We launched our Crop for the Shop Initiative over 9 years ago. Covid and post Brexit have proved how important growing and trading food can be for our food security as well as food knowledge.
In essence our Crop for the Shop initiative helps local shops source more local fresh produce and encourages people to grow food and make money from any surplus. It’s a way of reconnecting consumers with their local businesses and to help build a new, exciting and community-led local food supply chain.
I first heard the sentence ‘Crop for the Shop’ when I met Alan Wyle at a conference. Alan had thought of it when helping a number of communities set up their own village shop, run and owned by the community. I saw the potential for small shops losing customers to the supermarkets and decided to make it a part of BigBarn’s activities; giving those shops taking part a chance to literally ‘put themselves on the map’.
The aim, from the start, was that the shop would get great produce to sell and, by cutting out the middle men, be cheaper than the supermarket. They also get new customers, from those bringing their produce, and others buying it, and have the chance to sell the freshest possible produce grown on their doorstep. Best of all, what’s grown in the garden or allotment is often far more exciting than commercial crops so local shops can boast about unusual varieties, rather than offering the same as the supermarket down the road.
Shops can sign up at any time and will have a Rosette logo placed on their listing. Plus, with all the media coverage surrounding the campaign, they can even get themselves a little PR by telling us what they are up to and what they are selling. We want to hear from you so send us a quick tweet @findlocalfood and @crop2014.
If you are a shop you can also download our Crop For The Shop poster here and a basic agreement between you and a grower to cover EHO requirements. (Simply type in your shop’s name at the top and print off some copies for your local growers to complete and sign.)
We are also very keen to get schools growing, eating and selling fruit, veg and even eggs. What better way to teach kids about food and healthy eating?
For our free PDF on growing fruit and veg with kids click here.
To see a video about our Crop for the Shop initiative in a school as featured on the BBC click on the video image.
To see the Evaluation Report of Crop for the Shop in 2 more schools in Leicester funded by the Ernest Cook Trust click here.
Exciting times! Local food is getting cheaper and better and we can all profit from the local food revolution.