When you buy your food locally, you're helping to support a robust, resilient and sustainable local economy. More of the money spent locally goes back into the community (it's estimated that 80% remains local compared to 20% of money spent with large corporations that invest it nationally and internationally). Research suggests that the recent increase in income inequality has been driven by the consolidation of the supply of goods and services by large corporations; buying locally is one way to help address this.
It creates jobs and learning opportunities
When local enterprises are supported, they can become a place for local people to gain worthwhile work experience; to learn and develop new skills, find (better) employment in the future, or start their own businesses. Following growth, larger corporations often move production to remote locations to reduce costs and increase profit – consequently reducing employment opportunities for people living in urban environments. Small scale local economic enterprise does not do this.
Local people have access to better food at a better price
Small, local enterprises use more careful and accountable production methods, which allows consumers to understand where their food has come from, how it was grown and what they're ingesting. By cutting out the middle men in long supply chains, short food supply chains can connect the consumer with the producer and provide food at better prices for both parties. Food grown locally can also be picked when at its best, and the time it takes food to go from farm to plate is vastly reduced. Fewer nutrients are lost due to reduced transportation, and there's less need for chemicals or plastic to preserve the food, which means fresher, safer, more delicious produce.
If you're from the Tang Hall area, become a member of the Tang Hall Food Co-op! We need help growing food, running the shop, and making decisions about the project; we want local people to shape what we're doing and how we're doing it - it is a co-operative after all! We usually meet twice a week (see the calendar) and work together on the growing beds; we cook lunch in the container, run the shop and plan events. Don't worry if you've never done anything like this before, you simply need to be interested and willing to help. Everyone can offer something worthwhile to the co-operative.
We cook in the shipping container shop on selected Thursdays from 10am (see the calendar)...then, we eat! We cook with organic food we've grown ourselves, or locally grown organic food purchased from Joe (Food Circle York), and bits and pieces from the shop. We want people to learn about all the interesting ways you can cook seasonal vegetables; we can even help you do this. Even if you don't want to cook, you can still come along and enjoy a sociable lunch with us at 12:30/1pm. Sharing a meal is one of the best ways to find common ground - people from all walks of life come to the community centre and everyone's got a story to tell.
We source fresh, local, organic vegetables every week, and make it available to everyone on a 'pay as you feel' basis. As we expand, so will our stock of dried wholefoods, which means you can buy all your food locally, ethically and sustainably. Our prices are very fair; we buy in bulk at wholesale prices from ethical suppliers then sell the same produce on to you in smaller quantities at cost price. Tang Hall residents can apply for a membership card with additional benefits. All produce is carefully sourced, and we don't use plastic packaging. We also have recipe cards to help you make the most of seasonal vegetables. See our shop opening hours on the calendar.