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Fife food project toasts success

A food initiative that has helped Fife locals to reduce carbon emissions while supporting local food producers is celebrating its first anniversary.

Local Food Works has also helped to bring the community of Falkland and neighbouring villages together by encouraging people to enjoy and buy locally produced food.

The project, which is being funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, incorporates a regular local Saturday food market, community meals, food workshops and an initiative to develop redundant areas around the stable block at Falkland Estate into productive growing spaces. The project is run through the Falkland Stewardship Trust with one of the objectives being to cut the number of car journeys to the big supermarkets.

The extent of the programme’s success has been highlighted in an independent report produced by consultancy firm Climate Futures. The study shows that an estimated 500 unique shoppers visited 39 food markets during the first year with each spending an average of £13 per visit. As most people made multiple visits, this equated to a total spend of around £27,000.

Although these figures are important, Local Food Works project co-ordinator Yvonne Alexander says the impact of the initiative has been more than just financial.

Yvonne commented:

“To change people’s habits, we wanted to make local food producers and growers more accessible in our community”

“I am extremely proud to say that this is happening, primarily because the quality of food on offer is so good, but also because of the level of community engagement. People keep coming back for more, which is great.”

As well as continuing initiatives such as the local food market and community meals, the new funding from the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund - which extends until March 2018 - enables the organisers to roll out new schemes. These include Land-to-Plate days when local school children are invited to pick vegetables and learn how to cook them, compositing workshops, Love-Food-Hate-Waste sessions along with three harvest events. In addition, 150m2 of extra redundant space around Falkland Estate will be converted into growing areas led by Sam Docherty, the community gardener and a bank of 40 volunteers.

David Gunn, Climate Challenge Fund manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful said:

“I encourage the community to become involved with Local Food Works and take advantage of opportunities to buy, grow, cook and celebrate local food.”

“We look forward to empowering many more communities to take action on climate change through our management of the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and see it as part of our work to make Scotland clean, green and more sustainable.”

The Local Food Works website contains more information on the project including upcoming events and workshops.

24 May 2017

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