Just published an article at the Guardian looking at the implications of having a huge – and privileged – client like the University of Manchester tapping into the city’s limited supply of organic fruit and veg through an organic food co-op (namely Manchester Veg People).
Here’s a snippet:
Julie Brown, who has been working with a more community-focused food co-op in London called ‘Growing Communities’ admits that Manchester’s co-op differs from conventional sustainable food models due to its focus on public procurement. She adds that as there are so few organic farmers around, there would be times when smaller organisations such as organic veg box schemes would struggle to co-exist alongside co-ops with large public sector clients. She says:
The problem is that there are not a lot of sustainable farmers left and so to make sure that smaller groups have access to local organic veg, you would need to be encouraging more growers. You would need to convince conventional farmers to switch to organic and also get farmers who are currently supplying supermarkets to start working with cooperatives and small groups.
Read the full article at the Guardian site.
We’ll be following the progress of the co-op in the coming year right here at Manchester Climate Monthly, so keep your eyes peeled.
Arwa Aburawa – Freelance journalist who moonlights at Manchester Climate Monthly, where shameless acts of self-promotion are encouraged (mainly by Marc)