Fantastic response to NeighbourFood Balfron

Picture shows Richard Boddington from The Hub G63, Killearn based producer Gary McAlpine from Foragers Foods, Ruth Glasgow from The Hub G63 and Mark Ruskell MSP.
Norette Ferns

More than 150 people went aloong to the launch of a new online farmers' market in West Stirlingshire recently.

The launch of Balfron NeighbourFood took place at Balfron High on Monday 23 September. The online market allows people to shop online for seasonal produce from local farmers and producers and collect their order on a Thursday evening at Balfron High School. Almost 300 people have already signed up to the new service hosted by social enterprise The Hub G63.

Ruth Glasgow from The Hub G63 said:

"It was great to get all our producers together and we were delighted at the level of interest and enthusiasm from everyone who came to meet them and find out more about the NeighbourFood concept. It was a clear demonstration of the strong sense of community that we have in our local area.

"We believe that we’re reaching a turning point in the way people view food. There’s been a lot of media coverage recently about the many ways in which the food system affects all of our lives and the planet we live on, and people are responding to that. Given the choice, people want to buy food that supports local producers, that is nutritious and that doesn’t damage the environment. And that’s what NeighbourFood is all about."

Mark Ruskell MSP attended Monday’s launch to find out more.

He said:

"I was delighted to be invited by The Hub G63 to the launch of their new NeighbourFood hub. These types of food buying groups are popping up across my region and they reflect a real desire from communities to connect with where their food comes from.

"We are spoiled with a wealth of fantastic food producers in Stirling, but their produce isn’t always accessible or affordable for everyone. By cutting out the middle-man and working as a community in a food buying group like Neighbourfood, people can be confident their money is supporting local producers and benefiting the area.

"This is the Good Food Nation policy in action, and I hope the Scottish Government will commit to supporting the flourishing local food hub movement in the upcoming Good Food Nation bill."

The Balfron market follows on from the popular Stirling NeighbourFood market, run by charity Forth Environment Link, which has sold over 6,000 baskets of produce to date.

Forth Environment Link was awarded £208,000 in March to set up eight new weekly markets across Forth Valley and Loch Lomond, Perth and Kinross, the Scottish Borders and Fife by 2020. A market was also launched in Blairgowrie in August. The project’s funding comes from a collaboration between four Scottish LEADER programmes, Forth Valley & Lomond, Rural Perth & Kinross, Fife and Scottish Borders, through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Find out more about NeighbourFood Balfron.