Local Food News — World

Kiwis one step closer to knowing where their food is from

Support for Green MP Steffan Browning’s member’s bill is a win for the vast majority of New Zealanders who want to know where the food they buy is produced, the Green Party said today. The Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill will make it mandatory for food producers to label their fresh or single-ingredient food products with the country of origin. The Bill was passed to select committee stage this evening. “A recent poll showed that more than 70 percent of New Zealanders support mandatory labelling, and it’s good for local food producers too. Scoop.co.nz press release.

Helicopter business ready for take off with five-star dining tours

“Over the past ten years I’ve focused on the highest standard in worldwide jet charter, I thought this would be the perfect bolt-on for inbound clients showcasing the dramatic [Scottish] scenery and local food as a whole experience,” she said. The Heli-Dining combination has been requested so frequently over recent months that Ms Torres decided to launch it as a separate offer to her whole client base. Herald Scotland story.

UFU’s schools competition set to boost farm awareness across NI

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has launched its 2017 schools competition, in association with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend and ASDA. This year’s competition, which is open to all nursery, primary and special schools around Northern Ireland, is based on the theme ‘Eating Healthy, Local Food’. ASDA, which sponsors the competition, has a range of prizes on offer for the winners. “This competition will give pupils a greater knowledge of the seasonality of our produce and how it is produced. It will also underline the importance of supporting local producers to benefit the rural and wider economy in Northern Ireland. Agriland story.

BMW Ireland to Power Irish Online Start Up’s Quest to Discover Local Food Heroes

As life is nothing without taste, BMW Ireland is partnering with TheTaste to allow one lucky food lover to dine free for a year by nominating their local culinary gem. In association with BMW Ireland, TheTaste Team will expand and embark on an all-Ireland voyage of discovery to unearth the hidden treasures around the country in TheTaste BMW 1 Series M Sport. With the Irish food scene going from strength to strength, TheTaste is on a mission to travel the length and breadth of the country, putting as many delicious experiences as possible on the map. TheTaste.ie post.

Honey Month– a month long celebration of honey!

Apiarists around Australia will showcase beekeeping, honey products and of course, wonderful food during Honey Month this May. Honey Month is a national bee and honey awareness campaign that promotes Australian beekeepers and their products to a broader public. NewsMaker press release.

Calling all food producers: Sell at Morrisons

If you are a local food producer then Morrisons want to hear from you. They have launched ‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ campaign which aims to get local produce into each Morrisons store and sell more British food. Morrisons want to recruit more than 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales in the first year and are inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets. Tamebay blog.

A different kind of fizz: community drinks company challenges Glasgow juice culture

Using this knowledge as her starting point, Natalia created Bottle of Ginger, a soft drinks producer and social enterprise where all profits go straight back into local food and drink initiatives. The aim of Bottle of Ginger is to raise money through sales that will be put back into the local community to help alter consumption habits and improve understanding of how quality drinks are made, in comparison to mass-produced fizzy drinks. It’s certainly necessary given some of the statistics Natalia quotes: “The consumption rate of soft drinks can be used nowadays as a sort of geographical indicator of inequality. Positively Scottish story.

WA consumers asked to make a ‘good choice’ and buy local food

Western Australian consumers will be asked to make a ‘good choice’ and support local food businesses, as part of a dynamic new marketing campaign which rolls out across the State in July. The Good Choice campaign has been developed in collaboration with industry, and is set to reenergise the Department of Agriculture and Food’s long serving Buy West Eat Best program. FOOD Magazine – Australia story.

Demand for higher quality and British food grows by up to 100 per cent

Caterers are increasingly turning to quality British produce instead of engaging in a ‘race for the bottom’ on price, according to the Soil Association. £49.7 million is spent on British food through the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark (raw ingredients from the UK, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, oil, sugar and flour) – an increase of 40% over 2015. £38 million of this food meets Red Tractor standards. The scheme has encouraged ‘positive changes’ in the catering sector to local, sustainable and ethical products with points given for spending on different schemes such as LEAF, RSPCA, Fairtrade and Organic. FarmingUK story.

