How can Bridport feed itself?

How can Bridport feed itself?

Bridport is known for its vibrant food culture, serving residents and attracting visitors from far and wide. However, many producers and employees in the food sector still operate on low profit margins and low wages. The How Can Bridport Feed Itself? project sets out to quantify the current value of our local food economy, identifying the number and types of jobs in food, and weighing up the economic benefit to the town if our food system was even more local.

“We lack hard, contemporary data on the real economic value of Bridport’s food sector,” says Candida Blaker, project co-ordinator. “Where do people spend their money on food? How much of this is local food from local businesses? And what’s the potential to shift towards a more circular economy? This would keep more of the money we spend on food circulating locally, thus increasing levels of income and creating more jobs. These are the kinds of questions we will be asking.”

Building on existing research, and on community engagement work by Linda Hull on the People’s Wishlist for the Future of Food and the Spend a Tenner Locally campaign, CLS partners are now seeking to engage businesses directly on what would make the food economy healthier.

“In particular, we’re keen to examine how the lively food sector here could offer more high quality opportunities for the youth,” says Jonny Gordon Farleigh, project researcher. “There is great potential to stem the flow of our young people away from the area by investing in strengthening our local food system.

How Can Bridport Feed Itself? aims to:

  • Provide evidence for strategic plans for food and drink locally;

  • Publish baseline data and a set of indicators to show change over time;

  • Identify activities to take advantage of economic opportunities within the next 3 years;

  • Strengthen and enhance local supply chains;

  • Build a coalition of partners to turn these opportunities into reality;

  • Help to secure investment.

“The “How Can Bridport Feed Itself?” study will put the food economy and food security firmly on the town agenda and dovetail into Bridport’s new Economic Plan,” says Linda Hull, project researcher. To answer this question and others, CLS will be staging a Stakeholder Forum in mid-September in central Bridport to hear from various unique perspectives and to pool expertise. “It’s very timely work as we begin to grapple with the post-Brexit implications for food and we hope it will generate project initiatives for inclusion in future funding bids.”

If you have access to data that could be useful, or to get involved or find out more, please contact or Tel: 07917 476196

The People’s Wishlist for the Future of Food in Bridport!

The People’s Wishlist for the Future of Food in Bridport!

The People of Bridports wishlist Food FutureIt’s official! The people of Bridport have big wishes for the future of food here in our town!

Following conversations with hundreds of residents over the last 3 years, people are calling for a local food system that is good for people, good for animals and good for the planet too. The great news is that businesses and community groups are already working to make these wishes come true.

To find out more come to the Tea Tent and take part in the Talkaoke at this year’s Bridport Food Festival on Saturday 18th June. The Wishlist will be displayed and you will be asked to add your Wishes too!

Enjoy fresh, fantastic food, fine art and funky vintage this Easter Sunday!

Enjoy fresh, fantastic food, fine art and funky vintage this Easter Sunday!

Following her research into local sourcing for Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset last year, Tamsin Chandler started a drive to bring a new food market to the town. The research for CLS revelead a disconnect in our local food system: the biggest problem food producers face is getting their produce to the public, while the public are keen to buy locally produced foods but don’t know where to find them.

“I put two and two together and spoke to lots of people,” says Tamsin. “Everyone agreed a weekly food market would be great for producers, shoppers and the town so I set about making it happen. We have a ridiculous amount of great food producers in the area and my dream is to have an almost entirely local food market.”

This Easter Sunday the local community food market launches in The Cattle Market, St Michael’s Estate, trading from 9am till 3pm. Wherever possible, Bridport Food Market will host growers, farmers and producers within a 12 mile radius and be genuinely representative of the food being produced in or near Bridport from small scale growers such as hobby-farmers, allotmenteers and smallholders right up to more established, successful brands. Quality and variety will be the primary focus, along with affordability and accessibility for all.

