The Kindling Trust: Creating a virtuous food economy

kindlingpic1Smaller contracts needed

To truly embed food sustainability within the city however requires a change in the types of public sector contracts currently offered to suppliers, and the Trust has so far not managed to convince procurement officers of the benefit.

‘Contracts need to be smaller but not too small’, says Walsh. ‘We don’t want to supply the whole of Greater Manchester but supplying five or six schools close to our farms would be great.’

The opportunity to use public sector procurement channels to impact on health outcomes is huge. One in four meals outside of the home are funded by the taxpayer, through schools, prisons, hospitals and other public sector organisations.

Most of these meals are currently supplied at the cheapest price; replacing them with organic local food would not only build a local food economy and increase sustainability, but would have a huge impact on health outcomes.

While the Kindling Trust has not made much headway with Manchester Council it is working closely with councils within the region including Stockport, Oldham and Bolton. In Bolton food is high on the agenda and the town has a thriving food growing community, primarily driven by health teams. Oldham has been awarded a Good Food for Life catering mark for its school meals, and Stockport is working towards gaining sustainable food city status.

Clare Goff is editor of New Start magazine
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1 Comment

  • jeannie buckingham

    Dear Clare,
    Good article and good to see promotion of local food production – urban food security and supporting smaller producers get started is excellent.
    The ‘Land Workers Alliance’ http://www.landworkersalliance.org.uk and ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ are also actively seeking to bring together local food producers by sharing expertise and support.
    Rebecca Laughton (LWA) is another person who I would recommend to you, as someone who has considerable expertise in growing food in small plots of land and how growers need to bring data to the table – Rebecca is surveying yield/acre across the membership to highlight sustainable growing against big farmings ‘sustainable (?!) intensification…
    Thanks for the article!
    Jeannie

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