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Making Local Food Work newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of the Making Local Food Work newsletter

April saw a very busy time for all involved with Making Local Food Work. With our final, sold-out national
conference taking place at the end of March, a farmers’ market and community shops event in Birmingham, a
one-off magazine being launched, Good Food, Good Governance training, and CSA and food co-op
networking events all taking place, not to mention a whole host of new publications, resources and films
being launched, April certainly seemed to fly by! Read on for the latest news from the Making Local Food
Work partners, forthcoming events, new sources of information and resources and wider news from across
the local, sustainable, community food enterprise sector.

New Lottery funding helps secure future of community food sector
We’re delighted to share the news with you that the Big Lottery Fund has announced it will continue to
support the community food sector to the tune of almost £500,000.
Speaking at Making Local Food Our Future, Big Lottery
Fund’s Chief Executive, Peter Wanless, said:
“The Making Local Food Work programme was
unprecedented; it was the first time any funder had supported
such a project which brought together seven organisations –
the leaders in their respective fields – to work collaboratively
to improve life for England’s urban and rural communities. We
are incredibly proud of the impact Making Local Food Work
has had over the past five years, and we’re delighted to
announce we’re able to continue supporting the community
food sector to thrive.
“Through our Supporting Change programme, we are able to provide further funding for all eleven projects
which make up Making Local Food Work, but we are also able, through Supporting Impact, to further award
three of the projects that have demonstrated outstanding impact and a clear, sustainable way forward.”
Plunkett Foundation’s Jennifer Smith, Head of Programme Management for Making Local Food Work, said:
“The Supporting Impact funding will allow ongoing support to the community food sector on three different
levels: supporting individual enterprises with the specific needs to be more viable enterprises, supporting
clusters of enterprises to actively cooperate and work together on a greater scale, and reviewing how to
sustainably support the network of individuals actively working in the community food sector. We are excited
about this opportunity and see our role as helping community food enterprises reach their goals of providing
economic, environmental and social change in the food system.”
Since 2007 Making Local Food Work has supported 1,327 community food enterprises to be more
sustainable, which in turn have helped 6,971 producers; 6,410 volunteers; 5,235 employees reach 3.4
million customers. It is a partnership of seven organisations: CPRE; Co-operatives UK; Country Markets
Ltd; FARMA; Plunkett Foundation; Soil Association and Sustain. It has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund
through its Changing Spaces programme.

Small scale food production must be supported in the urban fringe, says report
There is a huge opportunity for a greater level of small-scale food production in the fringe of towns and cities
which is currently being missed, says a new report commissioned by Making Local Food Work.
The report, based on research with seven community and local food businesses operating in the urban
fringe, identified a range of opportunities for smaller-scale food production on land around urban areas, and
highlighted the potential of such land given its close proximity to largely populated areas – dramatically
cutting down the distance food would have to travel.
But the report, undertaken by local food consultants f3 and the Countryside and Community Research
Institute, also called for more to be done to remove the barriers currently stopping this land from being used.
Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, and Director of Making Local Food Work, said:
“The urban fringe is a valuable asset for the resilience of our food sector. By supporting agricultural use of
this land and welcoming food production near towns and cities, we are safeguarding our own food future, and
that of generations following us.”
This report is one of a series of research studies undertaken by Making Local Food Work. Food from the
Urban Fringe – Issues and Opportunities is available online at

Huge range of resources available for community food enterprises
We are delighted to share with you the huge range of resources now available on the Making Local Food
Work website – The comprehensive range of resources is
available to help anyone in whatever stage of development their project is – whether they are just beginning
to think about setting up a food co-op for example, or seeking specific guidance on marketing their up-andrunning
farmers’ market or community shop, there will be a practical guide or toolkit there to help. Examples
include ‘Using the Media – a practical guide;’ ‘An introduction to selling techniques for Country Markets
producers;’ ‘Understanding Your Customers;’ and ‘Simply Legal – a guide to legal structures for community
The website also features reports and research developed throughout the duration of the Making Local Food
Work programme, from the role community food enterprises play in Climate Change discussions to Supply
Chain Brokerage and Issues and Opportunities for Food Production in the Urban Fringe. Download all the
resources for free from

