Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

Local food news and offers to remind us to avoid the supermarket?

Much of the best food available in the UK is grown here and seasonal. Even without Brexit big savings, and health gains, can be made if we all buy what is fresh and in season. So we recommend avoiding the supermarkets and their misleading special offers and salty ready meals.

Asparagus is a great example when fresh and local it is about half the price, and twice as tasty, and nutritious, as the imported variety. Supermarkets don’t care about this of course as they simply take their margin and the higher the price, the more they make.

I love veg now

Local seasonal food direct from the grower is nearly always cheaper, and normally the added bonus of no plastic (previous blog here). This is due to the lack of supply chain costs that supermarkets have to add to the price of food. Last year my cousins onions went from £110/tonne ex farm to the equivalent of £750/tonne on the Tesco shelf.

To help us all buy the best produce we now have 7,000 local food outlets on our Local Food Map and allow all to add news and offers in our admin system. We also run regular blogs to promote new season produce and hope this will remind everyone to buy what is fresh and celebrate the changing of the season.

This will be brilliant in times of glut. Like 4 years ago when my cousin was happy to get 2p per kilo for his ‘A grade’ onions that the local supermarket were selling for 67p/kg. This was because the Russian embargo meant that the Polish and Dutch onion farmers could not sell their crop to Russia so dumped them on the UK market. If enough local people had been aware of the what was happening both my cousin and local people would have been much better off.

Let’s build a better, local, food industry

We hope that news and offers will also allow producers and retailers to get local people to try their shop. Like ‘10% Tuesday’ where shoppers get a discount on quiet days of the week, or ‘come and try our new coffee machine and get a free biscuit if you mention where you found us’ or ‘buy a 10kg bag of onions, or seasonal veg, to share with your friends, and get 33% off’. Or ‘We have joined the Crop for the Shop scheme and will sell produce grown by our customers’, or ‘we have teamed up with the local school, and with our help, will be selling food they have grown’.

Our Crop for the Shop scheme is a great way for a local shop to become the centre of the community and if they team up with a school to help educate the next generation and win valuable regular customers who influence what is grown and prize seasonal food (BBC video here). Much better than supermarkets influencing consumers to buy foreign food.

So please get involved and join our Community Interest Company. A local food community where we all get better food at great prices from farmers enthused to grow food for local people, instead of commodities for world markets. Please register for our newsletter that has a section to include news and offers within 20 miles of your post code, or advise your local producers and retailers to add their news and offers to our local food map.

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