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Plunkett Foundation - Community Shops, Local Food

 

 

What are local shops and why are they important?

Local shops are often the heart of the community, whether they are commercially-owned or community-owned. Community-owned shops are those that are owned and run by the community themselves, often manned predominantly by volunteers. 

Research shows that 70% of consumers would like to buy more local food and drink; that 64% of consumers are willing to pay slightly more for locally produced food and drink; and that 65% thought their local shop increased their sense of community (Source:NOP/ACS).

What did we do?

The Look for Local Food project aimed to help community-run and traditional independent shops to stock and sell more locally produced food, thereby also creating valuable retail outlets for small-scale producers. 

Led by the Plunkett Foundation, the project offered an extensive support package including:

Up to three days 1:1 expert adviser support, including:

•    An initial visit to fully explain the scheme, assess the shop's priorities and identify gaps in the market
•    Help in finding suitable food and drink suppliers
•    Display and merchandising tips related to local food
•    Support with the promotion of local food ranges

Look for Local Practical Guide and Quick Reference cards, covering:
•    What is local food
•    Sourcing and stocking local food
•    Displaying local food
•    Launching local food

Point of sale and promotional material, including:
•    A1, A2, A3 and A4 posters
•    Shelf talkers
•    Tent cards
•    Window stickers
•    Large hanging sign

Further promotion and support from Making Local Food Work, such as:

National promotion of the scheme and its benefits
•    Access to training seminars and bespoke consultancy through the Specialist Enterprise Support team
•    Good governance training

Additional financial support for running a local food event, which can be used for:
•    Posters and marketing material
•    The cost of local food to be used as samples for the day

What impact did we have?

The aim of the project was to increase access to local food for communities, and to help local food producers find outlets for their food. By 2012, the project aimed to have supported 200 community and village shops in finding, stocking and selling more locally produced food and drink, and in doing so double the amount of local food sold through these shops. The project actually worked with 216 shops which spanned every region in England.

Aside from things like introducing new lines of local produce, having access to bespoke marketing materials and events and increasing the number of shoppers, beneficiaries also found that through the project they were inspired to think creatively, initiate changes and think differently about their business.

 



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