New DIY guide to marketing
At the Community Supported Agriculture conference held by Soil Association last year, projects identified that
one of their greatest needs was help with marketing. In response, Soil Association has produced a readable
guide aimed at both new and existing CSA projects who want to develop a simple, do-able, affordable
marketing plan. Download the guide from
Local People, Local Food was a one-day event hosted by Plunkett Foundation as part of Making Local
Food Work to help local food retailers increase their customer reach. It was held at Aston University,
Birmingham, on 24th April 2012. Aimed largely at farmers' markets and community-owned shops, the day
saw the launch of brand new research commissioned by Making Local Food Work and undertaken by SPA
Future Thinking into the shopping habits of potential, current and lapsed customers of local food from local
food outlets, to better understand their behaviour. It also saw the launch of an accompanying tool which
translates the findings of the research into practical tips and tools. You can download these tools here -
Over 80 people attended the day which saw a wide range of
experts, from those involved in farmers' markets and communityowned
shops to marketing and social media experts.
Presentations from all the sessions can be downloaded from the
above link - if you have any questions, please email us at

What people said about the day:
"Many tips and views from people – too many to list. Stand-outs
were the research (I’ve not seen anything like that in this sector)
and groups sharing ideas on how to build trust, make it easy and comfortable."
"Vast range of new ideas & enthusiasm!"
"Great take to take home a booklet with lots of info to read and digest."
"Customer profiling – very valuable new insight – will definitely follow up."
New start up support for co-operative food enterprises
2012 is the United Nations’ International Year of Co-operatives, and as part of that, Co-operatives UK – the
national trade association for co-operatives and partner on Making Local Food Work – has launched a new
online support service for start-up co-operative food enterprises, which are also applicable to other cooperative
The new online support service for start-up co-operatives includes:
• An accessible guide through all of the basic steps to consider before setting up a co-operative;
• A useful quiz designed to help determine whether the co-operative option is the right one;
• Case studies and examples of how other successful co-operatives work;
• Links to relevant resources and publications;
• Clear links to specialist business advisers who can help make a co-operative dream a reality.
This is the first of three phases of the new online support service. In May, the second stage will focus on how
to grow a co-operative. In June the final phase will focus on providing business advisers with the support they
need when working with co-operatives. You can access the support at

New local food directory launched for West Cornwall
A new edition of the West Cornwall local food directory was launched on Easter Saturday to help celebrate
local food and boost sales for producers across the region.
Transition Penwith Food Group, which is part of the Penwith Local Food
Systems project of Making Local Food Work, officially launched the directory at
the Penwith Green Fair in St John’s Hall, Penzance.
The directory is available free online –
and is designed as a marketing tool to help local producers better connect with
their community and potential customers. Local food producers are
encouraged to register on the online directory, which covers the whole of West
Cornwall, giving all local producers and businesses the opportunity to market
themselves for free.
Traci Lewis said: “Transition Helston and Penwith food groups have joined
forces to develop this new directory in order to support sales of more local food
in West Cornwall. Some wonderful food is produced locally and this directory is a great opportunity to
connect producers with new customers. Any producers who didn’t make it into the new printed directory can
still register for free on the online site and benefit from being part of this great local food network and
marketing tool.”


Local towns, local food:
Strengthening local economies
Wednesday 20th June 2012, 10.00 – 16:00.
Shine Conference Centre, Harehills Road, Leeds, LS8 5HS
This event, organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Sustain as part of Making
Local Food Work, will examine the role and revival of towns as local food centres and how creating a strong
local food web can: boost the local economy; improve access to high quality fresh produce; foster local
distinctiveness, and bring communities together.
This conference will explore how local food activists, sector professionals, local councillors and officers (at all
levels: parish, town, district, borough, city, and county) and the people involved in local food initiatives can
work together to promote and enhance their local food webs.
The event will be chaired by Kath Dalmeny, Policy Director of Sustain and will feature sessions from: Graeme
Willis (CPRE); Frances Northrop (Transition Town Totnes); Fran Robinson (Ledbury Food Group); Pete
Hawkins (Taste Tideswell); Peter Norton (Herefordshire Food Partnership); Ben Messer (Food Matters) and
many others to be confirmed.
Tickets cost £20 and include a local food lunch. You can book online with Eventbrite (takes less than five
minutes) For more information visit or email

CSA UK – growing and developing the Community Supported Agriculture
Friday 25th May 2012, 10:00 – 15:30
St George's Centre, Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3BR
This event, organized by the Soil Association as part of Making Local Food Work, is an opportunity for people
to network and exchange ideas for developing a useful network for those involved in the Community
Supported Agriculture movement. Delegates will hear from CSA projects already effectively linking up,
existing network organisations like Organic Growers Alliance and Permaculture Association Land Project and
access Soil Association and MLFW resources and case studies.
The event is aimed at farmers and growers, members of CSA projects and other practitioners, as well as
individuals and organisations interested in helping to develop CSA projects, networks and growing the
movement. This is a free event and will include locally produced lunch.
Please email Charlotte Muspratt or phone 0117 914 2423 for a booking form.

