Promoting Economic Development through Local Food



Food Plymouth DEAL Conference, 2014  

Cllr Brian Vincent opens Food Plymouth DEAL Conference

The Food Plymouth Conference in September 2013 was opened by Cllr Brian Vincent, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, who stated that, ‘good food is vital to Plymouth’s health and economy,’ and that we are working towards achieving formal ‘Sustainable Food City status’ for next year.  Tom Andrews from the Soil Association praised Plymouth as being a founder member of the Sustainable Food City network, which was formally launched in the Summer.  Paul Cox from the Marine Aquarium also announced that Plymouth is working to achieve the Fish2Fork Blue City Award, as part of their journey to support Plymouth to be a Sustainable Fish City.  

Other speakers included; Traci Lewis, who outlined Food Plymouth’s objectives, outcomes and future focus.  Gilles Marechal, one of our French DEAL partners from Rennes in Brittany, about how they have developed a Sustainable Food Plan for Rennes.  Julie Frier of Plymouth Public Health outlined the gravity of the situation for the City around ill-health and health inequalities caused by food poverty and poor diet. Whilst Brad Pearce of Plymouth City Council School Meals Service impressed delegates with how they manage to feed Plymouth’s primary school children to Gold standard Catering Mark, the first Local Authority in the country to achieve this prestigious award.   It was a lively and inspiring day with lots of debate and discussion, lots of work still to do, but lots to celebrate also!






La Peche plat at St Brieux markets


From June to December 2012, Food Plymouth worked with FR CIVAM, an organisation based in the French city of Rennes, to promote short food supply chains. On 27th of March, a new Interreg EU project with France was launched at the Plymouth Food Expo. The programme is called DEAL ‘developpement economique par l’alimentation locale’.  This programme is led locally by the Soil Association, on behalf of Food Plymouth, to deliver the economic aims of the Sustainable Food City Plymouth Action Plan.

12 June 2013 Food Plymouth Partnership visits France for local food education

Traci Lewis and Cllr Brian Vincent at St Brieux Markets

A Plymouth delegation went France this week to exchange learning around local food production and marketing.  This is part of an EU Interreg programme called ‘DEAL’, which is working to support economic development through local food, as part of the aims of the Plymouth Food Charter and Sustainable Food City Plymouth Action Plan.

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, Plymouth City Council and Traci Lewis, Food Plymouth Coordinator, Soil Association are heading out to St Brieuc in France on Wednesday to meet with local partners and elected representatives as part of the delivery programme, to see how we can learn from each other to increase more local food sales within the City.

Traci Lewis, Food Plymouth Coordinator and Soil Association commented:

‘It will be a great opportunity to share learning from our work in Plymouth with the other English and French partners.  The Food Plymouth Expo was a new initiative to launch DEAL in March, as a way to help more local producers and suppliers trade within the City, and we are also currently exploring new market opportunities with both public sector buyers and restaurants. There will also be a trip to their famous local markets which we are looking forward to.’

Cllr Brian Vincent said,

“It is a great opportunity to promote Plymouth as a good food destination. Good food is becoming more and more important to Plymouth. Our amazing restaurants and events such as Flavourfest are making the city a foodie destination.

  But this is not just about glamorous gourmet meals; our communities, schools and small businesses are all playing a part in making good, healthy food vital ingredients in people’s lives.”

 For further information visit / contact: Traci Lewis, Food Plymouth Coordinator


Food Plymouth DEAL Conference, 20 September 2013

A Conference to review, debate and celebrate progress and achievements of the Plymouth Food Charter and Sustainable Food City Plymouth Action Plan.

Part of the Interreg funded DEAL programme, a partnership programme to support economic development through local food

Annoucement of winners and presentation of the Plymouth Food Awards 2013


English Food Plymouth DEAL Conference 20 Sept 13.FINAL

French DEAL FR Conference 20 Sept 13


Traci Lewis, Food Plymouth Coordinator  TL, SFCP Action Plan, Food Plymouth Conference, 20 Sept 13v1

Gilles Marechal, Counseil General Cotes d’Amor  GM, Rennes, 20 Sept 13

Julie Frier, Public Health, Plymouth City Council JF, Public Health, 20 Sept 13

Brad Pearce, School Meals Service, Plymouth City Council  BP, PCC, Food Plymouth DEAL Conference 200913 BPearce 160913



DEAL is a French acronym meaning Economic Development through Local Food. Indeed, during this two year Interreg Programme, French and English Partners across the Channel will study and develop local food systems, whilst sharing learning experiences. In a period of economic crisis, it is important to create innovative actions to support our local economies. By sharing our skills and knowledge it will help all partner develop useful tools to support their local economies through local food.

