At BigBarn we are building a LOCAL food industry to replace the national one that is reported to be wasting 50% of food. We want a local food industry to reconnect consumers and food producers and through trade and communication make food real.
So how does a local industry reduce waste?
1. The national industry wastes food from the field to the marketplace through poor harvesting, delivery, storage, and spoiling. Local trade shortens the supply chain and decreases the need for storage.
2. Most foods are currently produced like commodities on a massive scale with supermarkets demanding a ‘standard’ product. This means small, large, odd shaped and slightly damaged produce rejected, sometimes up to 20% of the total production. With local trade most people like the opportunity to buy different sized produce or a pay a cheaper price for misshapen or slightly damaged food.
3. A local food industry celebrating fresh seasonal produce will encourage more cooking from scratch, and even food swapping. All reducing waste by better use of cheaper seasonal foods and utilising leftovers.
4. Waste can be reduced locally by negating the need for packaging allowing consumers to buy as much as they need rather than big packs.
5. A shorter supply chain will also reduce waste from sell by dates as local food is fresher and not ‘force ripened’ as is common in the national supply chain.
6. Supermarkets measure their success on the percentage of all products being available to customers all the time. This encourages over production, and waste, if simple factors such as, the weather, change consumers buying habits. A local supply will not offer this availability but change consumer expectations to eat what is available and fresh, in season.
7. A local supply chain should make buying food more convenient, and allow consumers to shop every few days for what they need rather than overstocking with a one stop shop to stock up for a week or more.
So join in and help build your local food industry. You can use our local food map to find your local shops. The more you buy the more local producers will grow. Or start growing yourself and supply the local food industry with our Crop for the Shop initiative.