You are hereThe Past, Present and Future of this Website
The Past, Present and Future of this Website
The Durham Local Food website has been created by a team of committed local food enthusiasts. We are all actively involved with the Durham Local Food Network and have connections to a variety of other local food organisations in the area, region and nationally. You can see some of our connections in the Links pages.
The idea for this website has been around for a while. We originally explored developing a paper format but from research and experience realised this was a sure fire way to produce something that would go out of date overnight.
We believe in participation, community and empowerment and so an interactive website seemed the way forward to help build the local food community of County Durham and keep information up to date.
It has taken years to get to this point, which probably began with the Durham Local Food Celebration event in 2005 and the launch of the Durham Local Food Network by the end of that year.
In 2008 the Durham Local Food Network transformed into a google group allowing a higher degree of participation amongst its members.
2009 was the year things really took off though as a partnership was formed between Transition Durham, Durham University and the Durham Local Food Network. The focus of this partnership was an Anthropology Masters student (Amy Mycock) who spent over a year carrying out participatory research on our behalf. Amy helped develop a website team, double the number of members of the Durham Local Food Network, ran stalls, helped raise funds, organised volunteers, gathered information for the directory and is still working hard as part of our website team. We would like to thank Amy for her support and energy in lifting this project off the ground and thank the University for being creative and taking a risk in developing a participatory partnership with a local community group.
In 2010 we were awarded a grant from the Sustainability Team at Durham County Council. We are still spending that money. This website has so far cost less than £500 to produce because of all the generous time and support given. Thanks to all them from all of us (some of them being us!)
The Website is currently managed by a team of volunteers. We are...
Neil Clowes, Amy Mycock, Wilf Richards, Gillian Smellie, Mick Marston, Valentina Vulpi and Liz Charles.
We are currently busy developing this website!
Earlier this year we also received support from the University, this time from students in the IT department. They helped us to add extra features to the website.
And the Future...
Well we hope to increase the amount of food produced in County Durham, the amount consumed within County Durham and increase the number of producers and processors as well. All of this in the hope that food miles will decrease, our dependency on fossil fuels will be minimised and our resilience as a local food economy will increase.
We believe that climate change and peak oil are real and not just some figments of the imagination from some wacky scientists. We believe in preparing for the coming age that will see us evolve away from dependence on fossil fuels and see us rely and depend on localisation far more whether we like it or not. We hope to be part of the solutions to this global problem.
We don't see local food as a fashion trend, as something to export or as just a tourism aid but something that is here to sustain us, link us to the land and the people that make local food work.
We want to see Durham produce on Durham plates and just in case we haven't made it clear so far then our directory is all about LOCAL FOOD businesses and not LOCAL food businesses.
These priorities are reflected in the criteria for the local food directory:
• Local sourcing: A substantial amount of the food that the business sells is grown or reared in County Durham
• Local distribution: The majority of the business’ products or services are consumed / experienced within the region.
• Local ownership: The business' owner lives in the region.
• Location: The business is located in County Durham. Exceptions: Businesses from outside the county will be included in the directory if the products/services are very rare or not being produced within County Durham (e.g. goat’s cheese)
• Strong commitment to local sourcing: The business prioritises the sourcing/use/sale of locally produced food wherever reasonably possible
The website is still in the development phase so expect to see lots more sections being added in the coming weeks including…
• Guide to what’s in season now
• Local food recipes
• Wild food articles
• Events calendar
• Foraging maps
Also in the future there will be sections on allotments, grow your own, food co-ops and alternatives to the supermarkets.
If you’d like to contribute to the recipes section or write an article on local food, design some graphics for the website or contribute in some other way we’d love to hear from you. Please use the Contact page to get in touch.
You can also join the Durham Local Food Network Google Group. Please see the Links section or the next About page which gives more detail about the Durham Local Food Network. Both have links to our google group page and details on how to join.