NuFEAST research reveals how lucky we are in Bridport

NuFEAST research reveals how lucky we are in Bridport

Over the summer 36 Bridport residents took part in four focus groups looking at what makes our food culture special and what we can do to preserve and strengthen it.The research project, NuFEAST, led by Bournemouth academic and nutritionist Dr Juliet Wiseman sets out to explore how sustainable food and eating practices, including growing food at home, in community gardens and allotments, is associated with food knowledge, confidence and skills and “nutritional well-being.”

Focus groups were held at Waitrose, St Mary’s School, Mountfield and the Flourish Pop-up Wellbeing Cafe. Each one drew quite a different crowd and so made for very stimulating conversations. The sessions were all filmed and are currently in the process of being transcribed and analysed.

Initial findings suggest that Bridport is fortunate to have retained so many independent food and drink producers and retailers which provides shoppers with the opportunity to buy and enjoy good local food. This is certainly not the case everywhere and the human scale of Bridport’s centre is also key to an enjoyable shopping experience.

Bridport’s reputation for great food is the result of the huge efforts of many people over many years and is supported by a special ecosystem of small-scale producers who are also active land rights campaigners. The influence of River Cottage, Trill Farm and nearby Tamarisk Farm, the first organic farm in the area, also plays a major role.

A strong Grow Your Own culture also exists and complements the sense of community people feel when they are able to actually meet and develop relationships with food producers and retailers. So much so that some participants had even moved to the area because of how impressed they are by the food culture here.

But there are also tensions – particpants felt food can also be socially divisive and easy access to good food isn’t universal. Engaging working parents can be tricky when it takes time, money, knowledge and confidence to make the most of the great produce on offer.

One thing is for sure: closer collaboration between food producers, retailers, educators, academics and policy makers is certainly necessary if the diverse and rich food culture in Bridport is to be strengthened and preserved. Watch this space!

Food Festival AGM and Front of House Awards

Food Festival AGM and Front of House Awards

Bridport Local Food Group Annual General Meeting & Celebration of Local Food

Wednesday 16th November 2016 in the Town Hall Bridport

Bridport Local Food Group, the committee of volunteers who organise the annual Bridport Food Festival, invite individuals and businesses interested in local food to attend the AGM.

The event will highlight achievements over the last year and be an opportunity to thank sponsors and supporters of this year’s Food Festival. We also welcome those who would like to find out about either joining the Food Group or possibly sponsoring next year’s festival, which runs from Sunday 11 June to Saturday 17 June 2017.

The winners of the Bridport Local Food Group Front of House Awards will be awarded at the AGM. The aim of the award is to show recognition and appreciation of individuals who work locally within the food and drink industry. The categories are restaurants, pubs/bars, cafes, food to go and food and drink retail. All candidates have been nominated by the general public impressed with the level of service received from them when dining out, having a drink or shopping in one of the many food outlets in the area. The winner of each category receives £50 and a plaque to display in their premises.

If you are interested in attending the AGM please contact Jay Anderson, Chairman, Bridport Local Food Group on 07907 844919 or

Happy Birthday Charmouth Dragon!

Happy Birthday Charmouth Dragon!

The Charmouth Dragon Real Food Shop celebrates three years on the road this week, delivering produce from small scale local growers (plus the occasional organic citrus fruit) to villages and towns along the Jurassic Coast. And if you’ve chatted with us recently or follow us on social media, you’ll have already heard rumours of big exciting changes to come.

The Dragon is currently developing an online shop with the help of the amazing Open Food Network. In cooperation with village halls, schools, pubs, post offices, and other local community pillars acting as collection hubs, we hope to improve our accessibility across the region with a network of weekly deliveries.

“We’re back on Local Giving and they’re doing their Grow Your Tenner campaign. They match your donation up to £10 until the 17th of November, “says Laurie Walters, driver of the lorry. “This is a great opportunity to help us build our online shop, to make healthy organic ingredients more accessible to more local people. Double your money and invest in us today! Find our Local Giving page here:

In other news, our beautiful shop van will be off the road for the next little while for necessary repairs, and we are looking seriously into finding it a new owner in the coming months. Watch out for little-white-van mini-shop for Friday stops in Litton Cheney and Poundbury and the one and only Fivepenny Farm market stall at our spot outside Smith & Smith on Saturday in Bridport.

