Food & Local Products
Why is Food important?
Access to a healthy diet, like access to decent housing, or education, or recreation facilities is one of the basic elements defining a reasonable standard of living. Food production and food distribution also have a direct role in determining the quality of the environment and the resilience of the economy in rural areas.
Action in rural Sussex is committed to supporting a sustainable food system – one which delivers benefits for consumers, farmers, food processors, outlets and the environment. Our work focuses on strengthening the links between farmers and consumers and outlets (shops and markets mainly), equipping people with the skills to make better informed decisions about what they eat and where they source their food, and supporting smaller scale producers to make the most of local markets
A wide range of projects have been undertaken by Action in rural Sussex in relation to food and local produce in pursuit of our aims. These have primarily focused on the promotion of local produce through various publications and resources, assisting and co-ordinating local produce ventures and educating people in how ingredients are generated locally and may be used in producing food.
These have recently included:
- Local Produce Directories
- Village Food Activities (Growing the Food Culture)
- School and Community Orchards and Fruit Cookery
- Farmer Photos
- Cookery Skills
- Farm Food in School Cookery
- Village Shops and Farmers’ Markets
(These projects were undertaken with funding from the European Union, the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs, the Lottery, local authorities and various other funding sources).
Local Fruit Futures:
Action in rural Sussex has planted over 25 small orchards in school grounds. An example of previous work in the High Weald can be found here. All schools showed an interest in local varieties and we are now working with Brighton Permaculture Trust on Local Fruit Futures to train over 1000 people in fruit tree planting and care and in fruit cookery, plant a further 36 small school and community orchards, propagate hundreds of Sussex variety apple trees, plant examples of all these apples at Stanmer Park orchard and make it more accessible, produce two publications, based partly on research by the University of Sussex into the history of fruit growing in Sussex. If your school or community group would like to plant a small orchard (7/8 trees) we would like to hear from you. If you would like advice with restoring or planning a new larger scale community orchard we may also be able to help. Note that we will prioritise the more disadvantaged areas or pupils/residents/clients within communities and schools.
Really Local Food Directories:
Following the success of the booklets detailing food producers and outlets in several rural areas of East Sussex , Action in rural Sussex would like to make this service available to other communities or organisations across the county. Partial funding would be required from the organisations involved.
For more information, please contact:
Anne-Marie Bur, Co-ordinator - Food Projects
Tel: (01273) 407310 Email: email@example.com