A Very Short History
Somerset Local Food Direct, the trading subsidiary of Somerset Local Food, played an important part of our customers’ weekly shop and the sales cycles of around sixty local producers’ since 2002.
Building on the strong foundations created by Roger White and everyone involved with SLFD over the last seventeen years, a committed board of experienced people have been working hard to transition the trading activity into the parent Community Benefit Society. The purpose of this change is to deepen and broaden the social impact of the food delivery service, and to make it more successful in achieving its social and financial objectives.
Our aim is to better meet the needs of more local customers, increase our pool of excellent local producers, improve our health and wellbeing impact on local communities, and continue to promote ecological growing and farming methods to protect our natural environment and mitigate against the effects of climate change.
After 17 years of dedication to the local food community, Roger wishes to retire this summer, though we are confident he will still be involved well into the future! Philip Sharratt has been appointed as Chief Executive of Somerset Local Food to lead the new organisation. Over the past 12 months we have re-branded including a new logo, purchased a new liveried delivery vehicle and launched a new customer facing website to improve the customer experience and promote our social values.
In order to make these changes possible we have raised finance in the following ways:
- A community share offer
- Applications for social enterprise grants
- Direct Investment by local members.
Since launching a second, open Share Offer in the autumn of 2018, we have raised a further £25,500 from new Members of Somerset Local Food, but we still need to do more to reach our target of £50,000 to help fund new projects including working with local therapeutic growing projects which helps to diversify our supply chain whilst increasing our social impact, finding ways to address food poverty, and to help our elder population remain living independently in their own homes, particularly in rural areas that have seen village shops closing at the same time as cuts to public transport services.
We are therefore launching an appeal to raise awareness of the Share Offer, both to raise the capital we need but also to strengthen the local ownership of Somerset Local Food.