The major constraint to a local food system is not the lack of collaboration, but that so little food for local markets is actually produced here.
Supported by funding from the Conservation Farming Trust, Welsh Government, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and the Rural Development Programme (Vale of Usk), we have launched a new local Community Benefit Society, Our Food 1200 / Ein Bwyd 1200, to be a strong and dynamic leader building a new local food economy.
The Directors of Our Food 1200 are experienced and proactive local people, volunteering their time to lead this programme. We’re responding to an emergency. We’re working through partnerships.
We want to build farming that:
- Enables the asset poor, particularly the young, to start a regenerative farming enterprise.
- Builds community through local trading and shared community ownership of our landscape – a “foundational economy”.
- Is regenerative: purposefully building biodiversity, fixing carbon in the soil, and avoiding harmful chemicals and pollution of our waterways.
- Is commercially viable.
- Helps provide food security in South Wales.
- Creates short local supply chains that keep profits local and at such a scale as to open new opportunities for all our farmers, who are under extreme pressure.
- Enables communities to access opportunities in our landscape, such as education, training and mental well-being support.
- Promotes healthy eating by making nutritious locally grown fruit and veg available to everyone in our region.
- Reduces the impact of our food and drink consumption on carbon emissions and deforestation across the world.
Judy is a former trustee and vice chair of Garden Organic and a keen gardener and allotment holder. She has worked with governments and housing providers in the UK and internationally on housing governance, finance and service delivery. In Wales she supported the development of community mutual housing associations.
Adam, with a lifetime’s experience in growing fruit and vegetables, is a passionate advocate of reconnecting people with their local food culture. He works with the Heritage Seed Library focusing on identifying and growing Welsh heritage and heirloom vegetables with the aim of making them accessible to local growers and consumers.
Dianne is a journalist and has been writing about food for over 20 years, and growing, pickling and preserving her own for the past 15. She’s passionate about building local resilience and has been instrumental in two successful community share offers for local renewable energy projects totalling close to £1m.
John runs a 70-acre organic farm near Crickhowell. He has diversified into a number of businesses, including Welsh Farmhouse Applejuice, which currently holds a Royal Warrant. In 2020, he rented out some of his land for the establishment of a successful small-scale regenerative market garden and farming project.
Pam is a public health nutritionist with a particular interest in healthy diets derived from a sustainable food system. She has completed studies in both nutrition and food policy. She has co-authored a book on Sustainable Diets with Tim Lang, Professor Emeritus of Food Policy, City University, London. Pam lives in Brecon and is strongly supportive of local food derived where possible from regenerative farming, particularly for fruit and vegetables.
Patrick is a journalist and architect, currently chair of Abergavenny Transition Town and a founder member of its JUST FOOD group as well as a member of the Land Workers Alliance Cymru. He has been editor for the past twenty five years of Touchstone the Journal for Architecture in Wales.
John runs a 425-acre estate near Monmouth with his brother. The farmland is let and the woodland managed in hand. They have diversified into holiday, residential and commercial lets and the generation of solar and biomass energy. After giving up farming for health reasons he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Sue is a sustainable development advocate and co-initiator of the Our Food project. Together with James Skinner and Duncan Fisher, she helped create The Travel Foundation to improve the sustainability of tourism internationally. She was CEO for its multi-award-winning first 10 years. Her current passion is to make healthy, local food the norm.
Project Administration Manager
Farm Liaison Officer
Chloe is passionate about helping people make sustainable choices. She is co-owner and director of Natural Weigh, Wales’ first zero-waste shop, which opened in 2017 and specialises in providing quality, packaging-free products. Supporting small local businesses offering planet-friendly products is a major motivation for her.
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