BlueCart Mission

We love restaurants, their suppliers, and the food they provide. We believe that everyone in this industry — regardless of the size of their farm, warehouse, dining room, or bank account — should have access to the latest tools and technology. The food industry operates on razor thin margins. We believe technology should increase those margins, not add costs. We believe better communication means better business relationships. Clear communication means fewer returned orders, less time spent staring at spreadsheets, and quicker order response times. It’s good for everyone. Website.


Rethinking revolution on the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Both the launch and the book are outstanding illustrations of the fact that Marxian socialists have no understanding whatsoever about food or social movements related to food. I surprise myself that I’m still surprised by this, but then, I once shared the same heritage as most of the authors. I’m not sure what is that so ticks me off about their overlooking of food and agriculture. After all, they also ignore clothing, shelter, cities and the internet, all of which might be deemed important to radicals trying to be relevant to their era. Rabble book review.


Local Food News — World

UK government backs regional Food Enterprise Zones to boost supply chains

The 17 UK government-backed Food Enterprise Zones (FEZs) will be established in regions across England, with a share of £830,000 funding to help fast-track the expansion of food and farming businesses in the regions. The aim is for the hubs to create greater collaboration between rural businesses, kick-start local food economies and help people develop new skills. – Supply Management story.


Nurture local food, not exports

“The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) currently accounts for 40 per cent of the entire EU budget, yet much of the £50 billion spent annually produces no food as it goes to large landowners. I want to see much of the £15 billion available under CAP in England over the next seven years going to local producers who are setting up local food chains to ensure people eat fresher, locally produced, food, which is much better for them. Numerous projects such as Sustainable Food for Lancashire show this can be done.” Big Issue North story.


Back British Farming – Taste National Parks

National Parks England is backing British food and farming by calling attention to the quality foods produced by farmers in and around National Parks and highlighting the important contributions these special foods make to local economies. There is a real appetite for food tourism in England and entrepreneurial businesses are increasingly offering food tours and experiences, cookery courses and fine dining. Food tourism provides a real economic boost that is much-needed in these rural areas. National Farmers Union Online post.


UK government calls for more local labelling on food

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has called for food producers and shops to give more information on labels about where in Britain their food comes from. It said new research showed almost 79 per cent of people saw buying local food as a top priority. Environment secretary Liz Truss said local labelling such as showing what farm or county the food is from, would help consumers take pride in buying British produce and support the UK rural economy. Supply Management story.


The Local Label: A Modern Food Conundrum

In my research, I have come to realize that the “local” label may be a little more complex than I have always passively assumed it to be. It is important for us all to be aware of where our food comes from, how it is grown, and what the impacts – both environmental and human – of its production are. But using the word “local” alone unfortunately tells us very little about many of those important factors. Haverford Clerk (Haverford’s Independent Student Newspaper) post.


Southern Co-operatives relaunches Isle of Wight store with local food focus

A Southern Co-operative store in the Isle of Wight has opened with a focus on local produce. Kate Hibbert, The Southern Co-operative’s local sourcing manager, said: “The Isle of Wight is renowned for its quality and diversity of local produce and is where our popular Local Flavours range originated nine years ago; this range has now extended to Hampshire, Sussex and across southern England as demand has increased, promoting local distinctiveness and offering valuable support to local food producers and suppliers.” Co-operative News story.


Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Heaven

Gastronauts will be licking their lips over the impressive choice of food and drink on offer in the Yorkshire Dales National Park following the launch of two new projects. The Yorkshire Dales Food Network has been set up to to boost awareness of the huge variety of food producers in the Yorkshire Dales. It also aims to improve trade by connecting them up with retailers, restaurants, accommodation providers and consumers within the National Park. It is led by a team of people who specialise in marketing, food production and hospitality. A new website has been launched with the help of a £10,000 grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund. Stackyard story.


