Strong Food Enterprises
Promoting healthy and sustainable local food businesses
Nominations are open for this year's Slow Food awards.
Herefordshire were well represented last year with Peter Cooks winning Best Baker. Last year's awards are here
and the form for this year's nominations is here.
"This year, the awards will work a little differently. You get to vote for your favourite in your nation (England, NI, Scotland or Wales) and whoever is in the top three in each of the categories in each of the nations will be shortlisted as a potential winner. A crack panel of experts in each nation will then take your shortlist and select the final winner from who you have chosen."
Let's get voting!
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.
NEW MILK VENDING MACHINE | A brand new milk vending machine has opened in Herefordshire!
The vending machine has opened in the village of Tarrington! It also stocks various other items, including organic cheese, butter and chocolate!
We'll add it to the growing map of places to buy great sustainable food in Herefordshire - if you know other places not on the map, please get in touch!
And if you've got some skills in making siomple databases talk to maps, especially using Airtable, please get in touch and help us out as we'd like to make it so much better!
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.
Ledbury Food Group will be in the High Street 18th Novemberpromoting some great local food businesses...
"We will be at Ledbury Saturday Market on 18th November between 9am and 1pm featuring three local producers and their wares, free fresh soup and soup recipes – great food for the Autumn – and information about the Ledbury Food Bank.
Come along and meet our producers:
- Dragon Orchard – fruit and preserves
- Skittery Apple Juice – you may know them as Jus
- Little Marcle Organic Produce – local fruit and veg producer/supplier
And enjoy Ledbury Market"
If you're a supporter of the Food Alliance and can chat to people about our work too, please pop along!
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!
Thanks to Ledbury Food Group for spreading the word...
"Congratulations to local producers whose efforts have been rewarded in this year’s Great Taste Awards.
Local to Ledbury” producers include:
- Willys from Little Marcle for their apple cider vinegars and Kimchi – 5 Awards
- Myrtle’s Kitchen for her Philpott’s Chilli Jam and BrineSalt, Lemon, Myrtle and Thyme Seasoning
- Just Rachel Deserts from the Hop Pocket for their Vegan Passion Fruit Ice Cream and Raspberry Sorbet
From the wider area of Herefordshire:
- Twigs and Dough for their special pasta
- White Heron for their British Cassis
- Oakchurch Farm Shop (A438 west of Hereford) – 7 awards including for steaks, pies and sorbet
- Gun Dog Gin for their fruit liquors – 2 awards
- Pip’s Cider for their ciders – 4 awards
- Hedonist Bakery for their bakery products – 3 awards
- Two Farmers for Woodland Mushroom and Wild Garlic Potato Crisps
- Broadfield Court Farm for their Whole Moo World milk – now available at vending machines in the county
- Woofys Brewery – 2 awards for ale and porter
- Black Mountain Roast for their Expresso Blend Coffee
- Wild by Nature for their Grass Fed Beef Snacking Salami
- Herefordshire Sauce for their Herefordsfire Sauce (stocked at the Nest)
And from just over the border in Worcestershire, McNeil’s Smokehouse have won a number of awards for their smoked fish products.
Go to https://greattasteawards.co.uk/results/ for more details and in many cases to links to stockists including local shops and farm shop outlets."
We are looking for a team player to join us.
No early mornings
Afternoon and evening work
Learning to make and bake great Real Bread with the BIA Baker of the Year.
#bakeryjobs #bakerylife #realbread #hereford #worcester #malvern #ledbury #bromyard #artisanbread #sourdough #sourdoughbaking"
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!
Plunkett’s Rural Community Business Awards returns for another year to recognise and celebrate the incredible achievements of community businesses and the dedicated individuals involved in them
Plunkett’s annual Rural Community Business Awards is back for another year to celebrate inspirational and outstanding examples of community-owned businesses and the dedicated people involved in them, who have gone above and beyond for their communities over the last year. As community businesses across the UK continue to step up to support their communities as we face a cost of living crisis, the Rural Community Business Awards are an opportunity to give recognition and thanks for their incredible efforts.
