Collaborating for Good Food Governance
Working together, learning from each other and pushing for big changes
The ‘Talk Wellbeing’ service to communities around Herefordshire is offered via pop-up clinics in Hereford and the market towns, as well as via a specially adapted van that will visit many sites throughout the county.
Our experienced and friendly healthcare professionals will be out and about to offer a range of NHS services aimed to help people improve their health and wellbeing. These services include:
- How to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
- Cholesterol checks
- Blood pressure checks
- Practical advice on how to make changes to your health
- Signposting to services and community groups that are available (including community food /growing projects)
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.
GET FUNDING, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPORT FOR YOUR OWN ON-FARM RESEARCH
Are you a landworker looking to carry out your own research, but scared to take the plunge? Or maybe you're already experimenting on your farm but could do with some extra support...
Small-scale farmers and landworkers across the country are pioneering innovation in farming and land work, but they are rarely acknowledged or rewarded for it.
To address this, we are excited to announce the second phase of 'Experts in Your Field', an LWA initiative that works to support grassroots, community-led research in agroecology.
As part of National Tree Week, Leominster Community Orchard (Millenium Green, below the Priory Church) will be holding a Pruning session
Saturday 25th November 10am – 1pm
Instruction provided, bring gloves and tools and wear strong shoes
More information from 07961795466
Info through HGN - sign up to their newsletter!
Marches Climate Action will be taking local action lobbying big businesses to stick to their own Environmental policies next weekend.
"We urgently need support for an action on 25 November targeting Nando's and Tesco and their profiting from decimation of the River Wye and lands in South America.
We need help to cover an outreach stall in High Town 9.30 - 4pm tbc
Help with leafletting /petition/placards outside Nando's and Tesco's 10.30 - 14.30 tbc
We really need decent numbers for both of these activities and they may not go ahead unless we can guarantee the necessary volunteers.
And please come to two final-preparation meetings: this Sunday 19th 5pm and next Tuesday 21st 5pm link: https://join.skype.com/EngjCYTwdgFi (just click on this or copy and paste - no need to download or install skype)
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".
"The food was SO scrummy and the atmosphere truly wonderful!"
"Absolutely blown away. The food, the company and the work that has gone into it..."
We are reeling from really the best we could hope a celebratory feast of Herefordshire sustainable food could be - thank you! Our final Autumn Feast was quite special.
The Bookshop Hereford were a professional and beautiful host, setting off more than 15 wonderful producers and making their food pop - a welcome drink and three courses that truly shone. With many of the producers in the room, we were able to thank them personally and the food tasted so much better for it!
Many chats around food, partnerships, business ideas and time to hear the brilliant music and stories too from Tim and Chez at the Wye Valley River Festival.
If you were unlucky enough not to make it to the event - take a look at the list of producers here who will be happy to help you recreate the flavours in your own home! You won't have Bookshop chef Callum on hand though I'm afraid!
Boost Your Business: Securing Local Media Coverage - 10-12, Mon 4th December
Did you know more people read and trust the local press than the national newspapers?
If you‘re a local food enterprise, one of the best ways to reach new customers is to get featured in your local paper, or be interviewed on regional radio or TV. So what are media outlets looking for and how do you approach them?
Join PR professional Robin Clegg (Curve Communications) for this popular workshop aimed at local food organisations, from growers to producers to retailers to community orgs. We will cover what makes a good news story; the difference between reactive and proactive media; and choosing spokespeople, images and quotes. Plus top tips on writing a press release, how and when to pitch to journalists, and how to get your message across succinctly in press or broadcast interviews.
Tickets for this 2-hour webinar are £20 - Book your space here via Eventbrite.
News from Sustainable Food Places:
"Community groups, charities and even small groups of neighbours would be able to cultivate fruit and vegetables on suitable council land in what campaigners say will provide healthy local food, boost mental health and revive neglected spaces.
Hull councillors unanimously passed the “right to grow” motion that means the council will produce a map of suitable land it owns and help those who want to grow food on it overcome practical obstacles such as insurance or provision of water for the plants.