‘Green’ curriculum inspires Fern Creek students

A rotting pumpkin on a seat in the rain in the garden at Fern Creek High School is an “art project,” 17-year-old student Quentin Stephenson told teacher Joe Franzen recently. “That represents school,” Stephenson said. But the environmental education, food literacy curriculum, cooking, carpentry and entrepreneurial projects undertaken by Franzen and fellow teacher Brent Peters has transformed the high school experience, the high school senior told an audience of 45 local teachers Saturday. The Courier-Journal story.


As Schools Buy More Local Food, Kids Throw Less Food In The Trash

According to this “census” of farm-to-school programs, at least 42,000 schools spent almost $ 600 million on local food during the 2013-2014 school year. That’s up almost 50 percent from the previous census, conducted two years earlier. The schools reported that when they served local food, their kids ate more healthful meals and threw less food in the trash. “There’s universal interest in this, and that’s why we’ve seen dramatic increases in sales, and why we think there’s still a lot of upside potential to this,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in an interview. EasyBranches.us story.


Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation Present the Second Annual Good Food Org Guide

This definitive Guide highlights nonprofit organizations that are doing exemplary work in each of the 50 States including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam, in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. At least 10 organizations were chosen from each of the 50 states so that wherever people live they can find the organizations nearest to them that are cultivating a better food system. Food Tank post. Guide.




The Economics Behind Grandma’s Tuna Casseroles

I was born to be a food snob. I grew up on New York’s Upper West Side in the 1970s and 1980s, in the afterglow of the food revolution that moved the city, and then American food, away from bland mid-century concoctions toward something spicier and more diverse. And I was born to a woman who took all that very seriously. My mother arrived in New York with a solid grounding in the basics, and painstakingly taught herself to make fish sauces that took three days to prepare properly. She made her own croissants from scratch. We were the sort of people who did our grocery shopping like a trade caravan moving from oasis to oasis. Bloomberg View post.

Local Food News — World

UK calls for “local labelling” of foods

The UK government has called on food manufacturers and retailers to provide shoppers with more information on where in the UK food comes from with the introduction of “local labelling”. Environment Secretary Elisabeth Truss argued that labelling detailing what region – or even farm – food was produced at would enable shoppers to take “more pride” in buying British foods. This, she suggested, builds on the government’s existing commitment to support stricter country of origin labelling requirements. Just-Food post.


Argus Farm Stop: A Creative Approach to Local Food Distribution

Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor, Michigan demonstrates a model which could be described as a daily, year-round farmers’ market that operates much like a grocery store. When I visited in late July, the shelves were packed with a wide array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, including several unusual varieties and a greater selection than the typical farmers’ market offerings. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post by Kristen Giesting.


Bid hatched to achieve European Region of Gastronomy

Galway has officially become a candidate for European Region of Gastronomy 2018, a very exciting and important initiative which would highlight the unique food culture of Galway and provide a legacy of improved food quality and support for local food and traditions. The collaborative bid, which is being led by Galway County Council in association with Galway City Council and GMIT, will bring together all sectors including the public, private, education institutions and community/voluntary sectors to work together to secure European Region of Gastronomy status for Galway – West of Ireland in 2018, a first for Ireland. Connacht Tribune Group post.


Southern Co-operative to showcase local food at Isle of Wight County Show

Southern Co-operative is sponsoring the food pavilion at the Royal Isle of Wight County Show to showcase its commitment to local food producers. Kate Hibbert, local sourcing manager for Southern, said: “Our Local Flavours range promotes local distinctiveness and is very popular with our customers. We stock more than 350 lines from over 30 Isle of Wight producers in our Island stores alone; as an independent regional retailer, it’s vital that we play a pivotal role in supporting local food producers and the rural economy; this is very much part of our business ethics as a co-operative.” Co-operative News story.