To join the Dragon mailing list, help develop the Network of Hubs, trial the new online shop, or (sniff) find out more about the sale of our van, get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you…

Thanks as ever for your support!


Real Food Shop: The Charmouth Dragon
+44 (0)7460 972683 project of
The Peasant Evolution Producers Co-operative

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Shift 10% or Spend a Tenner Locally!

Shift 10% or Spend a Tenner Locally!

Long time readers of this newsletter will be familiar with the rallying call to Spend A Tenner Locally on locally and sustainably produced food, independently retailed.

Well, now it’s official! Our research for How Can Bridport Feed Itself? has revealed that the 9,180 households in Bridport spend half a million pounds of week on food and drink (not including takeaway and ‘going out’ figures).

£23.5 million or 71% of this annual food and drink spend is spent in large supermarket chains and leaves the area immediately. However, every £10 we spend locally is actually worth £17.60 to the local economy because money is re-spent locally and retained much longer.

If all 9000+ households in town shifted just 10% of the weekly food shop to independent retail outlets we could inject a huge £2.6 million a year boost to our local economy.

Put another way: based on our data, if 10% (£2.6m) of the spend that currently goes to the supermarkets (£25.9m) was spent at local independent food retailers, using the local multiplier of 2.5, it also means that £6.25 million would be re-spent into the local economy. And this could translate into 54 jobs…

Pound for pound, local shops support nearly three times the number of jobs as supermarkets. That is one job for every £46,000 of annual turnover compared to one job for every £144,000 at supermarkets.

So if you are a fan of apples and pears, put your money where your mouth is this week and get down to Bridgets Market who have told us: “We now have an excellent array of Elwell Farm apples and pears in stock, 11 different varieties with more to follow, all priced the same so customers can mix and match as they wish.”

A great way to spend a tenner locally!


How Can Bridport Feed Itself?

How Can Bridport Feed Itself?

Food Future Bridport - Towards a sustainable food future in BridportThe foodfuture Bridport network goes from strength to strength as a new group of local food stakeholders act on the People’s Wishlist for the future of food and start to crowdsource an answer to the question: How Can Bridport Feed Itself?

A workshop of the same name took place in September highlighting some key facts about Bridport’s local food economy and taking a deeper look at the economics of food in our town.

The How Can Bridport Feed Itself? (HCBFI) research sets out to quantify the current value of our local food and drink economy, identifying the number and types of jobs in food, weighing up the economic benefit to the town if our food system was even more local. This approach is bottom–up and people-centred, and intended to complement established Economic Development plans.

Key findings uncovered by How Can Bridport Feed Itself? research so far:

The Bridport area’s local food and drink economy has around 300 businesses, employs 2,000 people and is worth £99.2m per year.

27% of employed people in the Bridport area work in the food and drink sector. This is twice the national average of 13% for England and Wales, and significantly more than the 17% average for West Dorset.

81% of food & drink businesses in Bridport are micros with fewer than nine employees.

Annual food spend in Bridport and surrounds breaks downs like this:

£32 million – the annual expenditure on food and drink by Bridport’s 9,120 households (home consumption, not including spend in restaurants/bars/takeaways).

£23.5 million or 71% of the £32.9m food and drink spend of each household is spent in large supermarket chains.

Up to 24% or £7.9m is spent in independents.

5% is spent online.

A key outcome of the event was the following Vision Statement:

“We want a joined up local food economy that produces more fruit & vegetables; supports local livelihoods and increases community wellbeing; promotes greater access to healthy, seasonal food for everyone; encourages and supports new farmers and food enterprises; and in ways that protect and regenerate the natural environment.”

You can request the How Can Bridport Feed Itself initial event report and take part in a follow up meeting planned for Wednesday 7th December where we will ask food projects to come forward and pitch their ideas to garner wider support.To book your place find out more contact

Bridport Food Map goes digital!

Bridport Food Map goes digital!

foodfuture Bridport publishes a brand new digital map viewable on iPhones and tablets making finding local food even easier in our town. The gorgeous design work by Delphine Jones for the hard copy map has been expertly used to brand the foodfuture website in the same way by Surya Osborne of Just SO Media House. Businesses are featured free of charge in the first year with a modest annual fee going forward from October 2017 to cover web-hosting and updating costs. Please spread the news!