Why shop local for the festive season?

The season is certainly festive as we enter the final month of 2023. In fact, at Fordhall Farm, we recently hosted our first festive craft fayre with an array of local crafters, and Farm Shop Christmas orders are already growing and growing! These things fit in nicely with our theme this quarter – ‘shop local’.

The unfortunate reality that comes hand in hand with the festivities is increased waste and emissions – around 30% more waste is produced in the UK this time of year, and around 35% of the UK’s carbon emissions are generated by unnecessary food transport.

Now that negativity is out of the way, the good news is that reducing your Christmas carbon footprint isn’t necessarily a difficult task! Visiting local businesses greatly reduces the negative impact on the local environment, as people are more likely to walk or cycle, or only take the car a short distance. Local businesses are usually supplied by local producers, and so the distance the products have travelled are greatly lessened, therefore further reducing transport emissions.

Supporting local businesses also has economic bonuses within your local community – a recent government study showed that an average of £3.85, of every £10 spent locally, filters back into the community.

The local producers who supply our farm shop and cafe are a vital part of Fordhall’s own community. The recent new menu in ‘Arthur’s Farm Kitchen’ cafe features several dishes composed of ingredients from a mix of nearby businesses – for example, the welsh rarebit and soup feature bread from Bloomer’s bakery in Wem, cheese from Belton Farm in Whitchurch, and herbs cultivated by the Care Farm in Fordhall’s own Community Garden.  We are also proud to say that the pasture fed meats on offer in the shop and cafe are straight from the Fordhall fields too!

We are soon to launch a new seasonal trail for the little ones, which celebrates these (and more) local producers, and help young ones understand what is meant when people talk about ‘food miles’. Keep an eye on our website and social media for the launch announcement.

On behalf of all at Fordhall Community Land Initiative and Fordhall Organic Farm, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we look forward to catching up with you all in 2024.

Best wishes,

Francesca Lant, Marketing and Communications Officer