There is a long history of how agricultural projects can help residents to come together as a community, whether through urban farms and allotments or by encouraging people to consume local organic produce and live healthier lives. Not only can this foster a real sense of community, it can also teach people the benefits of sustainability, and by encouraging local restaurants and shops to buy locally it can significantly reduce the amount of miles the produce has travelled.
The Fifth Season is a cooperative which produces, processes and markets locally grown food while promoting the values of environmental, social and economic fairness. Together representing small family farms, distributors and regional processors they act as a food brokerage service creating a place for everyone in their local food marketplace.
City Slicker Farms turns underutilised urban spaces into a collection of high-yield urban farms and backyard gardens which caters to the needs of local residents by providing affordable, healthy organic food. They provide education and training programmes to help people to become food self-sufficient and encourage good environmental stewardship.
The Food Project aims to bring together a diverse community of people to create a sustainable food system through building raised-bed gardens for residents and organizations which can provide healthy food for residents. They also work as a resource centre where people and organisations can learn from their expertise through materials, youth training, and access professional development opportunities.
The Kindling Trust acts as a vehicle to tackle some of society’s most pressing social, economic environmental problems. By working with communities, farmers, activists and policy makers they challenge the dominant model of industrial production and strive to achieve a system which supports fair and sustainable alternatives through a three-pronged strategy of Sustainable Production, Sustainable Living and Sustainable Activism.
SARE is a grants and education program which advances agricultural innovation which promotes profitability, stewardship of the land, air and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities.
This paper examines community-led approaches to building more robust and sustainable food systems across England which provide healthy, sustainable food to communities.