A report has found that local food networks are under-recognised and poorly supported, despite being vital in the smooth operation of local economies
From Field to Fork: The Value of England's Local Food Webs was commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, to highlight the role local food plays in town centres and the countryside.
The report found large retailers, specifically supermarkets, were undermining local food webs, as the public are buying all their produce from one shop.
The research looked at 19 locations in England, identifying over 800 outlets and 1,700 producers.
Graeme Willis, senior food campaigner for the CPRE, said, “In setting out to map local food webs we hoped to measure the fantastic contributions these networks make. We achieved just that, finding great examples of local food webs helping to buck national trends of high street decline.
“But we have also found that the rise of out-of-town supermarkets and insufficient leadership from the Government over many years have left many local food webs under siege. Action must be taken to support them, and revitalise our high streets and local economies,” he added.