Stirling Food Assembly celebrated its first birthday on Friday 5th October, having sold a whopping 2800 baskets of produce and generated over £55,000 for the local economy.
To mark the occasion and stir up even more local interest in the scheme, the popular online food market hosted a free tasting session at Stirling Cycle Hub with everything from locally made cheese and sourdough bread to organic beef and seasonal veg.
The eco-friendly initiative, which encourages consumers to shop local, was launched last autumn by Stirling based charity Forth Environment Link and is now ranked among the top three Food Assemblies in UK.
Food Hub Officer, Stuart Guzinski said: “The market was an immediate hit with the local community, attracting 100 orders in its first week, and has gone on to outperform markets in major UK cities such as London. Unlike with the big supermarkets, our producers keep almost all the profits; with each weekly market generating an average of £1000 for the local economy.”
The Food Assembly scheme, which originated in France, aims to connect shoppers with the people who make or grow food in their local area. The average distance travelled by producers to the Stirling market is 16 miles, cutting down the journey between farm and fork. Users can simply click and collect their order, with pickups from Stirling Cycle Hub on a Thursday or Friday.
In the past 12 months, the market has grown from 9 producers to 36, and now offers everything from fruit, veg and eggs to seafood, raw cakes and hand roasted coffee.
One of the key principles of the Food Assembly movement is to reduce food waste. Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Our Love Food Hate Waste campaign is about helping people value and make the most of their food. Being a member of a Food Assembly is a fantastic way to enjoy delicious food, meet local producers and make connections that help us appreciate our food. Congratulations to Stirling Food Assembly on their huge success in the past year.”
For more information visit Stirling Food Assembly