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.
Check out the blog on the latest updates about Alive with Local Food actions and activities, including:
- Stirling Food Summit held in May 2017 - 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.
- Local Food Business Network meeting held in September 2017 - engagement with small scale food producers of the region, discussing their 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.
- Forth Valley Food Festival held in October 2018 - Forth Valley Food Festival (12 – 21 October) was a promotional campaign to celebrate the best of the local larder across the Forth Valley and Lomond area.The festival highlighted over 20 of the regions local food producers and providers, from Arnprior Pumpkins to Stirling’s new online food market, NeighbourFood. The festival also highlighted a programme of local food activities and farm experiences for the whole family get involved in during the school October break, from picking your own pumpkins to farm tours.
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