A trip to the local pub yesterday showed me the amazing potential of the food industry and how many people are choosing careers in this sector, with an increasing number of small producers and companies being setup.
Eating local is the philosophy at the heart of the Food Assembly, an initiative born out of the conviction cutting food miles and intermediaries is the way to go for both farmers and consumers. Selling their ware once weekly at a pop up market stall, farmers and other producers of top quality food get much more money for their efforts, while consumers can enjoy fresh products they previously chose and bought online. Food waste and food miles are also reduced, making the environment healthier.
In Stoke Newington this is held every Tuesday evening at The Prince. Last night it was their first birthday and we celebrated with cocktails, a foodie themed quiz and a raffle. A special dinner was cooked by the wonderful chefs at The Prince with produce from the farmers, and a DJ and musicians were entertaining the guests.
It was a great night and I enjoyed talking to the various producers and participants. It is amazing to see how many people in London are growing more passionate about the food they eat. And how many are choosing a second career in food production! When I started buying my food from the Assembly last year, only a handful of farmers were taking part. Now their list of producers has grown incredibly and yesterday there was hardly any space left. From organic to biodynamic, fair-trade to crafted, the list of new people is continuously growing. Many of these food enterprises, from jam making to chocolate laboratories, are often run by just a few people, who chose to pursue food as a new career option. Gozo Deli, a company making dairy free spreads from cashew nuts, has only one full time employee but plenty of determination, and the same goes for Louise Avery, who since last year has been brewing kombucha for her Lois and The Living Teas company. Through the dedication of the people behind the Food Assembly, these small producers can manage to survive and grow, by getting a fair share of the profit for the sale of their goods.
Start shopping with the Food Assembly and supporting small and local food enterprises. More variety is exciting and making food is fun. Eat local!