Films share inspiring stories of communities taking control of the way they grow, buy and sell food
Three short films tell the inspiring stories of communities around the country taking control of their food and where it comes from. The films look at the work of pioneering community groups, from Manchester, Newcastle and East London. The films were developed by Sustain and the Lottery-funded Making Local Food Work programme to inspire more people to join in.
The organisations featured are:
- Organiclea - a workers’ co-operative which is a community of people wanting to change the food system. They do this by growing and selling food and supporting others to do the same.
- Manchester Veg People - a growers and buyers co-operative and the various organisations that they work with.
- Food Chain North East - a social enterprise working in deprived areas to meet the needs of local residents for fresh food and fill the gap left by the closure of local food shops and the move towards out-of-town food superstores.
The films were filmed, edited and produced by Mat McDonnell, a film maker with a special interest in sustainability challenges and solutions. For more examples of his work search Mat McD on http://vimeo.com/. Our thanks go to Mat and to all the people featured in the films for their help and co-operation.
Organiclea is a workers’ co-operative which grows and sells food and supports others to do the same.
The group started on a small allotment and now has a 12-acre growing site, a community café, a market stall and a vegetable box scheme. It also runs training courses in food growing and cooking. The film looks at all the various aspects of Organiclea’s work and aims to encourage others to get involved or do the same.
As Ru Litherland, a grower at OrganicLea says in the film “Our role now is to support other people, because we’re going to need a lot more places like this.”
Making Local Food Work: Manchester
Manchester Veg People is a growers and buyers co-operative. The film features one of their growers, Moss Brook Growers, and one of their buyers, the University of Manchester. It also charts the critical role played by Unicorn Grocery and Kindling Trust in providing the environment and support for organisations like Manchester Veg People to develop.
As Helen Woodcock from the Kindling Trust says in the film “The potential for Manchester Veg People in the future is huge. Manchester Veg People is for everyone and if the public sector take it on then it will be.”
Making Local Food Work: Food Chain NE
Food Chain North East based in north west Newcastle, supplies fresh and affordable fruit and vegetables to deprived and isolated communities. They supply dozens of outlets and food co-ops. They also grow food and train others to grow. Their aim is to address the health inequalities that persist in the places they work in, largely due to poor access to healthy food.
The film visits one of their outlets to see the impact of Food Chain’s work “You can’t really get fresh fruit and veg for miles around here,” says the volunteer running a market stall. The importance of Food Chain’s work is summed up by one of the customers at the market stall “There’s a lot of people who depend on it and are really grateful that it is here”.