Nicole champions local food for local people

Nicole champions local food for local people

by Maggie Grand on April 21, 2013

champions-local-foodNicole Jackson is here with one mission – to encourage local people to buy local food.  She took on her role as Local Food Coordinator in January on a two year project called “Fresh Local Accessible” funded mainly by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation with additional support from three County Council Locality Budgets.

Nicole is building on work already taking place through the Dacorum Local Food Initiative (DLFI) and looking to work with local food growers and producers, restaurants and retailers to champion local food.   Initially she is spending time making contact with as many interested parties as possible to explore possibilities and she is keen to hear from anyone who has local produce to sell.  She is being hosted by Sunnyside Rural Trust and working from their site at Hemel Food Garden on Two Waters Road.

“My aim is to raise awareness of how much produce can be sourced locally” said Nicole “and to make it easier for people to buy locally by increasing the places where people can find it.  The project is called Fresh, Local Accessible and that really sums it up.  Why eat beans flown all the way from Kenya when you can buy a seasonal vegetable grown up the road?  I’m so excited about this project and the opportunities it presents for the local community and the environment.”

One way in which people will be able to make an informed choice about the food they can buy is via an interactive food map which Nicole is updating and which can be found at www.dacorumlocalfood.org.uk .  She is also organising an educational road show with DLFI to take to different areas within Dacorum, organising practical activities and supporting local enterprises, such as the Farm shop to open at Hemel Food Garden Farm Shop in April.

Keely Charlick Chief Executive said “We are delighted to be hosting this new post which aims to make it easier for people to to buy locally.  It fits really well with our aims and with the work we do with adults with learning disabilities growing vegetables, fruit and plants to organic principles.  We will be supporting Nicole’s work and helping her realise the potential of this role”

If you would like to get involved in the project or find out more, please contact Nicole by email – fla@sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk

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