Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.
Buying local food supports your local farms and businesses. It also encourages more and more diverse food production, creates jobs and as a result increases food security.
Studies show that every £1 you spend on local food stays in the local economy and circulates meaning it ends up being worth around £1.20.
Compare this to the supermarket where most of the products are not local, relatively few local people are employed, and the majority of the income is taken out of the local economy. This means £1 spent in a supermarket is worth about 20p to the local economy.
Buying local makes sense, especially when linked to the statistic that: On average for every £1 we spend on food in the supermarket the farmer only gets around 9p.
This statistic is why we started BigBarn. As a farmer in 1999 my family grew around 100 acres of onions. We were not growing enough to supply a supermarket, so sold to a middle man for around £100/ton. Two days later our onions were on the Tesco shelf priced at 85p/kg (£850/ton).
In principal if farmers could find enough local customers to sell direct, like my family’s onions at 40p/kg (or local shops at 25p/kg., who then sold them at 40p/kg) the farmer would get over double the old sales price and the consumer would be gettin onions at half the price of the supermarket!
Unfortunately the ‘getting enough customers’ has always been the problem for local trade and why my family do not grow onions, or any food crops, anymore. Farm shops are expensive to set up and all too often fix their prices to match the cars in their car park.
Totally going against the worthy principal above.
We all need to change our buying and eating habits. We need to prize what is available locally as well as wanting to, and knowing how to, cook a healthy and tasty meal using fresh, seasonal, local ingredients.
The more local produce we buy, grow, trade and swap the more our local economy, jobs, health, wellbeing and sense of community will also grow.
This can be achieved through food education in schools and switching from the supermarket to ‘local’ where we can learn and get enthused through trading and chatting to the grower
Please use our constantly updating, shared, Local Food Map to find the best local food and growers in your area and watch out for the icons with a ‘£’ sign meaning they are generally cheaper ‘like for like’ than the supermarkets.
Or the carrot flag meaning they will sell any produce you have grown at home, or even better, at your school. Our big project for 2022!! More Here, please join in.