Become a Member of Worcestershire Food Links

Membership of Worcestershire Food Links will be open to any Independent food or drink businesses located within Worcestershire if they wish to support and promote local food. We also will include growers, producers and processors within Worcestershire and perhaps some within adjoining counties if they are able to supply Worcestershire food businesses within 30 miles.

If you would like to register for Worcestershire Food Links contact worcestershirefoodlinks@gmail.com

If you would like to download the DATA ENTRY FORM in pdf format. Please click here

Worcestershire Food Links Initial meeting 1st. December 2016

The meeting, in the Guildhall in Worcester was attended by over 30 people including farmers, growers, producers, brewers, retailers, distributors and publicans.

Worcestershire Food Links Meeting, Guildhall, Worcester

John Rhymer speaking at the Worcestershire For Links meeting at the Guildhall

After fortifying ourselves with a range of tasty local foods and drinks, we were welcomed by Councillor Anthony Blagg, Deputy Leader of Worcestershire County Council and Portfolio Holder for the Environment who explained why the County Council welcomed the setting up of a local food network.

Daren Bale, Worcestershire Food Ambassador and licensee of the Hop Pole Inn in Bewdley explained why local food was important to his business.

This was followed by an explanation of the benefits of a local food network to businesses, the economy and the environment. There were several productive discussions leading to feedback on the draft leaflet (as a result of this it will now be A5 with more illustrations, fewer words and some statistical evidence). A new version is attached and will be further developed should funding for another print run be available.

We learnt of various existing award and accreditation schemes such as Healthier Choices Food Awards, Red Tractor and Organic Certification and it was recognised that any Worcestershire Local Food awards and accreditation that were developed should take regard of the criteria for such awards and incorporate other awards rather than compete with them.

There was also useful discussion on the criteria for membership of Worcestershire Food Links focussing in particular on how we defined local and whether businesses such as breweries and bakeries would qualify as local if they sourced their malt, flour etc. from further afield. It was accepted that this is inevitable when local suitable ingredients are not available as the finished products if sold locally would still have a significantly reduced transport carbon footprint and would enhance the local economy. There are of course degrees of “local” with UK produce usually having a lower carbon footprint that produce imported from other countries.

To avoid any confusion which could arise over the term “locally sourced” it was suggested that we might use “locally provenanced” which is stronger and would rule out non-local items purchased from a local “Cash and Carry” for example.

The revised criteria are on the reverse of the slightly revised membership application form (also attached).

Next Steps.

  • 10,000 of the “Why Buy Local” leaflet will be printed and supply of membership forms will also be printed as well as being available electronically.
  • Any business applying to join and which meets the revised criteria will be recognised on the “Growing Worcestershire” website as a member (special member’s logo)
  • Members will also be encouraged to use the logo on their own promotional material, website etc.
  • Members will be sent a window sticker and a supply of “Why Buy Local” leaflets to give to customers and suppliers.
  • It is hoped that, over the next few months, local meetings will be organised for growers, producers and other food businesses to meet each other and establish useful contacts and explore opportunities. When appropriate the general public might also be invited so they can learn the benefits to themselves of buying local.
  • Members of WFL will also be able to use the network and its database to identify new local suppliers or potential customers.

John R Rhymer