This paper gives an overview of what local food economies are, the benefits of and obstacles to more local food, and the priority measures needed to support local food economies.
This briefing paper, reviewing benefits, obstacles and opportunities for local food systems - is one of several on themes relating to Sustainable Food Chains. It formed part of an initiative started by Sustain in 2002, to promote local and sustainable food.
The Sustainable Food Chains project supported the research and implementation of the government's Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI), set up to help British farming and sustainable production following the devastating effects on farming and the rural economy of foot and mouth disease. The work also informed development of the Making Local Food Work programme, as well as Sustain's successful Good Food on the Public Plate project, which helped public sector institutions buy and serve more local and sustainable food. Subsequently, Sustain has also worked to change public sector food policy through the Good Food for Our Money campaign, Sustainable Fish City and the Campaign for Better Hospital Food.
Over a period of two years, Sustain's activities as part of the Sustainable Food Chains project included:
Making Local Food Work
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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.