Two opportunities to support food producers in difficult situations from Landworkers Alliance
STORM BABET - SUPPORT PALESTINIAN FARMERS
STORM BABET FLOOD APPEAL
Last week, amid an array of red weather warnings, Storm Babet hit the east coast of Scotland. Farmland across Angus and Dundee has been devastated by flooding, caused by extremely heavy rainfall and rivers bursting their banks, and three people have reportedly lost their lives. Many farmers, growers and landworkers, both from within our own membership and the wider farming community, have been severely affected.
Riverford Organics have created a petition asking all supermarkets to commit to 5 sourcing principles.
"Almost half (49%) of British fruit and veg farmers fear they will go out of business within the next 12 months. 75% report that supermarket behaviour is a leading factor.*
If all supermarkets committed to these principles, the lives of farmers would be transformed - giving them stability, a reliable income, and protecting the future of British food and farming for the long term."
We're writing an open letter to the supermarkets,calling for change - but government support is vital too. Add your voice to ours by signing our petition. It's quick, easy, and will make a big difference. We're aiming for 100,000 signatures so that this can be debated in Parliament"
FInd out more and sign here
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.
Calling all community groups in Herefordshire – there’s a survey that’s seeking your views.
Sustainability West Midlands, in partnership with Herefordshire Council, are developing a user-led climate change adaptation plan for the county. It’s about Herefordshire’s people, environment, infrastructure, buildings – helping to ensure they’re protected from the impacts of climate change.
Your thoughts on how the county is already dealing with extreme weather events, and what more it needs to do, will form a key part of the plan’s content, and will better enable the actions going to the right organisation.
The survey, is specifically asking for views from community groups within Herefordshire. The survey closes at 5pm on Thursday 28 September. Thank you.
The Herefordshire application for BRONZE with Sustainable Food Places has been submitted.
Thank you to everyone who has supplied a stat, written a paragraph and of course who is doing the work to join up food in Herefordshire.
Sharing what you are doing is sometimes harder than actually doing it but it's worth it!
You can view the application here and we'll be talking about it in future events and sharing what was pulled together.
If you know an event that would like to hear about the work that's been going on, please get in touch.
It's out of area but remote working and part time - hope it's useful
"Bristol Good Food 2030 Partnership Coordinator (job share)
Bristol Food Network (BFN) supports, informs and connects stakeholders across Bristol who have an interest in making our food system more sustainable, just and resilient. We are a Community Interest Company (CIC) and have been engaging and working with food systems stakeholders in the city for over a decade.
We have coordinated significant projects and campaigns including our current focus - Bristol Good Food 2030 - , Bristol’s Silver and Gold Sustainable Food Places Awards; the Bristol Independents campaign to support the local food economy and the annual Get Growing Trail which opens up community growing spaces across the city to the public.
- To co-ordinate and support the Bristol Good Food 2030 Partnership of key actors who can deliver change in line with the 2024 Action Plans and 2030 Framework for Action.
- To develop and deliver projects owned by Bristol Food Network with the 2024 Action Plans and as agreed with BFN’s General Manager
Sometime today - or tomorrow, or this week (but soon!) take two minutes out of your day, have a cup of tea, sit back and take a look at this video.
It's hard to explain what an interconnected web of things looks like, why it's so important and why we shuold spend time connecting in this way.
But this video really helps.
It's why our picking and cooking days this Autumn are being run with at least 6 different partners and we're keeping them all informed about what each other is doing
It's why those picking days will lead into the Autumn feasts, which in turn will connect with over 30 producers.
It's why we are going for a Bronze Award to show that we are indeed a Sustainable Food Place here in Herefordshire.
We need connection and a voice now more than ever, for both our local and our global health. Please share this post and encourage people to stay connected with the Alliance.
Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner events this Autumn. 100% Herefordshire, 100% River Friendly. Come for great food and to find out more about your county's produce!
Breakfast Was EPIC! More on the producers and the gorgeous food here!
Lunch at Open Arms in Kington was a blast!
More on producers, films from the barn to watch again, punkin gnocci recipe here
The final feast at The Bookshop Restaurant, Hereford - the 14th November is now FULLY BOOKED
On Bank Holiday Monday HFA showcased some of the amazing people and organisations who are part of the Alliance in and around Herefordshire at the Indie Food Festival in Hereford. We took over the main stage in the afternoon for 10 minutes every hour to chat to some of the inspiring people who we are proud to work with.
