Over the past 3 years, we’ve been working in partnership with stakeholders in the Tamar catchment to develop and deliver a strategic catchment management plan under DEFRA’s Catchment Based Approach (CaBA). Hazel Kendall, the Tamar Catchment Partnership Facilitator at WRT, said “The Tamar partnership has continued to go from strength to strength this year and we are starting to see real results. We’ve developed a priority list of interventions that we believe are needed to improve water quality and the general health of the river, and we are actively seeking funding to deliver these aims.”

Hazel continued, “One of the most exciting outcomes for us has been the opportunity to join forces with Tamar Grow Local, a Community Interest Company promoting sustainable food production in the Tamar Valley. Through CaBA and the 3C’s project, we’ve been able to support Tamar Grow Local in trialling a wholesale food hub. The hub aims to assist smaller producers within the catchment in marketing their produce whilst also decreasing food miles.”

Tamar Grow Local was set up by small scale producers operating in the Tamar valley who realised that by working together, they would have the capacity to supply the local community with fresh, locally grown produce. The wholesale food hub will allow suppliers to start targeting the wholesale market to supply schools, pubs and restaurants, serving the dual purpose of encouraging small producers to expand as well as allowing larger consumers to decrease food miles and support the local area.

This trial aims to operate a wholesale hub as a not-for-profit brokerage to offer producers a better price and hence incentive to supply. It also aims to establish ‘harvesting to order’, thus avoiding wastage or unsold produce. This project is aimed at small scale producers and helps to build a more resilient local food production system from grass roots level. Alongside this is the promotion of locally and sustainably sourced food, and enhanced awareness of local suppliers and their link to the landscape, character and environmental conditions of the Tamar catchment. There is also great potential for this project to be replicated and it could ultimately serve to be trialled elsewhere in the country.

You can read more about the Wholesale Food Hub and watch a video about it HERE.