Find out here how you can nominate your community business or an individual involved in the business, in this year’s Rural Community Business Awards.
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
Good farming = Good Soil = Good rivers
Making a Beautiful Healthy Herefordshire!
Buy Herefordshire Food Direct:
Support farms producing brilliant food in Herefordshire that's building nature through:
- Reducing the number of animals
- Using grazing methods that improve the soil and capture carbon
- Using pasture for feed and avoiding monocrop imports
- Selling direct and avoiding unnecessary transport
- Building production of plant based foods using mixed farming methods
We've produced a map of good food that you can buy direct, or with a very short supply chain, here in Herefordshire.
More about 'good' food and farming below the map.
The map also shows community food and food growing projects.
To see the list of producers alphabetically, go here
Charter signess Lane Cottage Produce will have an open day on Saturday 1st July, as part of Shropshire Food Trail at their farm in Bucknell.
See what goes into growing great local salad...
Find out more about the Food Trail here
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.
Penrhos Spirits have won an award for their locally produced spirit...
"Our spirits use ingredients carefully grown by us or that are local to our distillery, foraged, found or farmed. Our gin achieved one of the highest judging scores in its category. With hundreds of entries from over 35 countries in the Awards this year, it is an incredible achievement that requires consistently high scores from the Judges across the key characteristics of your gin."
Has your locally produce, sustainable product won an award? Let us know!
Food highlights of the four day Caplor event include some local sustainable food providers on Tuesday 6th June, and agricultural talks on 7th June.
More details of each event here
"Caplor Energy, is excited to announce a four-day public event celebrating “100 years @ Caplor”.
The event will take place from the 5 to the 8 of June 2023
Tuesday 6 June – Caplor Energy and Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire present a “Herefordshire Showcase” with a local artisan market, crafts, activities and competitions.
Wednesday 7th June – Agricultural Event
A opportunity for the rural community in Herefordshire to come together, hear from industry experts and find out about renewable energy solutions designed by farmers for farmers.
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
Marches Mushrooms, Presteign Honey, Goode Tomato plants... local food to be found at the Spring Greens fair this weekend...
"SPRING GREENS ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR - Sunday 30th April 2023
at Court of Noke, nr.Pembridge, Herefordshire, HR6 9HW
By the kind invitation of Edward & Emma Bulmer
Exhibitions, stalls, displays, local food, shelter, arts & music
Demonstrations, guided walks, presentations & activities
Local Campaign Groups and Sustainable Businesses
Dog & Child-Friendly Atmosphere
NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR STALLS & WORKSHOPS
The Tuck Shop in Hereford is a new 24hr opportunity in Hereford to buy great sustainable food.
Hyper local milk producer Whole Moo World, Willy's organic cider vinegar and Peter Cooks Bread have products based there - see below for the blurb.
Are you producing and selling food according to a thriving, healthy and environmentally benign local food economy?
The 'Healthy Start' scheme supports people who are pregnant or have a child under 4 to buy good food and milk.
Healthy Start is now available as a card, and the new cards can be used anywhere with a Mastercard logo.
Do you sell good local produce, and accept Mastercard? You may be able to accept Healthy Start cards!
Do you have a young family and are you claming Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit?
You may be able to support GREAT local sustainable food without spending another penny! Check your eligibility for Healthy Start here.
If you know a local business selling locally produced sustainable produce who is also accepting Healthy Start - let us know and we'll shout about it.
To support more families to find out about this, there are many resources to access.
Here's the second recording from the vending sheds and infrastructure eventthis week.
Glenkens Food Hub shared their experience of setting up a joint hub online that a big variety of producers use, and local producers and consumers shared and got questions answered.
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.