Inspirational stories
Communicating your success – how to use the media to grow your enterprise
Promoting your community food enterprise is absolutely vital to its success. In the initial stages of setting up
an enterprise it ensures people are aware of your idea, giving them the opportunity to share their views, show
their support or voice their concerns. But it’s equally important for established enterprise to retain and gain
more supporters and customers. Making Local Food Work has produced a practical guide to using the media
for community food enterprises (available to download at and below Dan
Betterton, from Oxfordshire based enterprise and MLFW beneficiary Cultivate, shares his story of how
publicity has helped Cultivate grow.
“Cultivate ( is a co-operative
that aims to bring fresh, local, organically-grown food direct
from farmers to the city of Oxford and surrounding
communities. We’re aiming to launch our VegVan mobile
greengrocery in June, selling produce from our five-acre
market garden and other local producers.
“Although very much in its infancy, Cultivate has enjoyed
significant local and national media coverage, which has
crucially helped to raise awareness of our aims, contributing
to the overwhelming success we’ve had with our community
share offer, for example: by offering community shares of £100 each with a target of £55,000, we’ve actually
raised £82,000 thanks to a really fantastic response from the community.
“We’ve been really fortunate with our coverage: we’ve appeared a couple of times in the Oxford Mail and the
Oxford Times, as well as on local BBC television and radio, and have even been featured nationally in the
Sunday Times and on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme. This has really come from our existing networks
– we made sure all of our supporters and friends knew that we wanted them to spread the message, and
they have. For example, many have put us in touch with journalists directly, and this personal introduction
has really helped.
“It has also been a case of being in the right place at the right time; going to as many events and talking to as
many people as possible is really important. Some of the highest profile coverage we’ve had has come this
way, for example meeting the producer of BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme at the Real Farming Conference
in Oxford resulted in us being featured on the show. But it’s also important just to pick up the phone to
journalists you want to engage with, even if it is a bit nerve-wracking!
“Having an up to date website, blog, and Twitter feed is really important too; this is either where the media
first hears about you, or where they go after a recommendation. It’s probably not enough on its own – you
need the personal connections and to put the hard work in – but it’s a really good start.”

Wider news

Growing Communities calls for six groups to access start-up support
Growing Communities is a social enterprise run by local people in Hackney, East London. They’ve run a
community-led box scheme for over 10 years with produce coming direct from local, sustainable farms and
some produce from their own growing sites.
They launched their Start-up Programme in 2009: a comprehensive training and mentoring programme to
help other communities set up their own box schemes using the Growing Communities Model. They are now
looking for the next six groups to join the programme.
If you are an individual (or group) who is passionate about building practical, community-led alternatives to
the current damaging food system then the Start-up Programme could be for you. Find out more at
Up to £50k for community enterprises on offer from Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund is currently accepting applications to Village SOS for community enterprises to apply
for between £10,000 and £50,000. Applications are being accepted for a whole range of community
enterprises, including community food enterprises like shops, food hubs or markets. The Big Lottery Fund is
particularly looking for original ideas that really take advantage of local assets, whether human or physical.
Applications will be accepted from communities based in a rural village or town with a population of up to
3,000 people (according to the Office for National Statistics in England). You can check your eligibility online
using the postcode checker at, or you can call the advice team on 0845
434 9123 if you’d like to speak to someone.
Deadlines for applications are:
• 2pm on Thursday 31st May;
• 2pm on Thursday 26 July;
• 2pm on Thursday 12 September.
The three deadlines are to give unsuccessful projects enough time to amend their applications and reapply.
More information on the whole process can be found online at or you
can get face to face advice and more at one of the Village SOS Roadshows, the next of which takes place in
Morpeth, North East, on Thursday 24th May and Norwich on Thursday 31st May. Find your nearest event at
BIG has also recently produced a guide to outcomes (Getting Funding & Planning Successful Projects: BIG’s
Guide to Outcomes) which will help you to develop and explain the need, aims, outcomes indicators and
activities for your project. You can download this guide online at

USDA launches guide for local food systems
The United States Department of Agriculture has launched its Regional Food Hub Guide: An Innovative Tool
for Growing Local Food Systems online at
The guide is aimed at food producers, buyers, and customers to highlight the impact a regional food hub can
have and provides information, resources and background on everything needed to develop or participate in
a regional food hub in the USA.