Cultivate, a food-based social enterprise located in Newtown, is running a dynamic procurement Food Hub as part of a project managed by Social Farms and Gardens.
The Food Hub project aims to demonstrate that the public sector can procure efficiently from local producers whilst benefiting the local environment and helping to keep more of the money people spend in the local economy by buying local.
To support the Food Hub and to encourage more local chefs from the public sector to get involved in the project, Cultivate worked in partnership with Neath Port Talbot College, Newtown, to put on a Chefs Training Workshop at the College on 25th May 2023.
The event was attended by Cedewain School, Oaks Care Home and All Saints Church congregation members alongside College staff, Cultivate staff and the Food Foundation.
The workshop involved Shaun Bailey, the College’s Principal Chef, cooking taster dishes using fresh, seasonal salads provided by the Food Hub growers, Ash and Elm in Llanidloes, and the Upper Rectory restaurant in Berriew, Welshpool.
Alongside tasting the delicious food, Carwyn Graves, external speaker and published author of the book, “Welsh Food Stories”, treated participants to an interactive session where he informed people of many ancient traditions across the farming sector in Powys which everyone enjoyed.
Sue Lloyd-Jones, Head of School – Catering, Hospitality and Agriculture at Neath Port Talbot College, said:
“We hosted a really wonderful event in the College as part of the Sustainable Food Hub project which was attended by representatives from care homes, schools and church. My thanks to everyone who came along and to my colleagues who cooked some delicious food using fresh, seasonal produce.”
Richard Edwards, Senior Manager of Cultivate, said:
“Wales produces only a small proportion of all the food we consume, and this is particularly the case for fruit and vegetables. The workshop for chefs in the public sector was well attended and we wanted to inspire people present with freshly cooked, seasonal food and stories of traditional Welsh food. On the back of the workshop, we have another two customers signed up in principle to procure from our Food Hub and thereby supply local, seasonal and nutritious food whilst supporting our local growers. A big thanks to everyone who came along and helped organise the workshop.”
This project has been funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government to pilot two new procurement food hubs in Carmarthenshire and North Powys.
For more information about the Food Hub and accessing local, fresh food, please contact: Nick Burdekin, Cultivate on firstname.lastname@example.org