small outlets and individual customers.

There is particular interest in how these activities could serve the needs of low-income consumers for whom market failures often result in poor provision of healthy and sustainable food.

Our work explored a diversified model for a food hub, which involves a number of different elements (like petals on a flower), some social, some environmental and some commercial that work together to create a vibrant social enterprise which builds communities through a range of activities around food.


The papers below explore some of the "petals" that our project partners developed:

  1. Adding value through catering services

  2. Distribution of surplus from allotments
  3. Building a local, sustainable catering provider: a case study of the development of Local Food Links

We also looked at organisational issues that affect the development of a food hub:

  1. An investigation into the workings of small scale food hubs
  2. Information technology and small scale food organisations: Is IT a nightmare?
  3. Growing Communities: a manual of monitoring and evaluation

 Building direct relationships between producers and consumers

One of the key aims of all the partners in the project was to purchase more supplies directly from producers. The papers below explore work around this subject:

  1. Supplying local food to food access projects
  2. Brokering local meat and vegetable supplies to the University of Cambridge
  3. Sharing distribution: a case study in Somerset
  4. An exploration of the possibilities for a London food hub
  5. Joining the Dots: a case study of collaborative food buying and sustainable distribution for London restaurants
  6. Growing Manchester's Veg People: a practial guide to the creation and development of an innovative growers' and buyers' co-operative 

Promoting and helping growers 

Over the course of the programme our projects have had an ongoing problem finding enough local produce to meet demand. The aim of the following reports is to encourage and support small scale and community based growers:

Films chart the work of the projects

Three short films tell the inspiring stories of three of the projects we have been working with:

The films look at the work of:

We hope that they will encourage more people to join in and take control of where their food comes from.

Evaluation and key learnings

The work of the strand has been independently evaluated by Dr Stuart Jones from the University of Glamorgan. You can read his report here.

For more information please contact Clare Horrell at clare@sustainweb.org





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