Local Demand and Supply
Developing Demand and Transforming Local Supply
Creating ways for the big county buyers to buy local and sustainable
We're SO PROUD of this! So many people are working towards joined up, good value, nature-friendly food in Herefordshire and this shows how worthwhile that hard work has been!
The County of Herefordshire is a BRONZE Sustainable Food Place!
Over 85 diners enjoyed a 3 course meal at The Bookshop Hereford in the last of three “100% Herefordshire” Autumn Feasts on Tuesday 14 November.
As well as great local food they were treated to a surprise announcement that the County has achieved a Bronze award from Sustainable Food Places - recognising the collaboration and hard work that’s gone into all areas of the food system in Herefordshire, from food banks through community gardens to restaurants and farming.
*DEADLINE SUNDAY 3rd DECEMBER* - Sorry! Please shout if you have an idea, and maybe others in the Alliance can help if you're new to funding.
The second round of the Rural Enterprise fund is also open with a longer deadline, do get in touch about that too and we can match each other with support. There is also the Business Enterprise Fund that might suit food businesses (not producers)
The Herefordshire Visitor Experience Fund is a capital grant scheme that has been funded by the UK Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). It aims to support the tourism sector through providing business growth for small or micro businesses, job creation and the development of tourist infrastructure.
A joint follow-up event with the Marches Real Food & Farming Conference:
"During the Marches Real Food & Farming Conference (MRFFC) we had a session on Collective small-scale mixed farming and heard about the experiences at Canon Frome Court, and this day will kick off with a farm visit to find out more. There will be an opportunity to see what is going on and meet people involved.
We will be hearing more about Herefordshire Food Alliance events to promote local sourcing, their success and challenges and enjoy a lunch sourced from Herefordshire farm produce will be provided by HFA. There will also be tea and cake.
In the afternoon we will be taking forward our thinking on bioregional food and farming and looking at the wider context of localized economies and cultures. This will involve mapping and action planning, building from what has emerged from the MRFFC People's Assembly.
Come and share your ideas.
Outline of day
Arrival from 9am for a 9.30 start
- 9:30 Farm tour and discussion on collective small-scale growing
- 12- 1 Local sourcing experience sharing - Herefordshire Food Alliance
- 1-2 Lunch - networking incl with community members
- 2pm Marches bioregion - mapping and planning workshop
- 4pm Close
We have room for 20 people, plus an extra 10 for afternoon only".
Watch again: The Sustainable Food Places webinar on steps that we can take towards rolling out school meals for all primary children.
"London, Wales and Scotland are rolling out school meals for primary school children, while a handful of local authorities are taking innovative steps to expand current provision of free school meals.
Come and hear from the trailblazers on their journeys toward school food for all, as well as the Children’s Food Campaign and their Say Yes Campaign.
Find out what your area can do next toward a universal approach and an end to the postcode lottery on school meals.
Many thanks to everyone who came to Breakfast on the Farm on Sunday to enjoy food, to talk about their own produce, and to find out more about farming as a solution yesterday!
Chef Simon served up a superb two-course breakfast with honey, berries and oat groats to start, all washed down with juice Kefir and a herb tea blend! It didn't end there with a plate of cow-lloumi, sausage from within 20 minutes away, Herefordshire baked beans and eggs from the farm - with a seasonal twist of braised apple in place of tomato. Tasty.
We heard from a few of the people that grew and reared the food and Ruth shared the journey of some of the produce - including some that we weren't able to source in our current system.
Good news - this produce is available, and being sold direct right here in Herefordshire so you can recreate our breakfast feast with all the details below - whether you were there or not!
So - what do we all really want from food?
The National Food Conversationhas been published and it's fascinating, and easily digestable!
Thousands of people were asked, in a variety of ways, about the potential things that could happen to improve our system.
The headlines are below - but the conversation found overhwelmingly that people - across ages and political spectrums - want substantial changes.
Help the whole county get recognised for its work to make great food happen here in Herefordshire.
This Herefordshire Food Alliance formed in January 2021, coming out of the Food Poverty Alliance and the Food and Tourism Partnership.
Soon after that we were able to become members of the Sustainable Food Places network - linking us to everything else going on nationwide to build great local food econoomies, supporting us with funding and meaning we can get more done locally.
The whole county has been really busy since - you can see from the blog! you can see from the blog!
We've come across this case study - A farm in East Ayrshire and East Ayrshire Council in a partnership to get local, organic packaging-free milk through vending machines to schools.
