There is no absolute definition for local foods but they are generally regarded as foods grown, produced or processed (adding substantial local value or locally sourced produce) from within a 30 mile radius of the people buying them.
For the purposes of the Foodlink Northwest project our definition of local foods are those grown, produced or processed (adding substantial local value or locally sourced produce) from within the Northwest region of the five counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester and Liverpool, with a slight straying into the edges of neighbouring counties.
Encompassing local foods are the segments of organic, sustainable, vegetarian, ethnic, traditional, classic, specialty and fine; any of which can combine together in an eclectic mix which we believe represents the best and most diverse local foods in the country.
The Foodlink project aims to provide information on all these different local foods so local people can make informed choices when they select and buy to their individual preferences.
Initially the Foodlink project will carry out a mapping exercise to identify sources of local foods from across the region and will encourage local food producers to engage with this exercise so that their produce can be linked into the wider regional offer.
We don’t doubt the challenge of collecting, collating and providing this information for the region but we believe the end product will greatly enhance the benefit local food customers will enjoy through having this information readily available to them.
We expect this will encourage more locally sourced and produced products to be bought and enjoyed.