4 Innovative Urban Farms Changing the American Landscape

There has been an explosion in urban farming initiatives across the country in recent years. All kinds of creative solutions have emerged in urban agriculture to feed the growing number of city-dwellers worldwide—from growing food in converted shipping containers to operating vertical farms out of abandoned warehouses and even repurposing swimming pools to become garden oases. Even some baseball stadiums like Boston’s Fenway Park are devoting space for stadium-grown grub. EcoWatch post.


New Australian food labels will list local food content but not foreign

New food labels will reveal only the “Australian-ness” of groceries – meaning the consumers who bought contaminated berries earlier this year would not have known they were from China. The Abbott Government yesterday revealed that from next April 1 most groceries will have to include a label to explain the percentage of Australian ingredients. The new system will apply mainly to fresh food, dairy products, canned goods and rice and pasta, meaning a majority of processed foods, such as biscuits and soft drinks, will not have to comply. Courier Mail story.


Food From Fife Third Edition

The map, described as The Guide to Fife’s Food and Drink, has been updated and given a new cover featuring apples from one of the many orchards dotted in and around Newburgh. The publication, with a wealth of detail about where to buy fresh food and eat out, is the result of collaboration between Fife Council, the Fife Food Network’s “Food from Fife” initiative and the List Guides. With fertile farmland and many miles of coastline providing a natural bounty for Fife, the area is peppered with a wide variety of businesses which use this harvest to the full. These include several busy farm shops, producers of beef, pork, lamb, and venison, and artisan businesses including bakers, a cheese maker, ice cream makers, and seafood smokehouses. Scotland Food and Drink release.


Food on the Edge

Food on the Edge takes place over two days: 19th & 20th October 2015, it is a coming-together of top international chefs and food leaders for a 2-day Food Symposium in Galway. The aim of the symposium is to challenge our perspective on food and our connection to it. There will be approximately 40 speakers over the two day symposium, all chosen for their innovation, passion and influence on today’s food culture. Each speaker, with their own unique perspective, will talk for 15 minutes on the cultural, social, environmental and educational aspects of food. Good Food Ireland post.


Government calls for more information on UK food labels to boost local sales

The Government is calling on food producers and shops to give more information on labels about where in Britain their food comes from, as new research shows that almost 80 per cent of people see buying local food as a top priority. The new research high lights that vegetables (51%) and meat (40%) topped the list of products that people would buy if a local option was available, demonstrating the potential to grow our meat and vegetable industry, worth £10.5 billion in 2014. Food retailers and producers are already embracing the growing demand for local food, with supermarket Tesco developing a unique tool that allows online shoppers to search for products sourced within 10 miles of their local area. In addition, country of origin labelling on meat produce is now widely in use. Farming UK story.


‘Rewilding’ of routes seeks to save bees from destruction

Ireland’s motorways and railways are to be “rewilded” to create bee highways in an attempt to save them from extinction and their food supplies from devastation. With one third of our 98 native bees facing wipe-out, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has been devised to encourage farmers, councils, schools and gardeners to create havens and pit-stops for the island’s species. Transport chiefs have agreed to reduce roadside mowing on main roads and to open south facing railway embankments for nests. Irish Times story.




Governance, Rural Development & Farmers’ Participation in Irish Local Food Movements

As exponents of the ‘post-industrial’ and ‘post-productivist’ economy, it is accepted that many of the economic activities in line with the contemporary rural development agenda (as supported by the EU LEADER programme, for example) do not have a mainstream agriculture ‘tag’. It is envisaged that the governance approach to rural development, by providing a mechanism for the participation of a variety of local sectoral stakeholders, gives rise to an increased capacity to appraise and tap into nuanced local development resources. Particular forms of economic activity, which concentrate to a large extent on high value-added food production, tourism activities and the valorisation of natural resources have emerged in line with the contemporary rural development agenda and arguably represent a new status quo in the rural economy. Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre conference paper.