Things kicked off with Emma Murray-Luo from the West Midlands Grain Network and the Land Workers' Alliance. Emma spoke passionately about the great work the network is doing to bring together farmers, millers and bakers that share a passion for transforming the region's grain system and advocate for local and heritage grains to preserve traditional farming practices and promote sustainable agriculture
Next up was Kitty Stainsby from Wye Organic who farms near Ross on Wye. Kitty runs a herd a Hereford cattle and a flock of easy care sheep and sells her Pasture for Life certified and Organic meat through a successful meat box. She explained all that she is doing to build soil, making sure that the cows eat a diverse mix of plants to ensure their health and advocating the nutritional and environmental benefits of eating less but better meat.
**Updated times and info**
Please share these inclusive picking and cooking opportunities with everyone you know in Ledbury, Hereford and Llangarron (and beyond!) and help reduce food waste - and get people fed - in Herefordshire this Autumn.
Our picking and community cooking days will make sure surplus and unpicked food does not go to waste.
Do you know your Local Plan from your Supplementary Planning Documents?
Can you match a policy document with what's good for Herefordshire food?
The Food Alliance has broad aims and members, and is a growing voice. We'd like to be able to respond more - maybe as a group or even just informed individuals - to the consultations on planning and other county-wide policy that affect how we produce and manage our food here in Herefordshire.
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!
An invitation from Perry Walker:
Intensive Poultry Units (IPUs) in Herefordshire, discussion at De Koffie Pot, Hereford, Wednesday July 26th, 7.30 to 9.30pm
An incredibly controversial topic, with strong views for and against. Can we find a way forward that works for everyone? Come along and find out.
You can book here on this link
You may have met her in Ledbury Celebration or the Save the Wye event as she was talking to visitors about local food and people's experience and access to it.
She also works as an area coordinator with Pasture for Life so bring some experience of producers in the area, and farming methods too.
If you'd like to support Ruth and Rebecca with all this lovely activity, please get in touch about volunteering roles!
Do you have something you've been working that might bring the message of great food that works with nature, would you like to display it in this space? Get in touch with Jaime. Some beautiful pieces of work have popped up all over town, all displayed in the gallery here.
"If you are under 30 you can show your artworks here. You decided where in Leominster you wish to place your work, it could be in the park, on a tree, in the street, or against a building. We will photograph you work there and the photograph will be exhibited, see the gallery for examples.
Are you excited about what we can do for good local food together? From getting local food into hospitals, to making the most of every field's produce in Herefordshire - this alliance can make a difference.
Picking, Processing and Gleaning:
We are working with Sustainable Ledbury, Ledbury Food Bank and Pot and Page Community Hub to harvest apples for use by the food bank this autumn / winter. We'll aim to do similar with the Wildlife Trust in an orcahrd in Hereford, and
Many producers and partners will be involved in three feast events in the autumn,
We'll be shouting about the work of the Food Alliance at the Indie Food Festival in Hereford this August bank holiday.
If none of this floats your boat, please sign the Food Charter and encourage others to do the same!
You can help take the message to your street, town, campus - please get in touch. A quick conversation with cafes, restaurants and market stalls - we'll provide flyers and an easy way of letting us know if organisatrions / individuals would like a laminated banner, more flyers etc.
Update: We're now planning three feasts, probably over three weeks between October and November in three different locations.
We'll be looking for producers who have food that is working with nature in Herefordshire, and are looking to increase their routes to market and sales. So please get in touch if you're interested in selling us your produce.
Producers - Organisers - Farmers - Venues - Retailers -
Please help make a FEAST happen in late Autumn, showcasing nature-friendly food production in the county for everyone and leading to more visibility of the food that is building our economy AND our planet.
We've seen a few food jobs this week to share:
...And we're still keen to hear from Freelancers with project, organisation, outreach and events experience who are keen to build this movement in Herefordshire. Check out our role at the end.
The Fold | Tack Farm | Crumplebury | Food Alliance
From the Eden Project...
"We’ve very recently launched a lovely new initiative in partnership with the RSPB, More Human and members of the Community Action collective: Community Nature Trails.
The idea is to help communities create their own local map of the local public sights, activities, events, and projects connected to nature where they live this summer – as another great way to support strong mental and physical health and bring people together with nature and each other."
Have a look at tthe process - could we get together and do some trails here in Herefordshire? Let us know!
