On 4 June the Food Research Collaboration and Sustainable Food Cities hosted a workshop titled ‘Food hubs in the UK food system: opportunities and challenges’, bringing together people working in food hubs in the UK with academics and other food practitioners. The aim of the workshop, which took place at the Centre for Food Policy at City University, was to share experiences and perspectives from different sorts of hubs, identify ways in which the FRC and its partner organisations can help those working in food hubs and gather feedback on a document soon to be published by the FRC and the SFC.
The day consisted of presentations from three people working in food hubs and three academics who have studied food hubs extensively and carried out surveys in the UK and the US, respectively:
- Toby Anstruther who runs Bowhouse in Fife
- Julie Brown who runs Growing Communities in Hackney, London
- Simon Platten who runs Tamar Grow Local, in Cornwall
- Michael Hamm from Michigan State University who has conducted food hubs surveys in the US and studied food hubs there extensively
- Christian Reynolds who carried out a survey of UK food hubs
- Paola Guzman who compared the US experience to the UK and presented on what lessons could be learned from overseas
The Food Research Collaboration will publish a discussion paper together with SFC over the summer, which will contain the results of the UK food hubs survey and will incorporate feedback from this workshop.