Do you know of anything similar here in Herefordshire? Any ideas or contacts for how to make this happen in our county? Vending machines are growing here so maybe it's time to talk to the schools and caterers...?
"People are recognizing that connection, both to others and to Nature, is the true wellspring of happiness. In almost every country, farmers’ markets, permaculture, community co-ops, local finance and business alliances, place-based education and nature reconnection testify to this great shift in values. In these ways, people are already sowing the seeds for a very different future, and demonstrating the way forward, towards a localised future. "
What do you think this means for the work that's already happening in YOUR part of Herefordshire? How does this fit with ideas of procurement, gathering together local producers to increase demand and supply of local food?
Could you head to this talk on Zoom, and come back and talk to the Food Alliance about it?
Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of the international non-profit organisation, Local Futures, a pioneer of the new economy movement, and the convenor of World Localisation Day.
Book tickets here
Our friends across the border have an interesting event if you're thinking of looking that way for food growing land...
"Are you trying to secure land for an agroecological farm in Wales? Have you been considering whether, crowdfunding, grants, community shares or loans from ethical investors, but you aren’t sure what is right for you?
Come along to this event on 24th April, run with the Landworkers’ Allianceas part of the Resilient Green Spaces project, to hear from and ask questions to organisations with experience in the field, and those who have supported them to do so.
Herefordshire Food Alliance member Kristan gave a a regional update for the Marches at the Dynamic Procurement event in March, hosted by DPUK - looking at ways to scale up supply and demand of good sustainable food.
Dynamic Food Procurement aims to use technology and collective action to shorten supply chains and along with other counties, Herefordshire has been investigating how we can make that happen here.
More about the idea of dynamic procurement here.
The Marches regional study is now complete - the region has a range of things it would need to do in order for this to work, more details in the following documents
Results and Recommendations: There is long term potential for our wider region working together, but not enough evidence that we could align well enough to make big changes quickly.
"Valuable shared learning among Marches authorities but challenges and trade-offs for procuring collectively."
Executive Summary: Executive Summary:Moitoring what we do and how we do it - across our overlapping values and activities will help us work towards anything more collective.
"Establishing robust, comparable baseline data across all five key policy goals remains vital for identifying actionable gaps in current procurement practices, designing optimum solutions, and
effectively tracking future progress."
Vending Sheds and Online Sales: Selling good food direct in Herefordshire
What’s working here, what could work and what do we need to make more direct sales happen?
Wednesday March 8th 6-8pm Online
The government has announced new funding for small abattoirs - and campaigners say it will be 'integral' to the future of local and sustainable farming.
"The availability of funding will help abattoirs to invest in new technology and improve productivity and animal health and welfare, allowing our agriculture sector to get its high-quality produce to market.”
Sustainable Food Trust who have been campaigning for this for years say "funding will be vital to help the small abattoirs modernise and thrive. Their services are the cornerstone of sustainable, local meat supply chains.
Can innovative digital technology enable shorter, more transparent food supply chains in Herefordshire?
A study is underway in this region to look at the opportunities for connecting local food producers with public bodies, what the challenges are and how they can be overcome.
Are you a producer? What are your challenges in supplying public bodies locally? Where do you think the opportunities are? Get in touch with the Food Alliance and we can put you in touch...
The positive impacts for local economy, public health and the environment are potentially huge, so our experiences will be very useful to get this right.
email the alliance at
And sign the food charter to build a stronger alliance working together for these innovative solutions!
For more information on the potential of Dynamic Food Procurement see DPUK
"Basically what we're doing here is trying to stop writing out cheques to people. Using the sun and the soil..."
It was such a pleasure to be taken around Billy's award winning Herefordshire farm. The Farm Carbon Toolkit's Soil Farmer of the Year at 25 years old - the whole thing was an inspiration!
Through changing some of their farming methods for methods that 'regenerate' the soil, the farm has more than halved its nitrogen fertiliser use, which has meant a drastic drop in outgoings and a big increase to the health of the soil.
Back in 2021, members of the Food Alliance asked this question of people with an interest in sustainability and food in Herefordshire.
Here's what that room shared - what would you add? What catches your eye? what would you love to know more about?
Sign the Herefordshire Food Charter, and stay in touch with what's going on!
Members of the Herefordshire Food Alliance have been co-ordinating, connecting, supporting and sharing across key areas of the food system in the County and this food charter is the next step in bringing activities together - and inspiring more. Food has a huge economic, social and environmental impact and working together we can address this here in our county.
The charter means that individuals and organisations can pledge to Grow, Source, Choose, Cook, Eat, Share - and not Waste - good food.