- to help people to access food that is grown close by through the provision of a directory of small-scale food producers
- to provide support to smaller farmers and growers by showcasing their produce and working methods while helping to promote them in their local community.
- to help forge mutually economic and beneficial relationships between the general public / SMEs and their local food producers
- to reduce food miles, food spoilage and extensive packaging
- to promote awareness around sustainable, low impact farming practices and the importance of supporting local producers
- to host and promote the SIMPLE FOOD PLEDGE initiative.
We celebrate the food producers in our own locality that labour to put nutritious, wholesome fare on our plates. We applaud their respectful working methods and strive to give them a louder voice in their communities. An important function of our online hub is to host the SIMPLE FOOD PLEDGE membership.
All listed producers on the YLFN website are members who have pledged to farm/produce according to certain principles based on sound ecological and ethical practices. In return, they get to use the SIMPLE FOOD PLEDGE to openly display their commitment to low impact farming. They also gain access to other marketing benefits and useful resources.
Businesses that source produce from our pledge members can become SUPPORTERS of the SIMPLE FOOD PLEDGE and gain similar benefits.
Your Local Food Network Business Model
The business is based on a not-for-profit model and is working towards becoming a social enterprise. We received a grant from EPA Green Business to assess the viability of the project.
Who, Why and How…
Hi, my name is Karen. I’m a Wexford based graphic designer and illustrator with a passion for environmental issues. In my spare time I write a blog called Green Jam Jar that talks about all things eco-friendly. The aim is to make green issues easier to digest and a lot more fun. Strictly no preaching.
The idea for Your Local Food Network sprung from many hours spent propping up a coffee stall at our local farmer’s market. Like-minded friends gathered weekly to buy food from a spattering of local producers. We often asked ourselves why our market wasn’t a more lively and vibrant space. Shouldn’t we have more choice from local farmers and growers? Where are they? Why can’t we buy directly from them?
And so, hundreds of coffees and several pounds of cake later, Your Local Food Network was formed. Its goal: to connect more people to local growers and farmers and encourage active collaboration.
“Food is a currency of trust” – Richard McCarthy, Slow Food, USA
Our ambition of an online hub has been realised but this is just a small step forward into unchartered waters. I invite you to join the adventure, as a producer, consumer or supporter of local food! If you recognise the socio-economic and environmental benefits or simply love good food and would like to chat about how you can participate, get in touch and together let’s make it happen!
Frequently Asked Questions
When used in reference to the size of the farm or food business we generally mean businesses that employ no more than 5 people full-time and no more than 10 seasonally. It can vary according to the particular sector and we can exercise our discretion but it must exclude industrial scale operations. We want to encourage local employment and minimise industrial or highly commercialised methods and ensure fair pay and working conditions for all. Decisions will be based on those criteria.
Because the Island of Ireland is not densely populated, when we (YLFN) use the term local we refer to the county of origin and all its bordering counties. This may be adjusted in the future to limit the trading area to within a certain radius. The trial and the membership will determine this.
When we refer to the term food producer, in relation to YLFN, we are referring to primary producers* of food, such as growers and farmers. Produce examples include vegetables, herbs, fungi, culinary plants, meat products (butchered or livestock). These producers are eligible to become MEMBERS of the SIMPLE FOOD PLEDGE.
However, we also include secondary producers** that use no more than 4 ingredients in their final product. The ingredients must be mainly sourced from our membership and/or local organic producers. This might include artisan bakers, cheese makers, jam makers, etc. Over 50% of their listed products for sale must fall under this criteria in order to be eligible for membership. (This is a difficult area to define. The trial hopes to clarify how this might work in reality and so criteria may be adjusted accordingly.)
These type of producers are generally eligible to become SUPPORTERS of the SIMPLE FOOD PLEDGE and this may be a more suitable route to take. We can advise.
A PRIMARY Food Producer grows or harvests raw material for direct sales, or to manufacture into a secondary product.
A SECONDARY Food Producer purchases raw material to manufacture secondary products.
This is where a producer opens his/her farm or food producing business to the public. The public are invited to come and visit and see where and how the food is produced. Normally it is a very casual affair taking place at the weekend within a time frame of about 3 hours ie. 10am -1pm or 2pm -5pm.