The Local Food and Drink Coordinator will bring together key players in the local food and drink sector to develop and agree, a FVL Local Food and Drink Vision, Strategy and Action Plan. By designing the Strategy in partnership with local food and drink businesses, and working collectively to strengthen the local food and drink network, it will aid collaborative working to deliver the action plan that will support and grow the sector.
There are many areas which have a vibrant and resilient food system - with a unique food culture, a thriving food economy, and innovative food initatives. Places like Bristol in the UK, or Malmo in Sweden, come to mind. For an area to transform their food system to one that is more inclusive, accessible, profitable, and valued - there needs to be a robust plan to make it happen, with people from all areas of food and across all sectors working co-operatively and collaboratively, to make it happen.
We are lucky to have a range of interesting food projects, a variety of local producers, a strong tourism market, and a host of food enterprises operating within our area. A food & drink vision, strategy and action plan for the area will help to reveal what we are trying to achieve as a community and as a sector, and help detail a plan, with deliverable milestones, to get there.
The first area of work for the Local Food and Drink Co-ordinator has been review and research - looking into the question, "where are we at now, and where do we want to go"? This included a review of a variey of different regions, local food strategies and action plans, and alternative models to gain inspiration and information of what might work here in Stirlingshire, Clacks, and West Dunbartonshire. This has also included review of the various strategies and policies that our Local Food & Drink Strategy may want to align with - policies and strategies of the Scottish Government, Stirling Council, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Clackmannanshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council, among others.
Another area of work for the Co-ordinator has been engagement - getting a sense of what people want in terms of food in our area. A big part of this engagement work was the Stirling Food Summit. This was a two-day event, organised in partnership with the Local Food & Drink Co-ordinator, Forth Environment Link, Sustainable Food Cities, and Soil Association Scotland. The aim was to get a variety of people, organisations, and representatives around the table to celebrate, chat, learn, and eat all things good food! We did just that too - with over 200 people expressing their views and desires for our local food system, all of which will feed into the Local Food Strategy and Action Plan.
Check out the blog on the latest Local Food Business Network meeting held on September 12th - lots of small scale food producers' perspectives on the barriers to starting up and scaling up their businesses. Also had a chance to catch-up, network, eat some delicious local nibbles, and a Marketing and Branding workshop care of Connect Local.
Visions / Food Charters - a succinct, aspirational statement or document of how we'd like the future to be:
Food Strategies - a more comprehensive document - covering the background of food in the area, engagement with various stakeholders, research of best practices elsewhere, and clear ways of moving forward.
Action Plans - a detailed break-down of deliverable actions to achieve each element of the vision
This work is led by Ashley Robinson, the Local Food & Drink Co-ordinator for the Forth Valley & Lomond area - funded by Stirling Council & FVL LEADER and in partnership with Forth Environment Link, West Dunbartonshire Council, Clackmannanshire Council and others.