Click and Collect for Local Food at the Halifax Food Assembly.
Collection on Wednesdays 4-6pm at All Saints Parish Hall, Godfrey Road, Skircoat Green, Halifax, HX3 0LY
The Halifax Food Assembly, the first in West Yorkshire, has got off to a flying start following its launch in July. Offering people a new way to support local businesses and to buy their food locally, the Food Assembly is helping to boost the local food economy.
For more information, and to join, visit the Halifax Food Assembly website or contact the Halifax Food Assembly host, Carol Longbottom, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or on 0794 7278770
Carol Longbottom, local food enthusiast and host of the Halifax Food Assembly, is delighted with everyone’s support in the food assembly’s first few weeks:
“We now have over 300 members, which is fantastic. There seems to be a real appetite for local food, grown, raised and produced by people who are our neighbours. We already have nine excellent producers on board and we are hoping that the Halifax Food Assembly will grow with more members and more producers to offer even more choice.
“At our weekly collections people are keen to chat to our producers about their products; the meat they’ve farmed, the cheese they’ve made, the milk from their cows only three miles down the road. Our producers are really local, with Carl from Pextenement Cheese and Nat from Porcus, travelling the furthest and that’s only 11 miles. Our producers travel on average only six miles to reach the venue.
“There seems to be a real appetite for local food, grown, raised and produced by people who are our neighbours. It doesn’t cost anything to be a member and there’s no obligation to buy. Through the online market people can shop from the comfort of their own home and then collect their purchases direct from the producers at the weekly collection, between 4pm and 6pm every Wednesday at All Saints Parish Hall, Skircoat Green. It’s easy and it’s a win win system for everyone.
“It’s great for producers too. They set their own prices, of which they receive over 80%; significantly higher than that offered by supermarkets, which often pay their suppliers as little as 20% of the on-the-shelf price. Added to that our producers know exactly what they’ve sold before they set out so they don’t need to over harvest or guess customers’ requirements. And they don’t have to stand on a cold, wet and windy market stall all day with no guaranteed sales.”
Combining the convenience of internet shopping with the satisfaction of meeting the people who actually produce the food, the Food Assembly is the twenty-first century solution to sourcing the very best local food, grown or bred sustainably, by people in this area. Members can enjoy fresh produce including freshly baked bread from Lovebread, beautiful free range hen and duck eggs from Lower Balkram Edge Farm, delicious home-bred lamb and beef from KLS Farm Meats, as well as home-cooked Italian food from La Cucina di Francesca, fresh salad and vegetables from Sagar Lane Market Garden and lovely tasty pies, pastries and scones from Your Secret Gourmet, of Luddendenfoot.
Jimmy Haigh, from John Haigh and sons at Heath Lea Farm, is very pleased to be part of this new pioneering food market: “We’ve been producing and processing milk on our farm in Barkisland since 1954 delivering to local doorsteps via milk rounds. We’re very pleased to be on board with this innovative way of marketing local fresh products to a new and growing market of people, who want to know where it’s come from.”
Established in France in 2011 as ‘La Ruche qui dit Oui’ (The Hive that said Yes) the Food Assembly was launched in the UK in 2014. There are now over 700 assemblies across France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK, which already has almost 60 either operational or in the building phase.
Each local Food Assembly has a host, who gathers together the best producers in the area, and runs the weekly collection. Producers have to be within a 150 mile radius of the Food Assembly but because there are so many great small producers around the national average distance travelled by a producer in the UK is only 26 miles. This means it’s also more cost effective with organic vegetables bought direct actually 33% cheaper than those bought from the supermarket.