We all eat food (from a supermarket, farmers market, local grocer, CSA, grown at home or in an allotment). Join us in understanding local and regional food systems and the demand for, and impact of, imported food.
In the UK we import 40-50% of our food. Before the Covid 19 pandemic and Brexit food and farming contributed £120 billion to the UK economy annually and supported 4.3 million jobs. Exports have since fallen and we have a chance to put in place measures for UK food security by consuming more of what we produce. A bioregional food shed aims to produce as much as we can locally, with regenerative agriculture that promotes healthy soils and as part of a circular economy. However, supermarkets will always be an essential part of the mix and we keep an open dialogue with them.
In order to focus on this topic, BLC joined three other organisations in contributing to The Devon Sustainable Food Network Project ‘Collaborating for Food Change’ led by Dr Rebecca Sandover at Exeter University. The project brought together practitioner and academic knowledge of the challenges sustainable food places face. It also revealed the potential for uniting food agendas focused on food poverty, diet-related ill health and boosting local and sustainable food cultures.
“Devon is a county with a wealth of food initiatives seeking to promote positive approaches to food security, health and wellbeing, food skills and cultures, access to food and local food supply chains. Currently these initiatives are largely operating individually and are focused on their local areas. There is now a great opportunity to harness this energy for Devon sustainable food and to scale up their work through effective county-wide coordination.”
– Dr Rebecca Sandover
We all live in ‘sheds’, our natural life-support systems. Most of us know what a watershed is: the local geological basin that catches rain and feeds it into streams and rivers for our drinking water, food and eco-system health. A bioregional economy also pays attention to local food sheds, energy sheds, soil sheds and fibre sheds and how they overlap and interact. Re-localising is a key strategy for climate resilience and turns us into stewards of our own resources. Sourcing locally reduces energy and CO2 emissions as well as boosting local economies and livelihoods.
We work in and at the intersection of economy, ecology, learning, arts and culture and the gaps in between.