How Can Bridport Feed Itself? Meet your local producers and suppliers
From 6pm on Saturday 8th April at the WI Hall, How Can Bridport Feed Itself? will reveal headline findings of some new research into the current value of Bridport's local food economy. Given the implications of the UK leaving the EU, and continuing threats to our food system from climate change, this question has never been more important.
Building on the work of many local food initiatives and several years of campaigning and awareness raising under the banner of Food Future Bridport, this event will also be a celebration of the local food producers and retailers already proudly feeding our town.
This research forms part of a wider Community Economic Development process led by Dorset Community Action in partnership with the Town Council. The new report's findings suggest that £56 million a year is spent with food retailers in and around Bridport. Nearly 87% of this is spent in the national supermarket chains. More than half of that £56 million is what each household spends on the weekly shop, 84% of which is also spent at the supermarkets.
"Put simply £525,000 leaves our local economy every week," says Linda Hull, one of the research team. "That's more than half a million pounds a week benefiting distant shareholders elsewhere. "The other very interesting finding is that the food sector employs 27% of people in Bridport. That's twice the national average. Our food economy is big and booming. But how can we keep more of that cool half million food pound spend circulating locally for longer? Can we actually use our weekly food shop to invest in Bridport feeding itself?"
The event will start with a shared community meal and feature a series of short talks, followed by music and local cider and juice. Ed Hamer from the Land Workers Alliance will talk about the significance of the local food movement in light of Brexit. He will share his experiences as a co-founder and grower at the successful Chagfood CSA on the edge of Dartmoor, focusing on the contribution that CSAs can make to supporting the livelihoods of small farmers and connecting customers to the people and land that produce their food.
Locally based Southern Roots Organics are launching the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project in Dorset. In their first season they will supply 25 households in the local area with local vegetables all grown in their market garden. Come along to find out more about the scheme and out how to join as a member.
There will also be a Seed Plugs session. This will be a platform for community food initiatives and local food businesses who are helping to feed Bridport to "plug" their work, new ideas and to share and seek support for what they are doing. Local cider will be on tap!
Admission is by donation on the door and seats must be booked in advance online at