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Stirling’s Online Food Market Turns One

Eco-friendly initiative encourages consumers to shop local

Stirling Food Assembly recently celebrated its first birthday recently, having sold a whopping 2800 baskets of produce and generating over £55,000 for the local economy.

To mark the occasion and stir up even more local interest in the scheme, the popular online food market hosted a free tasting session at Stirling Cycle Hub  with everything from locally made cheese and sourdough bread to organic beef and seasonal veg.

The eco-friendly initiative, which encourages consumers to shop local, was launched last autumn by Stirling based charity Forth Environment Link and is now ranked among the top three Food Assemblies in UK.  

Stirling Food Assembly is an initiatives that Forth Environment delivers with support from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).  The charity has been awarded CCF grants to run projects that increase consumption of local food, tackle food waste, lower domestic energy use and raise the number of journeys made by active travel methods - all helping to reduce local carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

Food Hub Officer, Stuart Guzinski said:

“The market was an immediate hit with the local community, attracting 100 orders in its first week, and has gone on to outperform markets in major UK cities such as London. Unlike with the big supermarkets, our producers keep almost all the profits; with each weekly market generating an average of £1000 for the local economy.”

The Food Assembly scheme, which originated in France, aims to connect shoppers with the people who make or grow food in their local area. The average distance travelled by producers to the Stirling market is 16 miles, cutting down the journey between farm and fork. Users can simply click and collect their order, with pickups from Stirling Cycle Hub on a Thursday or Friday.

One of the Assembly’s most loyal customers, Eve Keepax, who has placed an order nearly every week since it was launched, said:

“The Food Assembly is a great way to shop and the food tastes great. I like how the farmers and producers deliver their weekly order in person, so you can chat to the people who make or grow your food. Shopping local has also greatly reduced the number of food miles in my diet. Knowing what is available and being able to order it in advance also means I don’t waste food, as I can plan my meals out for the week.”

In the past 12 months, the market has grown from 9 producers to 36, and now offers everything from fruit, veg and eggs to seafood, raw cakes and hand roasted coffee.

One of the key principles of the Food Assembly movement is to reduce food waste.

Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Our Love Food Hate Waste campaign is about helping people value and make the most of their food. Being a member of a Food Assembly is a fantastic way to enjoy delicious food, meet local producers and make connections that help us appreciate our food. Congratulations to Stirling Food Assembly on their huge success in the past year.”

You can find out more about CCF projects involving food through videos and case studies on the CCF website with information on currently funded projects available through an interactive map.

16 October 2017

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