AGEL_info_webposter_2016Strawberries from Binsey, wine from Abingdon and honey from Wallingford: a new local food guide for Oxfordshire tells you where you can buy it all.

More than 50 independent farmers, bakers and brewers from Oxfordshire are listed in a new food directory for Oxford, entitled Act Global, Eat Local.

The 32-page booklet, priced £1, aims to help people buy local, support Oxfordshire businesses and reduce their carbon footprint.

Among the independent producers listed are Medley Manor Farm, Bothy Vineyard near Marcham and Brightwell Bees, which sells beeswax candles and polish as well as honey.  Chillies 2 U in Freeland, Hempen near Pangbourne, and the Shotover Brewing Company are also among the more quirky businesses.

The booklet and an accompanying interactive map online have been produced by community group Low Carbon Oxford North (LCON) in association with local producers’ network Good Food Oxford.

Dr Alison Hill, from LCON, insisted buying local was not just about helping the environment, but tasted better, too.

She said: “Eating locally-sourced food is good for you, for the climate, for the land, and for the local economy.

“Food is fresher and seasonal; you can find out how it is grown, reduce food miles and invest in local farming and local businesses.”

George Bennett who runs Sandy Lane farm in Tiddington said: “It’s great to get more of our vegetables and other produce to local people and I think the new directory will help us do that.”

But for Good Food Oxford, the central aim of the guide was to help reduce the carbon footprint of Oxford consumers.

According to the group, the carbon footprint of the food consumed in Oxford each year is double that of all the cars driven through the city.

Hannah Fenton and Martha Wiltshire from GFO helped launch the directory at LCO weeks Big Green Day Out.

Manager Hannah Fenton said: “What Oxford eats accounts for around a fifth of its total carbon emissions.

“The food system of the city is responsible for the equivalent of 380,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

“To put it into context, this is twice the emissions arising from all of the cars in the city.”

In a city which consumes nearly 130,000 tonnes of food a year, Ms Fenton said just 52 per cent comes from the UK and a mere one per cent comes from local sources.

She said: “Eating local food could reduce an individual’s carbon emission by 13 per cent.

“The local food directory is about increasing awareness of all the amazing food produced around Oxford, and where it can be bought, so that people from all walks of life can make an informed choice about sourcing good, healthy, fresh, local food.”

The guide will be available at retail outlets listed inside, Oxford farmers’ markets and food shops, and on the local food co-op Cultivate’s veg van which stops in Oxford.  Reference copies will also be made available in all Oxford Community Centres and community libraries.  More information on suppliers, as well the PDF version and an interactive map can be found at lcon.org.uk/food/local-food-suppliers.

Many thanks to Pete Hughes for writing this article in the Oxford Mail.

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