Wednesday, 29 October 2008

local food

Back from a short break in Herefordshire and so much food to think about.

Visited Weston's Cider and saw the process in action.
Visited the Hereford Food and Drink show. Talked to Slow Food reps and heard from a woman who had provenanced her food from Hereford/Fair Trade for a year: 'Herefood'
Visited cheese maker and saw local cheesemaking.
Visited Ludlow.

The first and overwhelming feeling on return is how threadbare local food production is in my county of Nottinghamshire. We do have a number of 'micro-brewers' who brew their own beer and that is good. We also have the internationally acclaimed Blue Stilton at Colston Bassett on the Notts/Leicestershire border. And we are within reach of the famous Melton Mowbray pork pies. We do have acclaimed bakers, greengrocers and butchers. But they are not connected in any way that is useful to the consumer.

The Herefoodshire woman claimed that she could have fed her and her family on food produced within 10 miles of the small town of Leominster. Nottinghamshire just does not have that kind of infrastructure. Its food production is in the hands of large agro-industrialists and its food distribution is dominated by the major supermarket chains.

What a feeling of powerlessness overcame me as I returned to Ravenshead and thought of what I could do practically to change this.

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