A big year for good food chains 19/12/2016, Info
A lot has changed since I founded fresh-range two years ago. Back then, my core aims of founding the business – to shorten the food chain, support our local farmers and food producers, help people to eat real, fresher food and, most of all, to help develop food security for generations to come – seemed important. Following events in 2016, these aims feel even more pertinent.
Can a small, independent business operating locally in Bristol & Bath really take on the might of the supermarket giants? It is still early days. But the signs are encouraging – increasingly we are meeting people who wish to connect with the food that they eat. They care about what we feed children, the state of our planet, our local economy and farmers, and are ready for change.
2016 heralded many firsts for us. In addition to a couple of thousand retail customers enjoying fresher local foods at home, several thousand school children in dozens of schools in Bath and North East Somerset now enjoy foods from local producers and suppliers through the fresh-range.com platform. We’re also proud to be working with some of the most sustainable restaurants and caterers in the region in a partnership with The Sustainable Restaurant Association.
This year, we were recognised as finalists in the Local Food Hero category by the BBC’s Food and Farming Awards and in two further awards (Best Food Retailer and Outstanding Contribution to Food Development) with the Western Daily Press.
Two important groups of people have brought these successes to life for our customers. Firstly, our existing and new team members including a dozen new Operations Team members at our brand new Keynsham Hub. I feel proud of the team of committed, creative, honest and collaborative people that are becoming a stronger and stronger team each week that passes. Secondly, our producers and suppliers have enabled us to add more stunning local produce to our range. Over 100 producers and suppliers now bring incredible food and drink to our customers. Together we’re establishing a “good food chain” that’s light, local and sustainable; side stepping so many of the mass food system disadvantages.
In 2017, we would like to introduce far more people across the West of England to the good food chains we're developing. You can help us develop food security for generations to come by spreading the word. As always, we love to hear your feedback and ideas, call us, email or if you prefer, this year we've got big into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
My festive thanks to every one of our customers, team members, suppliers and producers. I hope 2017 brings you great health and happiness.