Scheme in Chester to help people buy local produce


Neil Bellis

A NEW scheme to help people buy local produce is being rolled out in Chester.

The Food Assembly, which will be launched at Telford’s Warehouse on September 1, will give people the opportunity to get produce directly from farmers and producers within a 150-mile radius.

Customers will be able to order the food online in advance of a weekly pick up from Telford’s Warehouse where they will be able to talk directly to the people who make their food.

Currently there is only one other Food Assembly in the UK, in Brixton, but the idea is well established in France with more than 400 in operation.

Organiser Katie Lyttle says she has signed up nine producers to date to supply the food and said there will be benefits for the producers and customers. 

She said: “Food Assembly offers producers the chance to supply directly to customers.

“Customers will be directly supporting the local economy by buying local produce. 

“All of the food sold at the assembly will be sourced from within 150 miles – but currently that figure is actually 60 miles.

“The food will be fresh, seasonal and won’t have travelled for miles and miles.”

Katie said that despite the main aim of the assembly being on local produce, there will be a few “exotic” producers with ingredients from slightly further afield.

She said: “Clearly there are some things we can’t grow in the UK. At the moment we have a brilliant chocolate maker on board with us and we do allow a few exotic ingredients.”

Katie said the aim of the assembly isn’t to replace supermarkets but to give people the opportunity to buy food which is more local to the area and more seasonal.

She added: “We have covered all of what I call the basics: bread, milk, eggs, flour and so on. 

“We won’t get to the stage where we have as much variety as a supermarket and I wouldn’t tell people to stop going but we are hoping to give people a place where they can tick off a lot of their shopping list.

“And living in Cheshire, we have some of the best produce in the country to try.”

Food Assembly will have its launch night on September 1 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Telford’s Warehouse.

The pub’s chefs will be making hors d’oeuvres from local produce. 

See full story in the Chester Leader

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