Herefordshire's Food Strategy is a county-wide strategy designed to support the local food economy, add value to local produce and reduce food miles.
Herefordshire has a multi-agency food partnership including farming organisations, statutory authorities, environmental, tourism and health organisations and networks. The Partnership wanted to support the local food economy and address health and social issues within the county. In 2010 it requested the production of a local food strategy that could provide an integrated, county-wide approach to food production, maximise the potential for local supply chains and add value to local produce, and understand how food could contribute to health and well-being.
The Strategy identified five themes required to support a sustainable food and drink sector:
- Health and wellbeing: understanding how food could contribute towards local health and wellbeing targets such as reducing obesity, producing food of high nutritional value etc.
- The environment: promoting methods of food production that minimised environmental damage and developing local food chains that minimised food miles
- Local distinctiveness: enhancing the potential for adding value to local production and understanding the significance of food to the tourism economy for the county
- Skills and capacity: developing opportunities for education and training in order to grow the food economy, catering and tourism sectors.
- Policy influence: understanding the relationship between national and local policy and sustainable development. For example, how procurement policies affected the ability to develop local supply chains.
These themes were used to provide a set of aims and objectives to be delivered via a local Action Plan. The delivery of this plan has been subsumed within the remit of Herefordshire's Sustainable Food and Tourism Partnership.
- provides the secretariat for the Herefordshire Sustainable Food & Tourism Partnership (HSFTP), which provides strategic oversight for these sectors.
- wrote the Sustainable Food and Drink Strategy for Herefordshire: "From Field to Table," which was first published in 2010. The Strategy has been revised periodically.
- continues to implement the strategy's aims and objectives through HSFTP and project work.