Tamar Grow Local takes sustainable local food model nationally

Tamar Grow Local’s unique model of creating a sustainable food system in the Tamar Valley will be replicated in other areas of the UK and help more people become involved in productive horticulture in the Tamar Valley thanks to support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The community-interest-company (CIC) which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017 has been creating a unique and resilient food system combining community projects and small commercial enterprises including a honey and apple co-op, online farmer’s market, farmstart, orchard and development of a local produce frozen ready-meal. All the projects are based around selling and promoting local Tamar Valley produce and supporting a local, fair-trade system for growers and farmers as well as making produce from small-scale growers more readily available for consumers.

Simon Platten from Tamar Grow Local said: ‘Our model is based on a systems-theory approach and works with community food projects, small food growers and farmers to increase their resilience to external factors such as price fluctuations and climate change by building opportunities for economies of scale and novel markets for more fresh local produce. In turn, we have created a mutually supportive network where groups of projects such as farmers markets, allotments, orchards, food hubs, farms starts and other food enterprises can support each other to make their organisations more resilient. We’re delighted after 10 years to now be able to share our model with other groups around the country and help them provide similar services.’

Tom Carman from Cultivate Oxford, one of the first groups to receive support from Tamar Grow Local said: “Cultivate couldn’t be more pleased to work with Tamar Grow Local – the experience, skills and knowledge that the TGL team has are outstanding, and we feel extremely privileged to be able to learn from the best.  Cultivate has been working to introduce and grow a more localised food system to the Oxfordshire area because of all the known benefits a more localised food system brings – from food based-livelihoods, improvement to the environment, and its ability to bring people together.  We’re sure that this support will enable this to happen more meaningfully in Oxfordshire, and excited that these benefits could be seen in other parts of the UK too.”

Tamar Grow Local will now be meeting with other groups in the UK, supporting them to create a sustainable food system in their areas whilst working with small growers and farmers.