Local food networks thrived during lockdown with more people turning to local producers, farm shops and veg box schemes as supermarket shelves ran dry. But how are they doing now? The Covid pandemic was a reminder that localised networks give our food system resilience during disruption, but also that they pay farmers fairly to produce food in a nature friendly way, and helps them stay in business. The cost of living crisis has been one of the biggest difficulties for this system recently, as consumers pay a higher price at the till.
Sheila Dillon visits Growing Communities, a local food network in Hackney, East London who run a veg box scheme, to hear what’s needed to help networks like theirs to expand. She also talks to Rana Foroohar, global business columnist and associate editor at The Financial Times, about what the Biden administration is doing to decentralise the food system in the US. Nigel Murray, Managing Director of Booths Supermarket, explains how they support smaller producers and local supply chains in the North West of England and Yorkshire. And we hear from the Food Producer finalists in the 2023 BBC Food and Farming Awards, about how they are carving out their own diverse network of customers outside the supermarket system.
Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol