This article first appeared in our winter ’18 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Resolution Revolution. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
My name is Anthony Davison and I am a fifth generation farmer from Bedfordshire. I started social enterprise BigBarn 17 years ago, when I saw the onions we grew marked up from £110 per tonne ex-farm to £850 per tonne at Tesco.
This massive margin means that farms can sell fresher, better food – and, with enough customers, be cheaper than the supermarkets while still making a good profit.
Consumers can discover real, seasonal food and, by chatting to the farmer, influence what’s grown and be enthused to cook healthier, cheaper meals.
Many communities are being built this way, and some farm shops are linking with schools to get kids excited about food, showing them that potatoes don’t grow on trees and that milk actually comes from cows.
BigBarn helps this process; we have a constantly updating – and growing – digital local food map and online marketplace that we want everyone to use, share and contribute to.
Click here to find out why the BigBarn local food map is a MyGreenPod Hero
So far we have 7,000 local food producers on the map and get 3,500 visitors per day. 560 producers have also set up shops in our marketplace, and 19,000 consumers have set up quick-pay accounts.
Producers have a password to tell their story by adding text, images, video, online shops and offers, and consumers can get a monthly newsletter with local food news and offers.
To help more people to buy local, we’ve launched a new API that allows any website – from the BBC to MyGreenPod – to have our map. It will look as though it’s theirs, and they’ll be able to add to the network and share the income. You can join as a consumer to find local food and register for the newsletter, or a producer or outlet to win customers through BigBarn and partner websites.
To sum up, here is a grace for your next family meal, wedding or party.
May we be truly thankful
That we have great food in this land from west to east
And still have farmers to grow and rear a regular feast
But let us not become complacent
We must not allow those great big shops
To herd us down their aisles and make us stop
And buy salty ready meals and other such slop
We must buy fresh and direct from local farmers
to encourage them to grow food that doesn’t harm us
For the best food every day
Join in and help divert the £120 billion spent in UK supermarkets to farmers and local shops with massive economic – and social – benefits for all.
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