Grow the market for local agriculture

Many of the barriers to buying locally-grown produce from local retailers stem from the practical barriers that most of us face in shopping outside office hours. Accessing independent shops and local markets, or using veg box delivery schemes is difficult or impossible when we’re at work all day.

Our opportunities to support local growers vary considerably depending on where in the city we live and work. There may well be no independent shops and no market within easy walking distance of your place of work, or on your route to and from work.

Organisations can help improve the access that their staff have to local food and food retailers, boosting not just the local economy but staff wellbeing.

There are many possibilities to suit all kinds of workplace. For instance, setting up a food-buying group makes it easy for people to club together to buy in bulk and encourages the purchase of locally-grown, seasonal produce, from nature-friendly farmers and growers. Using your workplace as a drop-off point for a local veg box or delivery scheme is another way to give staff easy access to local produce, and also invites others to use your building and get to know your business.

If you have plenty of outdoor space, or access to a communal space shared with other organisations, you could even explore the possibility of hosting a weekly lunchtime market, or a healthy street food stall that uses local produce. Even if space is limited, a simple action such as installing a bigger fridge might enable people in the office to take better advantage of local shopping.

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