The first Food Assembly in West Yorkshire is to open in Halifax in July. It will offer people a new way to support local businesses and to buy their food locally, helping to boost the local food economy.

The Halifax Food Assembly host, Carol Longbottom, explained: “Ever thought you’d like to eat more locally produced food but didn’t know where to start looking? Would you like to support local producers and your local economy but don’t have the time to trail around dozens of shops? Are you a local food producer struggling to access a market? If so, then the Food Assembly may well be for you.”

Combining the convenience of internet shopping with the satisfaction of meeting the people who actually produce the food you buy, the Food Assembly is the twenty-first century solution to sourcing the very best local food, grown or bred sustainably, by people in your own area.

The concept is very simple and everyone’s a winner. Members can shop online for their weekly food groceries, choosing from a wide range of fresh and seasonal local produce, such as fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese, meat and so on.

It doesn’t cost anything to become a member and it’s up to you how much you buy and how often. As a member all you have to do is place your order online and then pop along to your weekly Food Assembly at the All Saints Parish Hall, Skircoat Green between 4pm and 6pm every Wednesday to collect your food and meet the farmers and artisans who have produced it,” Carol continued.

It’s great for producers too. They set their own prices, of which they receive over 80%; significantly higher than that offered by supermarkets, which often pay their suppliers as little as 20% of the on-the-shelf price. Added to that producers know exactly what they’ve sold before they set out so they don’t need to over harvest or guess customers’ requirements. And they don’t have to stand on a cold, wet and windy market stall all day with no guaranteed sales.”

Established in France in 2011 as “La Ruche qui dit Oui” (The Hive that said Yes) the Food Assembly was launched in the UK in 2014. There are now over 700 assemblies across France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK, which already has almost 60 either operational or in the building phase.

Each local Food Assembly has a host, who gathers together the best producers in the area, and runs the weekly collection. Producers have to be within a 150 mile radius of the Food Assembly but because there are so many great small producers around the average distance travelled by a producer is only 26 miles. This means it’s also more cost effective with organic vegetables bought direct actually 33% cheaper than those bought from the supermarket.

The first Food Assembly in West Yorkshire will be launched on July 6th at the All Saints Parish Hall, Skircoat Green, Halifax. The weekly collections will take place between 4pm and 6pm. For more information and to join please visit the Food Assembly website at www.thefoodassembly.com and search for the Halifax Food Assembly.

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