Our Manifesto for Feeding Cities
So, if the system is broke – can we fix it?
Yes, we can!
Better Food Traders believe we can create sustainable, resilient food systems that feed us well if we work together as communities and food producers to take back control of the way food works.
We approach this work in the spirit of Buckminster Fuller, who said:
You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
If the mainstream food system makes it hard for the smaller organic farms and market gardens to survive and thrive, as communities and enterprises we need to create a more supportive food system, one that offers sustainable food producers:
- local retail outlets which will sell their produce at a fair price and enable them to make a reasonable living
- help with pricing, marketing and product development
- a sense that they are connected to and appreciated by those who buy and eat their food.
Over 20 years experience at Growing Communities has shown that urban communities are well placed to directly support small-scale sustainable growers and to get to know the faces behind their food.
Now, Better Food Traders are demonstrating that community-led trade and the Growing Communities approach has the potential to make a difference across the whole of the UK – giving consumers a way to reach out and support sustainable farmers.
In the process, we’re creating sustainable and meaningful livelihoods for food retailers and providing our communities with good food.
What can we do?
The mainstream food system needs to be turned on its head and replaced with one that makes food work better, so it’s good for growers, easy on the planet and great for all our futures. The way this new food system works is guided by the Better Food Trader Principles and shaped by a model of food subsidiarity we call the Food Zones.
We’re working to create a food system where collective community-scale action allows us to target and focus our individual consumer choices. A system where our collective buying power and skills can reshape the farming landscape – literally changing what is grown, how it grows and what farming look likes.
We know what we are doing now is small in the grand scheme of things. But as the Better Food Trader network expands, we’re helping consumers, growers and retailers change how food works.