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Pam’s back of a seed packet guide to spinning the business plate

By Sarah Ward

Why is this important?

Because food jobs matter. Because we need more urban farmers and we’re prepared to do our bit for them. Because our kids need to see there is nothing more joyful and rewarding than creating nutritious local food, and there’s a job in it.

Because the pound in our pocket is powerful. We need to use it to support local food entrepreneurs where we can.

But… what can I do?

Just be inventive and get people spending locally.

First off get that pound spent in your local market instead of the supermarket. We’re not anti-supermarkets but we are pro local shops. Then tweet your purchase and create a hash tag.

Run a buy something local day once a month (check out the national programmes like Love your Local Market) and in summer have a big picnic.

Chose one product that people buy and get them to think where it came from by running an Every SOMETHING matters campaign. See example of eggs, where we drew a stylised map of Todmorden and marked where we knew folks were selling eggs from their gate.

Share through social media and ask people to put other small egg producers on it. We grew it from 8 to over 30 but it could be pies, onions you name it.

Buy some blackboards with your IE group name on and give to your lovely local traders to write up what they’ve got on offer that week. Blackboards are the propaganda gardens of the market stalls and small high street.

If you’ve got a group member with design skills, produce a simple route map for your community or veg tourists that links all your edible spaces and takes people past local cafes, shops and markets.

If you’ve got a Food Assembly, shout it from the roof tops. Like all the stuff go over to our Communicating online section to fund out more.

It is important to understand that we get the economy we spend our money on and small local traders need all the promotion we can give them. For a local community to survive it needs all kinds of retail offers. We embrace and value anyone who contributes to the local economy and creates local jobs, retailers big and small. But with small local businesses having small marketing budgets we like to think local and promote local.

That’s how the business plate spins.