Tamar Valley Food Hubs is a not-for-profit social enterprise connecting small-scale food and drink producers to local customers.
Similar to a veg box scheme and online supermarket, we deliver the best of seasonal Tamar Valley produce to homes, workplaces and collection points across the Valley each week.
Tamar Valley Food Hubs was established in 2013 with the aim of making buying local food easier for consumers and complementing the range of produce on offer at farmers markets in the local area. We also offer customers opportunities to take part in activities such as bee-keeping and orchard management.
The Tamar Valley has a long history as a centre for food and flower production, which characterised its distinctive landscape (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). In its heyday in the 1950's, before the advent of cheap oil, market gardening was a major industry in the area, supported by eight to ten thousand people, and with growers co-operatives of 600 members or so.
The microclimate and long growing season supported many local varieties of fruit and flowers suited to this climate. We believe that this cultural heritage is very relevant in today's changing climate, to understand ways to sustain and regenerate the landscape, community and local economy.
Tamar Valley Food Hubs was started as part of the Cordiale project's Tamar Valley 'field trials' aimed at re-establishing local supply chains between producers and consumers. The aim of the Food Hubs was to promote and encourage increased availability of sustainable and affordable local produce in the Tamar Valley and surrounding areas, including Tavistock and Plymouth, and to spread awareness of the many benefits attached to the production, preparation and consumption of local food.
Our vision is that the Tamar Valley becomes, once again, an area well known for the range and quality of local produce, including food and cut flowers, which has been grown sustainably and is affordable to all who live in the area. Also, that the Tamar Valley is able to support local producers to earn a good living whilst helping to achieve this vision.
Tamar Valley Food Hubs is run by Tamar Grow Local, a community interest not-for-profit company that aims to help establish, encourage and strengthen initiatives and projects based around food production that benefit both the community and the landscape.
Tamar Grow Local's activities focus on three main areas:
Providing opportunities and support for local people to grow their own food including allotments, growing plots and orchards.
Raising awareness of the benefits of local produce and the unique market gardening history of this area.
Working with commercial growers and supply chains to increase the availability and consumption of local food and produce.
Tamar Grow Local runs a number of projects in the Tamar Valley including a bee-keeping co-operative and courses, community orchards, allotments and farm starts.
The Tamar Valley Food Hubs' online shop is hosted by the Open Food Network, a not-for-profit organisation that provides an open source platform through which food hubs, co-operatives, farmers and farm shops around the world and can sell their produce.
A percentage of our turnover goes to the Open Food Network to help develop the platform further.
We believe that to build a better food system, we need to work together in new ways. We think it’s possible to create a food system with social and ecological health at its core.
Our open source platform enables new, ethical supply chains. Food producers can sell online, wholesalers can manage buying groups and supply produce through networks of food hubs and shops. Communities can bring together producers to create a virtual farmers’ market, building a resilient local food economy.
- Open Food Network