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Better Food Traders at ORFC 2023

Great to see so many of you at the ORFC panel Radical Retailers: Working Together Better as Traders. For anyone unable to make it, we looked at how retailers play a key role in the drive towards shorter and more farmer-focussed supply chains, and we heard from three members of the Better Food Traders network: Phil Haughton, founder of Better Food in Bristol; Dawn Dublin, founder of Joyful Roots in Hastings; and Duncan Catchpole, founder of Cambridge Organic Food Co.

“Our challenge as radical retailers is to make ourselves relevant to a wider audience… We really need people to wake up and connect with real farmers and real producers through buying this food.” – Phil Haughton

“If marginalised and racialised communities are not there at the start of a project, it will not be inclusive.” – Dawn Dublin

“I want to see an abundance of small scale local food enterprises… one on every high street.” – Duncan Catchpole

BFT’s Project Leader, Julia, chaired the lively discussion. Thank you for so many great questions from the audience, and thank you to our speakers:


Phil Haughton – Founder, Better Food

Phil is the founder of award-winning organic retailer Better Food, as well as a farmer, campaigner and author. Better Food now has three sites across Bristol, all proud to stock local, organic and ethically-sourced products, and to be a force for good in the communities they serve. 


Dawn Dublin – Founder, Joyful Roots

Founder of Joyful Roots and the Black Butterfly Project, a cultural heritage and wellbeing organisation supporting people of African heritage and other ethnic and underserved communities. The agriculture and gardening project, promoting food sovereignty and following Afroecoligical and permaculture principles, sells weekly veg bags and is about to take over a retail space in Hastings.


Duncan Catchpole – Founder, Cambridge Organic

As the founder of the Cambridge Organic Food Co., Duncan has more than twenty year’s experience in the sustainable food and drink sector. Duncan is a founding committee member of Cambridge Sustainable Food and author of the book Local Food Ecosystems.


Julia Kirby-Smith – Better Food Traders

Julia has a background in broadcast journalism and strategic comms, and is a Trustee of the campaigning food charity Feedback. She founded and then sold the organic retailer Fridge of Plenty, before joining Better Food Traders as project leader.

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