Current mainstream agricultural and food retail systems depend heavily on oil. This dependence runs right through from initial production methods (oil-based fertilisers and pesticides), through distribution (supermarkets add thousands of air, sea and road food miles to most foods) to retail outlets, which consume huge amounts of energy themselves and are often out of towns, requiring consumers to travel to buy their food.
We think that, as society is forced to reduce energy consumption and oil-dependence, there will be an increasing need for localised economies, where the basic requirements of society (such as food) are supplied as close as possible to the point of consumption. Strong local communities with experience of working together to meet their basic needs will be much better placed to thrive in an oil-poor world than societies relying on globalised production and distribution systems.
There is a high concentration of local food work here in Stroud. We all communicate freely and there is no overt competition. We have each committed to assist other projects where we can. Our projects support and complement existing local markets and businesses. We have decided to remain as separate organisations, with diverse origins and circumstances and ties to particular locations. We are each of a scale that members can have a meaningful sense of community and involvement. We are all keen to demonstrate what we are doing when we have shown that our models work. We are enthusiastic to showcase what we have done together as practical and inspirational models. We hope that in time these projects will collectively provide visitors to Stroud with an informative study trip experience, showing all that a town can do for local food.
There are many other things we can all do to assist the transition from current globalised oil-dependent food systems to a sustainable, healthy and local food economy. To find out more, and if you would like to become involved with Transition Stroud Food Group in any way, please contact Jessica.