We are looking for some hands-on project coordination support, which could also be connected to other work to build the Alliance - for example having a presence at the Hereford Indie Food Festival in August, and pulling together our Autumn Feasts.
Please get in touch if the role is interesting for you, explaining how you fit the role description at the bottom.
Freelance Project Coordination - Picking and Processing
July to October 2023
11 days at £150 / Day
There was a real range of voices bringing the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust's new Strategy to life in their Launch this week.
'Bold' was one of the words used a lot! And partnerships.
Wye AONB, The Arts College, Farmers, Wye Valley Brewery plus campaign and community groups such as Bartonsham Meadows and Friends of the Upper Wye all shared their thoughts on how this is fitting in what's already going on in
Patrick Wrixon, farmer and member of our Alliance steering team emphasised food and food production needing to be at the heart of nature strategies. The trusts plan to develop exemplars of Nature Friendly Farming certainly links in witht he work of the Food Alliance and we'll work in partnership where we can.
"To recover nature, we need 30% of all land in our county properly managed for nature by 2030. And that’s good for other 'public goods’ too, such as cleaner air and cleaner water. Working together, we can create bigger, wilder, more connected landscapes across our county, so that nature, people and local economies can thrive."
We'd love to have a presence for the Food Alliance at the Restore the River event in Castle Green Hereford on 2nd July -
Making the link between great food and farming, and healthy rivers.
However we have limited capacity...
Will you already have a stall at the event? Can you host some alliance postcards and informative laminated info?
More about the event here and below.
Sharing two articles and a petition from our friends across the border - in some aspects we are in a similar national picture to them, but their potential solutions have differences. What could we take from their campaign here in Herefordshire?
"Some of you may be aware of Our Food 1200 ( OF1200) which has been energetically campaigning for over a year to shift the volume of local sourced horticulture being grown by smallholders locally. Initially the focus was on Bannau Brecheiniog National Park (BBNP), and Monmouthshire. This has now extended to include Powys.
The 1200 figure in the title was an aim to create 1200 acres of horticulture within Monmouthshire and BBNP. (Calculated for the level of veg needed for the population)
Many complex barriers are currently preventing growth in small holder horticulture:
- Govt farming subsidies exclusion
- Planning policy on rural enterprise dwelling
- Access to suitably serviced land
- Potential legal constraints on County Farms.
Two major articles have been published on the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) Agenda online written by directors of OF1200. Here are the links.
"Why are we surrounded by thousands of acres of green fields suitable for growing fruit and veg while having a waiting list of experienced farmers unable to access any of it?"
"We call for action on two fronts. First, we make the case that Government must let small-scale fruit and vegetable farmers live in a real home on the land they’re working, and stop expecting them to live and raise children in caravans. Second, we call on Councils to repurpose County farms into thriving small-farm enterprise hubs, producing high-quality food for local people, creating jobs, enhancing local wellbeing, and potentially generating more income for them than the current single tenancy system."
If you empathise with the cases being made, please sign the petition to the Senedd (link below) asking for WG to reconsider the agricultural subsidy rules that currently exclude smallholder horticulture from subsidy.
Time is of the essence since WG are under huge pressure to bring in the new regime of subsidies for farmers, post Brexit. So please act and send to your other networks to add to the petition."
As well as supporting the Food Alliance with funding, the Public Health Team work closely with the Food Alliance - Kristen is part of the steering team.
The team has now won an award at the West Midlands Public Health Awards for work on sustainable food!
“It was fantastic for our partnership to be recognised for all their hard work on this project. The challenges around food are obviously massive. But we can all do our bit. Buying fresh food from a farmers’ market puts money back into the local economy. Meal planning, growing your own, buying ‘wonky’ veg and in-season produce can reduce food waste, be better for the environment and benefit our health.”
This is a win for good partnership working with stong commitment from all areas of food interest around the county. Next up, the Bronze Award for Herefordshire!
The Herefordshire Food Alliance (that's us all!) is now fully linked to the County's Climate and Nature Partnership Board. We're represented on the food subgroup, and talking to the land use subgroup too.
