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BigBarn on TV: Building our local food community

BigBarn is all about reconnecting consumers with where their food comes from and building sustainable local food communities where farmers and consumers get a good deal.

A big ambition you might say? But something that is not that difficult and desperately needs to be done.

Not that difficult because there are thousands of local producers, shops and home growers that can be linked up. And needs to be done, because the modern food industry and supermarkets are not giving farmers, or consumers, a good deal.

So we thought we should prove the concept by building our local food community, see below, and join in!

Details of the project:

Over the last 30 years the food industry has become dominated by supermarkets and disconnected consumers with where their food comes from.

Marketeers have told we consumers that we are too busy to cook and that convenience, high sugar drinks and ready meals are good.

Local people growing fresh healthy food

Local people growing fresh healthy food

As a result many mums have stopped cooking fresh healthy food and Farmers, on average, only get 9p in every £1 spent on food in the supermarket. Thousands of dairy farmers have sold up and small, mixed farms employing and connecting with rural communities are a thing of the past.

Many people realise the food industry and consumers need to change and there is a trend away from the big one stop shop to more local shopping.

What is needed is real incentive to change and to harness the most powerful of all influencers of all, our children!

Our local food community project will capitalise on BigBarn’s successful Crop for the Shop scheme in a school (BBC video here, to build a child enthused, social, inclusive, sustainable, community led, local food industry as an alternative to the profit focused, anti-social national one.

All through the project case studies blogs and videos will be produced to help other communities, rural, and urban, follow.

The school, local people and farmers will be encouraged to grow, and trade, food so that everyone is reconnected with where their food comes from, cooks seasonal produce, waste less, and save money.

Shops on the BigBarn map with Carrot flags

Shops on the BigBarn map with Carrot flags

Our local school and local people are already growing a small amount of fruit and veg, and there is a forgotten community orchard, but the vast majority shop at supermarkets 10 miles away and are disconnected with where their food comes from, and lack the knowledge, and will, to cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

This local food industry will bring back the excitement of the food seasons and demand will grow with supply. The lost generation of Mum’s who hate cooking will be energised to cook with their children who have cooked the food they have grown at school.

We have 7,000 local producers and retailers on our local food map and are adding more all the time. (please email us if you spot someone we should add). Many have opted in to our Crop for the Shop scheme with a carrot flag on their icons.

So if you have a local shop like this, and school, and team, who might like to build your local food community send us an email. We will send you case studies and latest videos and could even help get a grant!


  1. This is exactly what we have been doing since taking over our local village shop in 2014. We source all of our milk direct from a local dairy farm, all of our meats and cheese come straight from local farms, and we now stock a huge range of delicious goods from over 50 local suppliers!
    The village school/nursery have developed some small veg plots, and they regularly bring along their crops to sell in the shop, as do several of our customers – and we grow our own on our smallholding too!

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