Communities sell food to improve the lives of local people
Salop Drive Market Garden demonstrates how a local restaurant can buy the freshest produce and help imprpve the lives of local people living with disabilities.
Salop Drive Market Garden is a three-acre working market garden run by Tim Botfield, a horticultural therapist, and his colleague. The garden was originally developed by a charity that works with disabled people to provide therapeutic activities and developed into receiving funding from the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) to provide services for local vulnerable people.
The site developed from a derelict allotment site over a period of five years and they now sell a weekly veg box, which contains mostly their own produce, and can have up to 60 customers during peak season. They also sell any surplus produce to a local restaurant located a mile down the road, and take orders in the winter on new baby plants that they sell to customers in spring. Such sales of local produce help the scheme to become more financially resilient.
"We have to subsidise the cost of the vegetables that we produce as we are in a low income area. We are now faced with the challenge of how to make this venture sustainable if our funding runs out.”
Tim Botfield, Salop Drive Market Garden
The box scheme charges £4 a week to customers which is a price that they subsidise. Their PCT funding is drawing to an end next year which means they are going to be assessing their pricing to try and make the box scheme self sustaining.
This case study is an extract from the report A Growing Trade (free to download as a PDF), published in January 2012 by Local Action on Food as part of the Big Lottery funded Making Local Food Work programme. it is a practical guide for local communities, to help them grow food and become more financially independent through trading in fresh and local produce.
Find out more about the Salop Drive Market Garden at: www.sandwellfoodnetwork.org/index.php/the-network/7-projects-projects/12-salop-drive-market-garden
If you are a restaurant or caterer interested in getting your hands on the very freshest ingredients from hyper-local community food growing sites in London, then get in contact with the Ethical Eats team. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; or call: 0203 5596 777.
Food Legacy: The campaign, launched October 2011, is inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision adopted by the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Food Legacy asks caterers, restaurants, event organisers and hospitality organisations to commit publicly to taking steps to improve the healthiness, ethics and sustainability of the food they serve.
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