This article, written by Mark Stein, explains that community-based food initiatives have developed in the UK in recent years reflecting growing interest in developing local sources of food supply. Such initiatives often use volunteer labour and exploit urban land which is otherwise underutilised. They strengthen bonds within communities and can be particularly helpful for people with disabilities.
Community-based food businesses are not primarily engaged in the pursuit of profit although ideally they will be able to survive in the long term without public sector grant funding. They aim to reconnect people in a particular locality with food growing in the belief that this will lead to better nutrition, greener food production and more local jobs.
The context for the growth of these businesses is a radical critique of the current UK food system such as that expressed by the Hackney-based social enterprise Growing Communities in its “Manifesto for Feeding Cities" published in 2010:
“Currently the supermarkets and agri-business control our food. The centralised and industrialised system they have developed has provided us with plentiful, cheap food but at enormous cost to the environment and communities."
For reading the article, please click here.