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2009 updates

Summer 2009

A summary report on the Eat Somerset project is now available, and further information about activities and what we have learned is available in the case studies section.

We have been compiling a series of case studies, some of which are already available on this website, to provide information on what the Eat Somerset project achieved over the course of two and half years.

Unfortunately, a bid to South West Councils to help food businesses through the economic downturn was unsuccessful, as was a bid to the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund. We are now looking into other options to continue the projects very productive work in the region to broker sustainable supply chains.

Radstock Co-operative Society (Radco), continued their meetings with local suppliers and they launched their Eat Somerset range in June with produce from a range of companies. This has been the most successful work with retailers so far and has provided an excellent opportunity for local producers.

The Eat Somerset project started in June 2007 run by Sustain: the alliance for food and farming. The first two years were funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Friends of the Earth, with further funding provided to cover the period July 2008 to March 2009 by the Rural Renaissance Initiative. This latter part fo the project was match-funded by the four local authorities in the West of England area (Bristol City, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils).


Spring 2009

The latest phase of the Eat Somerset project, funded by the Rural Renaissance scheme, finished at the end of March. Alison Belshaw has ably completed the project and provided a final report. Over the next couple of months, Alison will be spending some time writing up what we have learned from the Eat Somerset project in its several phases and undertaking a survey of participants to inform the report and evaluation.

Alison is now working on a proposal for a new project to increase fruit and vegetable growing in the West of England areafor supply to reliable market outlets in the public sector. The proposal has been developed in partnership with four local authorities; growers; health authorities, schools and other relevant organisations in the area, who have all expressed their enthusiasm for and commitment to involvement in the project.


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