The partnership board is a set of people from different organisations and backgrounds with expertise and knowledge through their roles in conservation, wildlife, architecture, farming, the media, community energy, research, land management, agricultural policy and running businesses. We are working to get Herefordshire to net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Food is one part of this big task, and -we'd say - linked to all the other parts too, spanning waste and land and much more. Well keep making the connections! All the actions we take will be connected - and heading towards a sustainable food places bronze award too.
If you can see other ways that we can join up what's going on in Herefordshire, please get in touch.
Keep in touch with the Herefordshire Food Alliance Blog - sign up here
From local food events, through farming to food waste - we use the Sustainable Food Places topics so you can see the things you're interested in at a glance.
SUNDAY 28TH MAY - 10am to 4pm
BELMONT WANDERERS AWARDS & FUN DAY @ The Belmont Wanderers Football Pitches
"Growing Local attended this event last year and are back again this year, it’s a really special day celebrating all the amazing players, teams and work Belmont Wanderers do - we are proud to be their project partners! Lots of stalls, food, drinks and football mayhem. Look out for our green information gazebo and come and talk to us about the Southside project and Growing Local Gardens plans. Regular Walks & Talks of the new site, seed kit giveaways and more.
More info about the Southside and Growing Local Gardens project can be read here.
"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
Do you have experience and energy in local sustainable food? Steering, Sub-Group Volunteers and Partners please!
Our next Food Alliance 6-weekly steering team meeting is on Tuesday at 1.30pm. This time Matt Pearce of Public Health will talk through his report featuring food and we'll be chatting through all the actions we've achieved (and what we need to do) towards the Bronze Award for Herefordshire through Sustainable Food Places. Plus hearing from all the steering group partners about what they've been up to.
We'll be at Ledbury Community Day during Greener Footprints / Big Green Week - What are you up to?
"📣 Mark your calendars & get ready - just 3 weeks to go until the Greener Footprints Week in Herefordshire, as part of #GreatBigGreenWeek! 💚
This national celebration of community action encourages people across the UK to host events and activities in their local area to tackle climate change and protect nature.
Would you like to get involved? It’s not too late to plan an event in your community or business:
Simply click the link to check out some ideas for inspiration, and don’t forget to let us know so we can help you to publicise your event and reach maximum visibility - https://buff.ly/3Ol0EIo
10th – 18th JUNE "
The Public Health Annual Reportfor Herefordshire is out - and it's BIG on food.
Working in partnership is right there at the top of the key ingredients, and that's what the Alliance is all about. Building as many bridges and connections as we can so that we find solutions that work for farmers, for household budgets, for the environment, for our local economy.
The Public Health team funds part of the Food Alliance coordinator post so the goals have real support for us to make these bridges and connections. We pop up on page 7, and many alliance partners do too in the rest of the report with great stories of the work towards sustainable food for all in Herefordshire.
Read the whole report here.
A big wave to the many new signatory organisations on the Herefordshire Food Charter - pledging to grow / source / choose sustainable local food.
Bartestree Village Stores - their local suppliers list includes another signee Peter Cooks Bread
West Midlands Grain Network - we'd love to hear where we can buy from your members!
Drapers Lane Deli in Leominster
Goytree Glamping and Treehouses (also working to restore organic farmland)
Wye Organic local seasonal organic produce
Food, farming and nature are featuring in this month's County Council election demands - and promises.
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, Herefordshire CPRE, Friends of the Upper Wye and Friends of the Lower Wye are calling for new allotment sites to be established - at least 50 plots, plus rewards for farmers shifting to 'sustainable and regenerative methods of production'. More about the Hustings that was convened, and the pledges of the panel that attended, here.
Are you a Herefordshire Secondary School? Apply for a fully funded place on Bite Back's School Food Champions programme!
Herefordshire Food Alliance would love to support your application, and incorporate the food champions in your school in all our other work countywide - steering group, events etc. Get in touch!
"School is the single biggest opportunity we have to ensure every child is getting the food they need to thrive - but right now, that is not the reality. School Food Champions was created to change this!
I am excited to let you know that applications are now open for secondary schools to join Bite Back 2030’s School Food Champions (SFC) programme. We have fully funded spaces for 50 schools to begin delivering the programme in September 2023.
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.
A free workshop run by We Are Farming Minds - details below.