Bridport Food Market addresses a clear need and will deliver several benefits including:

  • providing local growers, farmers & producers of all sizes affordable access to customers
  • Offering a viable alternative to supermarkets when people do their weekly food shop
  • Creating employment opportunities
  • Adding to Bridport’s already popular and vibrant reputation as an important market town
  • Drawing footfall to St Michael’s Estate & its resident Sunday trading businesses
  • Boosting Bridport’s reputation as a ‘foodie town’ within the flourishing British food & drink market

Tamsin Chandler   m: 07834 547 880  e:   w:

Mitch discovers the community food networks in Bridport

Mitch discovers the community food networks in Bridport

One day in spring 2015, Mitch Burt – a young, enthusiastic backyard gardener – was on his way to town from his home in Skilling through Bridport’s Community Orchard. It must have been a Thursday as the Orchard’s community allotment group were gathered and working away in their space tucked away at the top left corner of the Orchard. This group meets weekly in the growing season, providing access to land for food and a supportive community of fellow gardeners to work and learn alongside, raising some crops together and also offering 12 individual and accessible one metre square raised beds for personal growing.

Mitch was curious and decided to approach the community allotmenteers to find out what was happening. He’d not long stopped working at a local supermarket, which, in his words was pretty “soul destroying” and so he was actively searching for ways to use and improve his growing skills.

A chance encounter with Linda Hull, the local food co-ordinator for Communities Living Sustainably and also a member of the community allotment, led to Linda being able to introduce Mitch to the wider community food network in and around Bridport. Mitch says:  “That day in the Community Allotment was the starting point for some great experiences.  I’ve met lots of new people and got really involved with some great projects.”

At Ourganics, Mitch has taken part in several Plan B work days and has met a whole group of likeminded people. “I’m now doing a permaculture design course – it’s great to have this easy, local access to such training. It’s given me some great ideas and is teaching me a lot.”

He has also volunteered his time at the Edible Garden in St Mary’s working alongside an experienced grower. “It’s been a good experience to work in a managed system with more structure than my own garden. And with the Eco-club starting up I’m also having the opportunity to teach young people – the school garden is such a great resource helping us to link teachers, students and parents.”

This year Mitch found himself joining the board of the Community Orchard. “People ask me my opinion! It’s a great chance to share what I know and to be taken seriously.”

Reflecting on how CLS has been useful to him, Mitch says: “CLS speeded up the links I was able to make. Access to these experiences has helped to give me a focus and direction. I feel now like I’ve got a goal I can move towards – I’d love to own some land and be as self- sufficient as possible. Doing all this has given me a chance to use and improve my skills and knowledge and has led to such really positive change for me!”

gorgeous new foodfuture map published

gorgeous new foodfuture map published

Food Future Map Bridport DorsetBuilding on business research by Tamsin Chandler, sustainable diet messages developed by Linda Hull together with a comprehensive listing of both local suppliers and community food projects, this beautiful new map, designed by Delphine Jones, guides you to the best sustainable eating and shopping in Bridport!

“If you are keen to shift your diet to one that’s more sustainable – better for you, better for animals and better for the planet too – be sure to pick up your own copy of the gorgeous foodfuture map at this year’s Wassail in the Community Orchard from 3pm on Sunday 17th January,” says Linda Hull. “It’s the perfect tool for anyone taking up the foodfuture challenge in 2016 – spending a tenner locally on sustainably produced food, independently retailed.”

Also available from featured businesses and at Tourist Information in Bucky Doo. Alternatively download your own copy here

Bridport food pioneers! Join us on a journey to a more sustainable diet

Bridport food pioneers! Join us on a journey to a more sustainable diet

Take the foodfuture challenge in 2015:
  • We import 40% of our food and 95% of our fruit usually from places with growing populations and reducing water resources.
  • We spend £196 billion a year on food and drink in the UK but less than 5% of this goes to the actual producers
  • Our global food system contributes up to 50% of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, soil erosion, packaging, freezing, transportation, waste and more
It’s time for more of us to directly invest in our LOCAL food economy. Let’s make simple changes to what we eat and how we shop and we can cool the planet with every bite…