"Tuston Market Garden in Herefordshire was started from an arable field in 2018. We have created a productive veg plot, 3 polytunnels, soft fruit and flower areas, meadows and woodland. We are certified Organic and practice no-dig methods, selling our produce at farmers markets, local veg boxes, wholesale and restaurants.
We are looking for a Seasonal Grower to work alongside Alice the Head Grower who has a young baby. The role will be 3 days (24 hours) per week from April to September.
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
Assistant Flower & Veg Grower Sought at Wye Organic
"Wye Organic was established in early 2021, and following a successful first two seasons we are looking to expand the team. We currently grow ½ acre of vegetables and flowers in an historic Walled Garden along with ¼ acre of polytunnel space; and this year we will start growing in an additional ¾ acre walled garden, all entirely no-dig.
Set in the stunning landscape of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, the garden is part of a traditional estate producing organic beef, lamb and more, all to principles of Regenerative Agriculture.
The application deadline is Sunday 26th February 2023."
Do you farm in a way that restores your soil, increases biodiversity, minimises carbon emissions and also feeds people?
Or do you want to support farmers that do in what and where you buy your food?
A new websitehas launched, by a group of farmers in Somerset to make it easier for both these things to happen.
It has a map - which is currently very sparsely populated but we can change that :)
The Ledbury Big Breakfast - 27th -29th January
A great opportunity to support local businesses who are sourcing their food locally.
Also to have conversations about what local, sustainable produce means - where has the produce come from, and how has it been grown or raised?
"16 local venues in and around Ledbury are taking part on one or more days in this event organised by Ledbury Food Group to celebrate our local food and drink producers and retailers and a healthy breakfast. The event takes place at cafes, pubs, hotels, butchers and delis in and around Ledbury."
Wicton Farm have an opportuity!
"We are a regenerative dairy farm in Herefordshire and we are reaching out to connect with people who have passion to join us. We are searching for a young dairy farmer / new entrant and also for a person who desires to make cheese or process high quality milk. Ideally you will already be skilled in the job role, but for the right worth while person we will happily train you or allow you to learn.
Looking for a new challenge for 2023? Here's a message from Tudge Farm who sell at Leominster (tomorrow) and Hereford Farmer's (19th Jan) markets.
"We are on the hunt for someone to help us out on a part time basis with our meat packing and processing. Approximately 15-20 hours a week, mornings with some full days.
Work includes packing and labelling our meat ready for our farmers' markets, cooking hams and sausages rolls, curing bacon, slicing and dicing. Based on the farm in Richards Castle.
Love of sausages essential!
For more information and a chat about what's involved please call Guy on 07977 592028 or Chris on 07789 274775 or email
Please share with anyone you feel may be interested."
The Fold in Bransford have an opportunity to work alongside their beautiful nature trails, artisan studios, events and markets running their cafe.
"We grow beautiful organic produce here on the Farm offering a totally unique opportunity to serve fully seasonal organic food, working with food feet rather than miles!"
For more details email
Great to have James Marsden and Gregg's Pit Cider and Perry signed up to the charter for good food in Herefordshire!
Using 100% juice of vintage varieties of apples and pears, harvested from traditional standard orchards, they can be found at the Hellen's Produce Marketamong other places.
Among other things, Gregg's Pit place a high value on traditional orchard management and biodiversity, seek out vintage fruit varieties and have complete traceablility from 'blossom to barrel'
James tells more in this article for online publication Whats for Dinner:
“An orchard tells the seasons more frankly than most woods, flaunting its blossom, dropping big fruit, feeding masses of creatures as well as us, demanding attention” (Common Ground, 2000).
Sign the charterand build the movement for food that supports poeple and environment here in Herefordshire!
Two food greats in the heart of Ledbury have supported the charter - THANK YOU! Great to have you in the growing movement.
They are part of the Ledbury Food Group, also signed and pulling together an amazing amount of great local food activity in this part of Herefordshire.
Pot and Page: "The plant based eatery and bookshop in the heart of Ledbury. With our home cooked soul food, carefully curated bookshelves and Herefordshire's largest selection of loose leaf teas, we are sure there will be something to broaden everyone's horizons. Find out more about us and our story!