How does it work?

The DEAL project is divided in 4 work packages, which represent various steps of the programme.

WP 1: Understand the context and development of challenges of short food supply chains in their local area and identify existing good practice in the Channel area and beyond through research and diagnosis;

WP 2: Conduct awareness raising actions and training for local stakeholders; through raising the awareness of the buyers (caterers, retailers, citizens, communities, pupils) of local produce and also by supporting producers and distributors to be able to supply this new demand (farmers, artisans, public sector caterers);

WP 3: Carry out concrete actions to link local supply with demand;

WP 4: Create financial leverage through the actions developed and to provide practical and transferable tools and methods to other players in the Channel area. A dissemination strategy will be established for this purpose, this work package also includes actions to control and manage the project.

The Soil Association is coordinating the WP2, action 1, which consists in developing awareness raising tools with different targeted public.

Once a quarter the French and English partners will meet to share their experiences, gather their feedbacks from actions and research they run on their local areas and plan further work. The meetings will be in:

–          Rouen: January 2013

–          Portsmouth and New Forest: March 2013

–           St Brieuc:  June 2013

–          Plymouth: September 2013

–         Caen: January 2014

–         Alencon: April / May 2014

–         Caen: September 2014

–         New Forest: tbc 2014


Who is involved?

12 organisations from various backgrounds are part of this Interreg programme.

Soil Association

Le Conseil General des Cotes d’Armor

Le Conseil General du Calvados

La Chambre des Metiers et de l’Artisanat des Cotes d’Armor

New Forest District Council

Le Conseil General d’Ile et Vilaine

Highbury College

Terre de liens Normandie

La Communaute Urbaine d’Alencon

La Federation Regionale CIVAM Bretagne

Solent Skill Quest


The Soil Association is participating in this project, as the coordinator of Food Plymouth.


How to find out more?

If you wish to get more information about the DEAL project, please contact:

Traci Lewis, Project Manager, Soil Association –, M 07870 268 654

Anne-Laure Cattelot, project manager of DEAL,




SFC- Short Food Supply Chains

An Interreg EU Project


From June to December 2012, Plymouth and Rennes worked together to explore and research short supply chains to support local and sustainable food systems. The organisations involved in this partnership were the Soil Association and the FR CIVAM Bretagne. Food Plymouth, as a city wide and cross sector partnership working to further the aims of the Plymouth Food Charter contributed to the project.

The objectives of this project were:

– Research challenges and best practices on Franco British short supply chains

– Produce a Feasibility Study on the Environmental Impact of Short Supply Chains

– Strengthen local partnerships and cross-border learning around short supply chains

– Promote food with a low environmental impact.

Meetings and study trips helped both partners to work together. Partners first met in Plymouth June 2012 and again in Rennes July 2012. A study trip and a conference were organised in Plymouth on 11 & 12th October 2012.  Another Conference and study trip were hold in Rennes on 29th November 2012.

This research project enabled us to understand better the situation in both Plymouth and Rennes, which will be developed through the DEAL programme.

All the outcomes of this research project, available below, are a useful start for the promotion of sustainable food in Plymouth.

– The Presentation of the SFC Interreg Project:  SFC Interreg, 12 October 2012 – v1

– ‘Food for the Public sector’, a report from Plymouth University. Peter Redsone Slides. Plymouth-Rennes PFPS Slides

– A great summary on short supply chains in Plymouth. Short Food Supply Chains – Plymouth

– French Producer from Rennes, Olivier Clisson présentation syst O C avec trame

– Public Sector Procurement Report PSPF FINAL report 31.8.12

– Sustaination Plymouth_Sustainable Food Cities

_ Final Project Report  SFC exec summary report.

To find out more, please contact:

Traci Lewis, Project Manager, Soil Association M 07870 268 654


Planting the seeds for community grown food”:

The Localism Act and New Powers to Access Land for growing Food

 The Localism Act 2011

This wide-ranging piece of legislation came into effect in April 2012.  The Act is complex and runs into 450m pages. Nevertheless new measures within the Act may offer positive benefits for local people wanting to grow their own food.  A summary of the Act can be downloaded on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at:

 The Localism Act promotes six actions of decentralisation

Through the Act the Government claims that it aims to give power back to people and communities.  It intends to take six actions to devolve power, money and knowledge to those best placed to find solutions to local needs – elected local representatives, front line public service professionals, social enterprises, charities, co-ops, community groups, neighbourhoods and individuals.  The six actions are:

1. Lifting the burden of bureaucracy

2. Empowering communities to do things their way

3. Increasing local control of public finance

4. Diversifying the supply of public services

5. Opening up Government to public scrutiny

6. Strengthening accountability to local people

The Act will require local authorities to put in place determined programmes to ensure that power is given away at grass root levels.