We Are Farming Minds also have many resources on their website https://www.wearefarmingminds.co.uk/
"Our next FREE Mental Health Awareness workshop will be on Wednesday April 19th at the HFYFC Offices, Beech Business Park, Tillington Road, Hereford HR4 9QJ. You can choose either a morning or afternoon session:
"We don't need it to be a crisis to know that there are good solutions... We are the connectors. We are the people who will make things happen." Kath Dalmeny, Sustain
It was a great experience for Herefordshire Food Alliance to feel so linked with partnerships across the UK at the Sustainable Food places conference this week.
How to integrate school meals, increasing uptake of the brilliantly useful healthy start vouchers, the economic value of allotments, youth kitchens... there are so many great ideas to learn from and links to make - it's dizzying. We'll bring the best back here to Herefordshire and work with all our partners - to find what works here.
Being part of the wider Sustainable Food Places network meant we were able to feed into a big House of Lords inquiry this week through our regular meeting.
The House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry on the Future of Horticulture is asking questions about the challenges and opportunities, along with a range of specific questions
At a county level we joined Gloucestershire, Shropshire and others to share what we've found through our activities as an alliance. For us this included:
We started with the charter and moved on to many things last week at Archenfield Community Environment Group's meeting!
Rebecca talked about the Alliance, how the charter is building the movement and before long we were planning community apple picks, juicing days and more.
The group have another event planned - all things waste, including food waste, this Saturday at Llangrove Village Hall
"We met new people in our community through having this event, with a real interest in getting together to reduce food waste in our community - starting with apples!!" Claire Cherry, Archenfield CEG
The Food Alliance will be at Llangrove Village Hall on 23rd March to talk all things Food Charter - all questions welcome!
Do you have a parish council, local eco group, food group etc that would like a visit? Get in touch!
Thanks to all for coming to the vending sheds and infrastructure eventthis week. We were pretty good out was online with the weather! Thanks especially to the speakers, sharing their time and experience, much appreciated.
Here's a recording of the vending sheds section, plus questions and answers.
Please send any more thoughts /questions / links and we can add to this post.
To follow- a recording of the digital food hub section of the event.
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."
CALL FOR PROPOSALS (Speakers & Panel Sessions) From the Shropshire Good Food Partnership -
Marches Real Food & Farming Conference
We're pleased to announce the first ever
MARCHES REAL FOOD AND FARMING CONFERENCE.
SAVE THE DATE:
September 15-16, 2023, at Linley Farm, Shropshire.
The aim of this conference is to bring people together around agro-ecological farming and food systems, to inspire each other, share good practice, build networks and create the community that can bring about the transition we need. As a bio-region, 'The Marches' (both sides of the
England/Wales border) offers us a huge opportunity to focus our efforts.
Food needs land... Sustainable food means great land management - here's an interesting event coming up...
"The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership Seminar: Enhancing water catchment through innovative land management.
Influencing policies and practices to conserve and enhance water resources in our outstanding landscape. This is a free event.
Join us for an inspirational day of talks from leading experts in soil and land management, agroforestry and Natural Flood Management, including:
Niels Corfield - Regenerative Agriculture Consultant
Stephen Briggs - Abacus Agriculture, Nuffield Scholar
Chris Uttley - Stroud Valleys Natural Flood Management Officer
Followed by a Q&A panel discussion.
A couple of connections have happened this week - a WhatsApp waste avoidance group and our first venture into Social Media...
We created a Whatsapp group to better distribute surplus food between community food projects. At our last steering group meeting this came up - very large quantities of food near their end of their life, with the issue being transport / communication to get round to people.
Do you have land that you would like to ensure stays in ecological agriculture in the future? Would you like your land to support the next generation of agroecological farmers?
"The Ecological Land Cooperative is a not-for-profit community benefit cooperative, creating access to land for new entrants to ecological farming.
We have huge ambitions, but we need your help. We are inviting landowners to consider gifting land to the ELC, to help support a new generation of agroecological farmers- now and into the future.
#SaveTheWye is an umbrella campaign to support and build the network of organisations and individuals working to protect and restore the health of the River Wye and its tributaries, for the benefit of both wildlife and people.
When: Saturday 11th February
Where: Tesco Bewell St, Hereford and Tesco Station Rd, Chepstow, 11am - 1pm
Saturday 25 February 2023 at Lansdown Hall, Stroud.
