We have been providing tailored support to food co-ops in Well London areas, including helping them find more affordable suppliers of sustainable fruit and vegetables. Project officer, Hannah Williams, has also helped individual co-ops improve their operations and become more financially viable. The project has tested new partnerships between food co-ops and their local convenience store to share deliveries of fresh produce and support each other to improve their sales of fresh fruit and vegetables in deprived communities. In addition, we have helped local partners to launch two new food co-ops, and continue to support groups in other Well London areas to plan and develop various food access projects.
Hannah has continued to work with shops involved in the Buywell Retail project, running a fresh produce training day in November to help retailers understand more about buying, stocking and selling fresh fruit and vegetables. The Buywell Retail project has seen some successful results in its initial stages, with an average increase of 60% in fruit and vegetable sales across the 15 stores involved in the project.
Project officer Hannah Williams continues to support community groups and businesses to make it easier to buy healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food in 10 neighbourhoods across London. This quarter the “Buywell Retail Project” was officially launched in 15 convenience stores across London, working with retailers in deprived areas to help them sell more healthy, affordable and sustainably produced fruit and vegetables.
We have also been providing support to groups that are starting up new food co-ops in Well London areas. We ran a training day in August for prospective food co-ops to learn the skills needed to start their projects.
After a successful three-month trial of a mobile food store in Becontree Heath. We are developing plans with Community Food Enterprise in Newham for a more permanent outlet based at a local Children’s Centre. We also continue to work on the Newham Healthier Options Award, supporting cafés to offer healthier options on their menus.
Two Buywell projects have been successfully launched; the White City Food Co-op at Phoenix High School, which saw over 200 residents attending in April to buy fruit and veg, and Café Relax at Lansbury Lodge in Poplar, which saw 69 residents tucking into healthy meals, also in April. Work is developing in Becontree Heath and Woodberry Down, and Hannah is working with Community Food Enterprise and East London Food Access to test a mobile food store and food co-ops over the next few months.
In Lambeth Hannah has been working with Aardvark Recycling to build up partnerships with Children’s Centres, to provide drop-off points for parents to pick up weekly boxes of affordable, local fruit and veg. Progress has also been made with the Buywell Retail project, with 15 shops in deprived areas across five boroughs now interested in working with the project.
Hannah teamed up with Suzanne Natelson, from the Making Local Food Work project, to host a London Community Feast event in May, with Well London, for community food groups in the capital. This event attracted some 50 delegates who benefited from a range of workshops and a cooking demonstration from top chef Cyrus Todiwala.
Hannah has also been working with local food networks in Newham, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Lewisham to integrate Buywell’s work into other local activity and share experience between boroughs. Finally, she has recruited four new organisations to work with in the next phase of Buywell.
This quarter we have seen three cafés in Canning Town, Newham receive the Healthier Options Award for adopting healthier cooking methods and providing clearly marked healthier choices on their menus.
Hannah has also been supporting City Gateway to plan their community café in Tower Hamlets, and Phoenix School in Bow to develop their weekly food co-op. These projects will be supplying healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food to local residents and were launched in April. Work continues supporting food co-ops run by Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA) and Community Food Enterprise (Newham) to market their services and Hannah has commissioned groups in Hackney and Barking & Dagenham to assess local food access needs.
Work has begun on Buywell’s retail project to improve the supply of fresh, local produce via local convenience stores. Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust has teamed up with this project and has contributed £60,000 over the next year which will expand the programme to another ten shops in Tower Hamlets.
Buywell project officer Hannah Williams has been supporting community groups and businesses to make it easier to buy healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food in ten neighbourhoods across London, as part of the Lottery-funded Well London project. Work continues with the Hind Grove food co-op in Tower Hamlets, the Healthier Options Award for cafés in Newham, and Aardvark’s fruit and veg box scheme in Lambeth. New projects include:
- Supporting Phoenix Farm and Learning Zone to set up a food co-op in White City
- Helping City Gateway Women’s Project to set up a community café in Tower Hamlets
- Working with East London Food Access to develop new food access projects in Hackney
- Setting up local Healthy Food Networks to connect people and projects
Buywell’s pilot project working with local convenience stores to improve the supply of fresh, local produce has secured funding from the London Development Agency. This pilot project will start in February with selected stores in East London.