THE success of local food businesses in this town is really important if we are to create more local jobs and build a strong local economy.
With this in mind IET asked a local volunteer to survey Todmorden businesses, both retail, hospitality and producers to understand their feelings towards IET , what if any impact our work has had, and what we might do, as volunteers, to help promote the range of incredible local food.
We sent out or emailed 49 food businesses known to us, and here are the results.
l 94 per cent had heard of IET.
l 65 per cent said demand for local food had increased over the last three years.
l 70 per cent said IET has improved publicity for Todmorden.
l 47 per cent said IET had a positive impact on sales.
l 63 per cent said we had improved publicity for their business.
On top of this, the big themes coming out were the need for a local food business network, and more publicity for local markets.
Building on this work we will have an Incredible Edible market stall each week in the run up to Christmas, to share these findings, promote who’s selling what and help folks with some ideas of cooking for Christmas.
We’re only volunteers at the end of the day, but we are committed to doing whatever we can to spread the word of the fabulous, delicious food available all over our town.
Recently Incredible Edible Todmorden hosted the most amazing group of young architecture students from Sheffield University.
They had heard about what folks in Todmorden were trying to do, against the odds, and decided that they would like to dedicate some of their course work to help us put local food on everyone’s agenda.
They have visited us four times so far and produced not only a great piece of research on the idea of food commons, community growing land, but also produced a questionnaire on the impact we have had on people’s awareness of local food, who sells it and where and how many people now buy local produce.
Their work programme ended with a great two day event, Friday was a tour of our growing sites including Walsden where they cooked supper including some of the edibles they had picked from the community beds that afternoon.
Saturday, saw presentations and workshops at the Unitarian church in Todmorden to which they invited environmentalists from France, Ireland and Rumania to brain storm new ideas to help us build on the work of the past three years.
We all learned a lot from each other, had a really great time, and we owe them a big thank you.