Marina O’Connell is a Director of the Apricot Centre CIC, a carbon negative regenerative farm and wellbeing service in Devon. She is an experienced permaculture designer, trainer and author of Designing Regenerative Food Systems and Why We Need Them Now. Her approach weaves together permaculture design, agroforestry, biodynamic farming and other regenerative techniques.
Event through the Rural Hub:
Thursday 9th February 2023
10.00am – 12.30pm
At Leadon Vale Farm, Crowfield Lane, Dymock, Glos, GL18 2AE
(courtesy of Mark and Fiona Woodall)
"This workshop with Lucinda Lewis (Wye & Usk Foundation) will give an introduction to carrying out some basic soil assessment tests, with the aid of the Soilmentor App.
Farming in the Wye Catchment area - Regenerative Methods
Catchment Sensitive Farming invite you to an evening of discussions with Ed Horton and Billy Lewis. Both farmers will share their experiences using
different ‘re-gen’ and mixed farming practices and how these benefit not only the environment, but the productivity of their
Wednesday 25th January – 7pm start (prompt) at Luctonians Rugby Club, HR6 9SB
Evening food will be provided, and a pay bar will be open. Text or call Alice to book 07557 315 435.
Herefordshire is a Sustainable Food Place - as a county- wide alliance we are a member of the network driving innovation and best practice on all aspects of healthy and sustainable food. It's a programme led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.
The Sustainable Food Places Awardsare designed to recognise and celebrate the success of those places taking a joined up, holistic approach to food and that are achieving significant positive change on a range of key food issues.
We are eligible to apply for a Bronze award this year - and we're gathering all the evidence we can to show what Herefordshire has already done, and what it can do more of!
Herefordshire Council have a document out for consultation on agricultural planning.
It's aiming to do two things - "outline the issues that may arise in relation to agricultural development" and also provide a tool for working out the amount of phosphates a development may produce.
If you have the brain for it, please take a look from a food perspective - does this guidance on agricultural planning support the production of local sustainable food here in Herefordshire? Does it support the people that are producing our local sustainable food?
Let the food alliance know what you think - and contribute to the consultation.
You can see contributions so far here
Alliance coordinator Rebecca was at the Oxford Real Farming Conference at the beginning of January. This is now the biggest event for 'agroecological' farming (modern, mixed, with nature and food production side by side) on the planet. As well as farming, there was much time spent on connections - and the positive things that came come from them. It was great to be connected to other Sustainable Food Places like ours - including our very near neighbour Shropshire through a session looking at building links between those producing our food and those consuming it.
Alliance coordinator Rebecca has been at the Oxford Real Farming Conference this week. It's now the biggest event for 'agroecological' farming (modern, mixed, with nature and food production side by side) on the planet. It was great to see new and existing alliance contacts there!
Hear more about the ORFC on Farming Today here and below is one snapshot from Rebecca - for more snapshots check the blog.
Feeding Britain from the Ground Up.
One of the final sessions at the conference was centred around a report that makes the case for a Britain that can feed itself.
Feeding Britain From the Ground Up is an attempt to provide answers to the question: What should I eat to be healthy and sustainable?
Alliance coordinator Rebecca has been at the Oxford Real Farming Conference this week. It's now the biggest event for 'agroecological' farming (modern, mixed, with nature and food production side by side) on the planet. It was great to see new and existing alliance contacts there!
Hear more about the ORFC on Farming Today here and below is one snapshot from Rebecca - for more snapshots check the blog.
Joining the Infrastructure dots
Over the last 30 years, a vibrant network of 'agroecological' short supply chain and direct sales businesses has developed in the UK but they are currently a tiny portion of the market. We are also losing infrastructure that supports small farmers- small abattoirs for example.
An event in which the subject of food will certainly appear! A conversation with Jane Davidson who was instrumental in establishing the Welsh Future Generations Act. Local procurement, short supply chains, and efficient production of food - all enshrined in law. Head along and let's keep future sustainable food for Herefordshire central to the conversation!
- Thursday, January 12, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
- Left Bank Bridge St, Hereford, HR4 9DG
Thanks to everyone who has signed the Charter since its launch this year and supported the growing movement for good food here in Herefordshire.
We've reached ONE HUNDRED SIGNATURES! Which is brilliant news at the turn of the year, and we know just a fraction of all the amazing work going on to make good sustainable food for all here in Herefordshire.
