Peter Couchman is the Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation.

The Plunkett Foundation is the organisation which promotes and supports co-operative and social enterprises in rural communities both in the UK and internationally. It provides support, networks and knowledge which offers practical solutions for rural communities that helps to create thriving places where people live and work now and in the future.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Making Local Food Work Conference

The second Making Local Food Work conference was held in Bristol last week and what an event it turned out to be. The first had sold out its 150 places in just a few days, so we took the bold step of booking a 250 place venue for the second. This sold out too with a waiting list.

The main thing that I loved about the day was the wonderful variety of people there. They must have come from every aspect of the local food movement and the learning between them made the event worthwhile.

The speakers didn't disappoint with Tim Crabtree as inspiring as ever on Bridport, but now complete with animated slides. Barny Haughton of Bordeaux Quay came straight from Keith Floyd's wake to wander through why local food mattered to him. My quote of the day came from Professor Kevin Morgan. In an impassioned speech asking why food wasn't part of modern city planning, he heaped praise on projects such as ours. But, he added, how to we prevent them from being "islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity."

It is a point well made. The desire to connect seemed to be the undercurrent of the day and it is something that we'll need to put our minds to.

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