New research has found that for every pound spent buying organic food through a farmers’ market or veg scheme, almost £3 more is generated in benefits to farmers and growers, their workers, local suppliers, citizens and the environment. We show how buying food is an agricultural act with far-reaching consequences.
One of the main problems with our food system is that the price you pay often doesn’t reflect all the factors that have gone into creating it. This can disadvantage food production and distribution systems that do take them into account.
New Economics Foundation (NEF), in partnership with community-led traders Growing Communities and the Soil Association, shine a light on this with ground-breaking analysis. It draws on data from customers, volunteers, employees, farmers, producers, as well as environmental research and demonstrates how to monetise the true value of local, organic supply chains, now recognised as valuable ‘public goods’.
We discuss this ‘toolkit’ and its potential for enabling other community led growing and trading networks, such as Better Food Traders.
The Soil Association and the English Organic Forum have been working with Defra to seek recognition of the public goods that are provided by organic farming practices. From our research and representations, we make the case for these public goods to be supported by the government.