Sourcing more local and regional food will help Bristol food businesses to thrive. Smaller scale producers, including allotment growers who have surplus, need easy access to markets in the city. Small producers are starting to work together as co-operatives for supplying restaurants and cafes. Universities and hospitals are starting to develop innovative ways of sourcing regional produce within the complex procurement rules that govern their practice. Large contract caterers are starting to see the benefits of acquiring ‘Food For Life’ (or equivalent) catering awards.
A range of primary food producers from the city region are actively involved in the Bristol Pound Farmlink initiative, increasing the volume of staple foods from the city region sold into Bristol.
An established network of retail markets could provide fresh, seasonal, local & regional foods throughout the city. This would enable the majority of Bristol’s meals that are provided by schools, hospitals, staff canteens, universities and colleges to be accredited ‘good food’ meals.
»» Half the wards in Bristol have less than 10 independent food retailers. (‘Who Feeds Bristol?’ report, March 2011).
»» The South West has the greatest proportion of organically farmed land of all the English regions, representing 1.9 million hectares.