The Forth Valley Food Links
Scotland's first Food Links team - local food for local people.
The only organisation of its kind in Scotland, between 2002 and 2008 Forth Valley Food Links (FVFL) built up a network of contacts and worked with them to help realise its aim to make local food for local people more widely available.
Based at Stirling Business Centre at Wellgreen in Stirling the project was led by a full-time team of three and backed financially by the Scottish Executive, Forth Valley NHS Board, and the three local
authorities of Clackmannanshire, Falkirk & Stirling.
The initial team cast a wide net to generate interest among those who were part of the local food network – growers, producers and providers of food as well as local communities and voluntary groups who wanted to see more local people enjoy more local produce. To assist in getting projects underway, FVFL operated a Small Grants Scheme which helped encourage farmers and growers to diversify where possible and take time to test out different crops and lines of produce.
The initiative had two key areas to combine: on the one hand, staff worked with voluntary organisations and community groups interested in setting up local fruit and vegetable co-operatives, whilst also working with farmers, food growers, producers, and a wide range of other interests to increase access to and availability of affordable, fresh
produce for local people.
In working towards this longer term goal of increased availability of local produce FVFL became involved in a variety of schemes, including a paper then web-based local food directory, community buying schemes, local food producer co-operatives, supporting local food network groups, supporting farmers' market development in Falkirk & Clackmannanshire, development of a Food Miles game, promoting square foot gardening, and held numerous events.
As with so many innovative projects, once the initial start-up funding had been used up it became increasingly difficult to maintain adequate revenue funding so FVFL finally merged with Forth Environment Link (FEL) in September 2008, ceasing to be an independent entity as it was struck off the Register of Companies in early 2009 and removed from the Scottish charity register in June 2009.
Forth Environment Link continues to support the local food sector through the Forth Valley Orchard project and Grow Forth Network:
For further information, contact:
Forth Environment Link
24 Allan Park
Stirling FK8 2QG
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