Please keep in touch in 2023 - we'll be gathering and sharing in all our areas, from farm vending to gleaning to procurement - get in touch with topics to share or groups to get involved. Or just get that Food Charter shared!
Seasons Greetings from the Herefordshire Food Alliance!
The Herefordshire Food Alliance are proud that members have fed into the Food Action Plan for Herefordshire, which includes partnerships with Public Health and other Council departments, neighbouring Councils, NHS Trusts and of course the range of groups and organisations that form the alliance. You can read it on the food page of Zero Carbon / Nature Rich Herefordshire which also features - yes, you guessed it - the Food Charter!
Note change of time and date! It got popular!
6-8 pm Sunday 11th of December
Public Hall Bromyard
Talk: Creating a Community Farm for Bromyard
Peter Lane who is organising says:
I have access to funding to set up, and build a Research & Development facility to develop systems for vertical farms, and this will create up to about thirty jobs. As part of the project we will have training/meeting rooms as we will be providing training for those interested in the subject.
In addition to the above we want to set up the following:
- Petting zoo
- Modern allotments suited for the less able.
"Just wanted to say how great the event was"
"Thanks for the meeting - interesting and useful"
Thanks to the 50+ farmers, community projects, caterers and others for coming to Food from the Shire - it was great to have a full room and many, many thoughts shared. We heard from farmers, caterers, community growers, food banks and larders - and we have many plans to take forward!
Many thanks to the Green Dragon Hotel for hosting, and for many Food Alliance members' input to make it happen.
Click on the image or the link to view notes, links and next steps from the event.
One Planet Developments were launched by the Welsh Government in 2011 as a policy for rural developments that enhance or maintain the environment on the land they are on. Many of the developments produce food, and out of this has come 'one planet produce' for food produce on these developments.
The One Planet Council has been supporting people to navigate their way through this and has launched a detailed review of the ten years of the OPD policy in Wales. They are seeking support with a crowdfunder so they can share the findings far and wide.
Great to have the Herefordshire Council Public Health Team signed up to the Food Charter.
"Herefordshire Council Public Health team are supporting our local food vision by signing up to the food charter. As a team we are committed to supporting Herefordshire residents live healthy, active lives and understand the impact the local food system can have on health"
You can let them know what you think the focus should be for improving health and wellbeing in the county in this consultation. Perhaps a few ideas related to local food?!
Ethos and the Living Room are creating a network of Community Larders across the county, building on their work of food surplus redistribution over the past few years. More about this initiative to join up great projects in Herefordshire soon!
They are recruiting for a Coordinator for this Community Food Larder work.
Back in 2021 a group of us looked at the priorities for our county in making sustainable food happen in a Herefordshire Green Network gathering.
Some of our thoughts were captured in the image below.
Following that, the Citizens Climate Assembly for Herefordshire named Food and Farming as a key priority in its recommendations - including purchasing local sustainable food, and engaging schools.
Already, priorities to reduce food miles and the length of the supply chain are being addressed - with the Alliance recently facilitating funding for a regional food procurement hub.
What's next in your opinion? What can we achieve together? Sign the Charter and we'll keep you posted. Whether you are an individual or an organisation, your pledge will make the alliance for sustainable food here in Herefordshire stronger.
Herefordshire Food Alliance are celebrating funding for a Marches Regional Food Hub!
We are one of just four regions in the UK to kick-start an innovative cross-county and cross-border food procurement partnership - supported by the Dixon Foundation and Dynamic Purchasing UK Food (DPUK).
The role of this type of Food Hub is to connect local food producers with public bodies, such as local authorities, schools and hospitals, creating shorter supply chains which have been shown to lower carbon emissions, boost the local economy and support smaller producers and businesses, while bringing fresh seasonal produce to local kitchens.
The Herefordshire Food Alliance is a network of individuals and organisations from across the county involved in local, community and sustainable food action.
Members Pat and Louise are part of Growing Local - encourages and educates communities to grow and eat local food. Growing Local is now also part of another exciting partnership - The Southside Project will transform 35 acres of green space south of the river in Hereford into a vibrant community destination with sports pitches, market gardens, affordable cafe and cookery school plus activities for all ages.
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.