Buying & selling ‘local food’
Despite its large rural hinterland, it is not easy for Exeter consumers to buy locally produced food, and especially not at competitive prices . Nor is it easy for local producers to sell to them. In a nutshell, this is because the local food economy is operating on too small a scale to be efficient, and costs to the consumer are high as a result. Local producers tend to sell their produce into larger markets, eg London and Bristol because there is not a ‘critical mass’ of local demand. Boosting demand is therefore of central importance to increasing efficiency and creating a local food economy that can deliver local food cheaply.
Food Exeter wants to help secure a step change in the amount of locally produced sustainable food being eaten by local people – in their homes, work places and cafes and restaurants. Achieving would provide the following benefits:
- support local food producers and stimulate an increase in their number
- increased consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables
- increased environmental benefits in the countryside around Exeter
- stronger sense of connection to local areas and food by Exeter residents
- reduced costs to consumer compared to current costs of high quality fresh local produce
- reduced food waste
Food Exeter’s Routes to Market Working Group is leading on this area of work.
Local Food Information
The Food Exeter Network comprises many local initiatives and businesses involved in local food.