Twenty one people pledged to Love Local Food and Spend a Tenner Locally at last weekend’s Bridport Food Festival. This fun challenge was launched as part of the Festival’s newest area: the foodfuture Grow Your Own Patch – a collaboration with Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset, Groves Nurseries, Washingpool Farm Shop, Plan B’s Everyday Salads and HOME in Bridport.
Foodfuture is the new umbrella in town for all those who want to buy and eat food that’s good for people, good for animals and good for the planet.
“Who doesn’t enjoy talking about food?” asks Linda Hull, food co-ordinator for Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset which has developed the foodfuture project. “People were really willing to talk about their favourite foods, where they shop and many enthusiastically took up the challenge to Spend a Tenner on locally produced food from now on.”
Pledgemakers received free entry into a draw to win a breakfast for two at Soulshine and a copy of “Your Local Shopping List” detailing producers of everything you could possibly need from fruit and veg, meat and fish, eggs and dairy, bread and baked goods, condiments, preserves, drinks – all of it available within a 5 mile radius, with many more producers situated within 15 miles. Those taking part all agreed to be contacted in a couple of months’ time to see how they were getting on with keeping their pledges.
“Shopping for food like this lets you use your economic power to support the kind of food system you want and transforms the weekly shop into an investment tool for a more sustainable planet.” says Linda. “And it keeps money local too: if all 7000 households in town did this every week it would be a £70,000 – or £3.5 million a year – boost to the local economy.”
 “We know that lots of people like to buy local food and we are totally blessed with amazing local food around Bridport so the aim of the Spend a Tenner campaign is to bring all this bounty to many more people’s attention!”, said Linda.
The SPEND A TENNER LOCALLY challenge is a new fun way to learn more about local food in Bridport and how to feast our way to wiser food choices. It’s part of foodfuture Bridport, a project initiated and supported by Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset, setting out to help people access good local and sustainable food.


Meanwhile in another part of Bridport Food Festival last Saturday, Blake Ford, 10, from Symondsbury School, was announced first prize winner in a brand new schools sustainable cooking competition.
The Festival teamed up with foodfuture Bridport, Ecoschools, Communities Living Sustainably plus street food businesses Stewed and Baked and Pizza Dragon to create a cooking challenge with a twist. Children from 4 of Bridport’s Primary Schools took part in devising recipes for sustainable family meals which protect health, support the local economy and are good for the planet too.
Blake submitted ‘My Dorset Tagine’ as his response to the One Pot Challenge. Blake’s Dorset Tagine put local seasonal ingredients together with some exotic fair trade spices to produce a simple recipe which could use meat, fish or be vegetarian. This adaptability helped to win him top marks for being appetizing and imaginative as well as healthy and sustainable. Blake wins a £25 voucher kindly donated by Groves Nurseries for his school to spend.
Daisy Smith’s ‘West Country Fish and Noodle Soup’ came a close second with third place going to Team 2’s ‘Herby Spring Chicken’ from St Catherine’s School. Entries were also received from Burton Bradstock and Powerstock Primary Schools. Mayor Sandra Brown presented the prizes and certificates.
The One Pot Challenge continues as the judges’ feedback on submitted recipes will be built into exciting hands on cooking sessions with Giles Smith, street food trader and proprietor of Stewed and Baked. Giles will be driving his unit into schools to do a series of cook-offs with students combining essential knowledge of the curriculum with a fun hands-on experience in a designer street food truck.
***************************************************************************We’re looking for the first 1% of people in town to join the foodfuture challenge to set off on a food adventure: the journey to a more sustainable diet – one that’s good for you, good for animals and good for the planet.
What will you pledge to do?
We’re working with schools, shoppers and businesses to make one change to the food we eat, helping to boost the local economy and move towards more sustainable ways of eating.
For shoppers
Spend a Tenner Locally and choose one product to buy locally from now on.
For businesses
Pledge an action in support of the Foodfuture Charter to feature on the foodfuture local food map.
For schools
Take the One Pot Challenge – sustainable recipes designed by local children, perfected in the mobile kitchen.


Take our quick online survey about your shopping and eating habits and you could win a delicious breakfast at Soulshine Cafe.
Simply by buying seasonal foods produced locally – and sold independently – we can reduce the pollution and waste caused by transporting food around the world while keeping more wealth circulating locally, supporting local livelihoods and keeping skills alive too.
Every £10 you spend on locally produced food in local shops is worth £17.60 to the local economy. Buying food in this way transforms the weekly shop into an investment tool for a more sustainable planet.
To sign up for the foodfuture challenge 2015 and receive your free FOODFUTURE SHOPPING LIST simply contact us:
Visit   email   or call 07834 561219