Somerset Local Food, a Community Benefit Society, is the parent company of Somerset Local Food Direct (SLFD). We are committed to promoting the abundance of beautiful local food produced and made by Somerset’s local producers. We believe that as a community owned business, together with our community shareholders, we can grow a local food movement that makes good food accessible to everyone in Somerset, impacting on people’s health and well-being, maintaining the natural landscape and protecting the local environment.
To achieve this vision the directors of Somerset Local Food will take over the local food delivery business pioneered by Roger and his team at Somerset Local Food Direct (SLFD) before the end of 2018, allowing Roger to retire. We have invested in new infrastructure including an additional van, new website and operational systems; prepared a Social Values Statement that will deliver a range of clear and achievable social impacts; and continue to bring growers, producers, those who work in local food distribution, and our customers into a close working relationship for the benefit of everyone.
This is your opportunity to get involved in a revitalised local business with huge growth potential. We are seeking shareholders who share our vision and, as an investor in community shares, you will have a role in shaping the business and its direction. We have already successfully applied to the Levels and Moors LEADER Programme, a fund supporting rural businesses, and received a grant offer of £20,860. This grant has enabled us to invest in new branding and a new website. We raised £22,000 in match funding for the Leader grant from 30 members during our first Share Offer which ended in March 2018. We have also been successful in securing a social investment loan of £75,000 after an intensive investment-ready process, which was a huge vote of confidence in the Directors and the Business Plan. This has allowed us to appoint a Chief Executive Officer to lead the social enterprise, to purchase an additional delivery vehicle and invest in recruiting additional warehouse and delivery staff to meet growing demand for our service.
This is the background to our open share offer as we open membership of Somerset Local Food to our customers, suppliers, staff and other stakeholders so that we can build stronger connections between people and communities and strengthen the local food economy in Somerset.
Your investment will help us to achieve our short term goals including:
- Enable us to invest in more delivery vehicles to meet growing demand for local food
- Allow us to upgrade our existing equipment and ultimately to relocate to a new, larger warehouse within the Glastonbury area
- Further develop the website so that it continues to meet customer expectations
- Invest in new marketing initiatives that develop the local food economy and supports our grower and producer network, thus helping our local rural communities to thrive
- Additional staff capacity and training so we have the people and skills we need as the business grows.
*The risk assessment of this share offer appears in the Business Plan which should be read in conjunction with the Share Offer document.