Bilby Bites - the food blog from Bilby Marketing

Love Local Food

Back in February 2009, I spotted an article on www.wmnthinklocal.co.uk that peaked my interest and I clicked through to the Love Local Food (LLF) website eager to find out more. LLF consists of founding members Emma Parkin, Martyn Bragg, Jo Cotter & Christine Duff and was built around a vision to highlight Exeter’s position as both an urban conurbation and a rural idyll. The idea being to remind the inhabitants of Exeter exactly what was on their doorstep. In fact I’m almost certain that none of the team will appreciate my focus on the opposition of city and countryside, as one of the key aims of LLF is to illustrate how the 2 meld seamlessly together.

Love Local Food are a not-for-profit organisation started in September 2008. They are a team of local farmers, producers and passionate food lovers in the perfect position to select and offer great food to Exeter’s residents. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday they operate a mobile van around Exeter, which you may have already seen. The van stops in various locations in half hour slots so you get plenty of time to make your selection, have a chat and ask any questions about where the produce has come from, or just about anything else you fancy. LLF sell produce that is largely sourced from within a small radius of the town and is fresh and organic. Where this is not possible, for example with tea, the products are Fairtrade and ethical. It is a very simple way of shopping and there are no delivery costs!

In addition to operating the mobile van, LLF run educational workshops on a variety of subjects, including breadmaking and growing organic vegetables. Based at Shillingford Farm and West Town Farm, the workshops are a great way of improving your skills and learning about self-sufficient methods of food production. In the current economic climate these skills are in demand and the courses are great value, starting at £20 for a 10am-3.30pm day. Regular events such as barn dances and open days are held at the farms with open days involving guided farm walks, BBQs, stalls and games for children and adults.

Their ethical credentials are watertight and I can't explain it any better than LLF put it themselves:

"We believe that using this model we can supply you with excellent produce at competitive prices and with all the benefits of paying a fair return to our local producers. The scale of our business means small producers have a chance to reach new customers directly, thus keeping the business within the local economy. Add to this the environmental benefits of minimal packaging, reduction in food miles and convenience for you and it all begins to make sense."

If you wish to know more about Love Local Food or get involved in any of the workshops or events that are taking place for 2010 visit http://www.lovelocalfood.org.uk or phone 01392 832729. They are set to launch a new website in early 2010 which will be even more comprehensive than the current site. LLF are always looking for more locals to get involved with the organisation so feel free to get in touch.