Handley Organics: "Our ethos is to produce the best seasonal fruit and vegetables that we can. We also source the choicest local produce form a number of local growers, so that we can offer a year round choice of the best available."
- Over six billion meals’ worth of edible food goes to waste before making it off farms in the UK.
- Combatting on-farm food waste could boost farm profits, bolster UK food security and help tackle climate change.
The Hidden Wastereport (WWF) shows the massive environmental footprint of on-farm food waste, which accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from UK farming. In terms of wasted natural resources, producing this food requires an area of land nearly half the size of Wales.
Help us find one solution locally in Herefordshire at our networking event next week - Food from the Shire. Turning Food Waste into Food Surplus and supporting community projects.
Exciting News: Ledbury will hold its first Big Soup next month to celebrate local food and shine a big beaming light on the food charter.
Nourishing food using seasonal local produce that doesn't harm the pocket!
Sustain are undertaking a snapshot survey to help assess the impact of rising food and energy prices on local food enterprises and other food organisations in our networks. The survey takes only 15 mins. Your responses will help inform calls to action for national and local policy makers to help the range of small and medium enterprises that support access to good food at this time of uncertainty and beyond.
Answer the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/food-SMEs2
To build the alliance right here in Herefordshire - sign the Herefordshire Food Charter and build the alliance for good local food
Local Cheese Experts Monkland Dairy have a great opportunity for you. They have been producing high quality cheese with local Herefordshire milk just outside Leominster for many years and are keen to pass this on.
Thanks for siging the Herefordshire Food Charter, Tuston Farm! Supplying freshly grown organic produce locally, through a veg box scheme, farmers markets, directly to food businesses and through farm shops.
Alice has transformed an 8 acre arable field into a brand new, organically certified, Market Garden and wildlife haven. She's in her fourth growing year on this site, alongside Dom who is an ecologist and keen on creating a meadow and encouraging wildlife along with the tasty veg.
Veg pick ups are in Tarrington, Ledbury, Hereford and Ashperton - and you can find them also at Farmers Markets in Bromyard, Knightwick and Ludlow.
Thanks for signing the Charter Lane Cottage Produce - brilliant to have you in the alliance! Pesticide-free salad leaves here in Herefordshire.
Check out their Instagram for more info and their website for details of where you can buy their tasty leaves.
And sign the charter hereto support sustainably grown local food!
"We’re passionate about making bread that tastes great, is good for you and helps the local community.
Every loaf that comes out of our oven is made slowly by hand, using just four ingredients - ﬂour, water, yeast (mostly wild) and salt."
Join Peter and sign the charter for a stronger alliance for great sustainable food production here in Herefordshire.
Spotlight on the Suppliers list at Trumpet Tearooms - between Ledbury and Hereford on the A438.
A clear list of all things local, and extra information on request.
Their Peter Cooks 'Cruffins' are getting a lot of love on Tripadvisor!
Do you know of a local suppliers list to rival this one? Please send us a photo and we'll feature it!
Kids Kitchen Herefordshire are Recruiting: both trainees and sessional workers for their zero waste, from scratch family food activities.
They say: "We are looking to expand our Herefordshire Hub with NEW sessions in NEW venues run by NEW session leaders!
We have been fortunate enough to receive some funding from the Herefordshire Community Foundation’sResilience Fund meaning we are able to recruit and train some new Herefordshire session leaders in the coming months FOR FREE – could you be one of them?!
An amazing array of our county's best local producers and makers will be serving the best on the bank holiday weekend in the heart of Hereford. The Hereford Indie Food Festival is back after - unbelievably - FIVE YEARS!
"Hereford Indie Food is (unsurprisingly) all about great independent food + drinks businesses based out of Hereford and beyond. This year we welcome some titans of the Herefordshire food scene and our street food market is going to be fantastic!"
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.