In a room above Starlings, we found a clutch of local food producers: an organic farm selling ethically produced meat (and chicken bones! For making wonderful stock!); a bakery; an Italian food producer; a cake-baker from Ripon; a properly-local ready meal supplier; a vegi-box scheme; a cheesemonger, a rape seed oil producer. Among many others.
We knew Emma, who’d started Harrogate’s Food Assembly, was onto something. Every week, members of the Assembly can order from a range of locally and ethically produced goods, and meet those same producers when they come to collect their shopping on a Thursday evening. Brilliant. What a great way to support and meet local, high quality and human-scale producers, and to shop in a sociable and human-scale environment.
What we didn’t realise before was that this is part of an international movement. Here’s a quotation from The Food Assembly‘s website:
The Food Assembly’s vision is to create a better way to eat, where everyone has access to the pleasure of local food, and is connected to the people who make it.
Community is at the heart of The Food Assembly – we connect neighbours to farmers, neighbours to each other, and everyone to their food.
Starting in France, and now a movement across Europe, we believe in value-led innovation and are constantly seeking to sharpen our tool that connects people to local food producers.
Bringing power back to producers and consumers, our vision is a world with shorter supply chains where people connect to their food in a better way. By combining technology and sustainable agriculture, our vision is to support a healthier world where everyone can thrive.
Popping over 50 km. there and back to Harrogate on Thursdays won’t be easy. We plan to get a little posse together who’d enjoy this way of shopping too. We think it’s worth a bit of an effort to be part of something as exciting as this.