Measures of particular interest to communities include:

Running Local Services

The Act has established the ‘Community Right to Challenge’ – Voluntary groups, community groups, parish councils and other organisations will have greater opportunity to run local services the way they want to.  They will have the right to express an interest in taking over a local public service, which must be responded to by the local authority.  It could prompt a bidding exercise in which a local group could compete.  Services could include running children’s centres, social care services and transport services.

Buying Local Assets

The Community Right to Bid – this makes it easier for communities to buy buildings or businesses that are important to them when they are under threat of being sold.  It gives communities more time to develop a bid and raise the money needed.  The Act will, for example, make it easier for local community groups to buy pubs, shops and libraries put up for sale.  Local people will be able to place certain buildings on a ‘most wanted’ list and if they are put up for sale, they will be given time to develop and raise the money.

Neighbourhood Planning and Local Referendums

The Act introduces ‘neighbourhood forums’ – the right for communities to work with the local authority to develop a Neighbourhood Plan, saying where the community thinks new houses, businesses or shops should go, what green spaces to protect,  and what they should look like.  These will be then voted on by local people in local referendums, and they will be able to define developments that should have automatic planning permission. People will be able to trigger referendums on any local issue – the Act will give people the right to suggest a vote on any issue that they think is important.  Authorities and other public bodies will have to take the result into account when making decisions.

The Community Right to Build

As part of neighbourhood planning, the Act gives groups of local people the power to deliver the development that their local community want.  These developments will typically be new homes, businesses, shops, playgrounds or meeting halls.  Community organisations, formed by members of the local community, will be able to bring forward development proposals which, providing they meet minimum criteria and can demonstrate local support through a referendum, will be able to go ahead without requiring a separate traditional planning application.   Also, any benefits derived from these developments, such as any profits generated, will be managed by a community organisation on behalf of the whole community.  The Government will also fund sources of help and advice for communities who want to bring forward development under the community right to build.

New Powers to Access Land for growing Food – “Planting the seeds for community grown food”


As part of the localism and decentralisation agenda, the Government has recently announced measures that will enable individuals and communities to gain access to the land they need.  The Government is looking to help communities to take greater control of their local area in new ways by, for example, reviving derelict sites and giving powers to preserve local green spaces for the greater community.  Measures within the Act such as using new Neighbourhood Planning powers and Community Right to Bid will give communities a way to takeover unmaintained public land or badly run allotments themselves.

The Department for Communities and Local Government refers to a recent survey, which revealed that nearly two thirds of adults want to grow their own food, but that it is becoming increasingly difficult as local authority allotments are significantly oversubscribed – with waiting lists over ten times longer than those in 1996.

On 22nd August 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a set of documents, which give local people practical advice on new ways to get access to less conventional sources of land and green space to grow their own food as well as suggestions for wider community involvement, helpful tips on how to get funding and examples of projects already in place.  The set includes:


  • Space for food growing: Guide


  • Food growing: Case studies


  • Potential funding for community green spaces


  • Get the green space you want: How the Government can help


The Department website also provides examples of sample food growing surveys, case studies and information about community orchards.  This can all be found on:


Sources and further reading

At-a-glance: Localism Bill.  13th December 2010. BBC News Politics.

Online at: (Accessed 2012).


A plain English guide to the Localism Act 2011. Department for Communities and Local Government. Crown Copyright.

Online at: (Accessed 2012).


Localism in Action – The South West Guide: Case studies, tools and tips from the South West of England.2011. Editors

Silverlock, L. & Skrine, J. Published by Local Authorities & Public Services South West Development Group and Creating Excellence.

Online at:  (Accessed 2012).


My Community Rights – Community Right to Build. 2012.

Online at:   (Accessed 2012)


Planting the seeds for community grown food. 22nd August2012.Regeneration and Economic Growth. Department for Communities and Local Government. Crown Copyright.

Online at:  (Accessed 2012).


For a critique of the Localism Bill view the LSE podcast of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture: ‘Architecture of Governance’, presented by Professor Gerald Frug of Harvard Law School at the London School of Economics on 17th May 2011.  View on:



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