Our invitation to other towns and regions
If you look closely, you will see the URL of Our Food Crickhowell is our-food.org/crickhowell.
This is because we have created an open-source website so that any town or region anywhere can build their own Our Food site here – our-food.org/yourplace.
So, if you are interested, please get in touch (link below) and we will be very happy to talk with you!
The “Our Food” approach?
Our starting point is that relocalising food markets is fundamental to tackling climate change globally and to build stronger local economies and local jobs in a globalised world.
We are not thinking about some nice projects. We want to spend many years or even decades rebuilding an entire food economy. We say “re-build” because the massive reduction of food for local people, the export of most of what is produced here out of the local area and the practice of buying food in from other places via supermarkets, is a relatively recent phenomenon, which has devastated local food economies.
But it is hard because everything is at a low base. There is low demand – nearly everyone rushes off to the supermarkets to buy things that could easily be grown locally. There is low supply – the supermarket system has put swathes of food producers out of business and favoured industrial food production. And there are low skills – young people are just leaving local areas for jobs in the cities.
Our approach is to start the long process of cranking all three up, starting with increasing demand by raising awareness of what exists here now and identifying gaps for current and future producers to fill. We think it is better to create excess demand than to create excess supply and bust businesses!
Also, we firmly believe that this process must be business-led. The support of local authorities is vital – they can be big buyers of local food (e.g. schools and hospitals) if they can sort out their procurement procedures. But businesses doing what they do best – responding to markets and growing – lies at the very heart of it all and must be the focus.
During the autumn we will travel around the National Park to talk with other communities about creating a Brecon Beacons family of local Our Food sites.
A viable local food economy is bigger than a single town. It will need to cover the whole of the Brecon Beacons and around.
Advocating for support for local food economies in Wales
Also, we believe we need to advocate more strongly in Wales for support for local food economies. This is not part of the current Welsh Food & Drink Strategy, for example. If businesses lead the way, there is A LOT that local and national government can do to oil the wheels.
If any of this interests you, please get in touch now (link below)!