“Development of a vibrant local food economy through support for local food related businesses and local food growing initiatives.”
What we are trying to do
To support and grow an economy that benefits the residents of Lambeth by supporting local food projects and businesses and increasing the involvement of the local community in their economy.
Why we are trying to do it
As discussed previously, food deserts exist in Lambeth, where some residents have no access to healthy foods either due to none being available in their local area or what is available being unaffordable and limited. People are currently travelling outside of their local area to buy food from markets that provide a range of options.
Money spent in local businesses is 2.5 time more economically beneficial to the local population than money spent in chain stores. This means that for every £10 spent in a local food outlet, £25 is fed back into the local economy. This is because money spent in local stores does not just fund local shop wages but also a vast array of other local services such as accountants, marketing, insurance, printing and suppliers. In addition, independent stores and businesses employ more people per unit turnover than chain supermarkets.
In 2012, 36 out the 49 supermarkets in Lambeth are a Tesco or Sainsbury’s; the remainder are other national chains. It is estimated that 93% of our spending on food goes to national supermarket chains.
Of Lambeth’s small retailers, 90% are independent. Brixton market is a good example of an area which has several independent food retailers and small restaurants.
Residents feel ‘there is not enough information about where to buy locally prepared and produced food’. They are also interested in food being produced more locally. Again this is an area of missed opportunity for local businesses.
Currently a very small amount of food consumed in Lambeth is made locally. There are 170 community gardens in Lambeth (with at least 123 involved in food growing projects) and there is a local aim to grow 15% of the fruit and vegetables consumed in Lambeth.