Local Food Campaign back small UK enterprises

by Sarah Hills FoodBizDaily.com London

December 21 2009 – A new guide has
been released to help local food initiatives thrive as part of a
programme to support 650 community food enterprises by 2012.

The guide, called ‘Simply Legal’, was launched along
with a new helpline and is part of a comprehensive package of support
and advice for new and emerging community food enterprises across

It is part of a growing local food trend that has also
seen supermarkets source more products locally. They include Waitrose,
which has a team of buyers dedicated to seeking out local and regional
sources of food and Asda, which recently said it sold £57m of locally
sourced food across Northern Ireland and expects that figure to
increase 26% next year to £72m.

Published by Co-operatives UK, the guide is part of
Making Local Food Work, a five-year programme funded by £10 million
from the Big Lottery.

It is designed to aid community enterprises with legal forms and organisational types for local food.

The idea is to help people take control of their food
and where it comes from and – with the target to support 650 community
food enterprises by 2012 – it aims to increase access to and awareness
of local food for one million people.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said it had been a record year for local food.

He added: “We have seen more and more initiatives
become fully-fledged enterprises, from inner city food co-operatives
and farmers’ markets through to rural community-owned shops and
community supported agriculture.

“Our Making Local Food Work programme is designed to help them on that journey.”

The Making Local Food Work programme pools expertise
to develop and promote different types of community food enterprise,
giving a range of advice to people in England and Wales by helping
communities to gain access to good, fresh, local produce, with clear

The partnership is made up of Co-operatives UK,
Campaign to Protect Rural England, Country Markets Ltd, FARMA, the
Plunkett Foundation, Soil Association, and Sustain. 

Co-operatives UK is the national membership organisation for co-operatives of all kinds.