Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER LAG appoints Local Food & Drink Coordinator

Ashley Robinson at market stall
News from Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER

In this article, Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER tell us about the role of their new Local Food & Drink Coordinator.

With support from Stirling Council, Forth Environment Link, West Dunbartonshire Council and Clackmannanshire Council, Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) has appointed a Local Food & Drink Coordinator to help grow, support, and innovate the local food system in the area. A major focus of the role will be to create a Local Food & Drink Vision, Strategy & Action Plan for the Forth Valley & Loch Lomond area.

This work is being led by Ashley Robinson supported by a Steering Group made up of LAG members and other partners.

The Local Food & Drink Coordinator role is ultimately to help build a resilient, diverse, and vibrant local food system and economy in the Forth Valley and Loch Lomond area, although the main focus at the start will be on producing a strategy and action plan.

Overall aims include:

  • increasing the range and number of local food production, processing, retail, and markets in the area
  • helping businesses, agencies, public bodies, and individuals work collectively/collaboratively to increase local food production
  • supporting a food system that is rooted in local economy, tourism, and ecology - one that promotes the FVL area as an area of outstanding and varied local food.

The person leading the charge is Ashley Robinson. She has a slight obsession with all things local food and is absolutely delighted to be in the Coordinator post.

Her professional background is in sustainable food education, community engagement around local food, and in rural development. She has also worked on a range of farms and in food enterprises, including an innovative market garden using bio-intensive growing practices in Canada, a variety of hill farms in the UK (sheep work), and as a director of Riverside Bakery CIC - a sourdough micro-bakery. Her particular interests are in small-scale farming, innovative grazing methods, holistic management, sourdough bread, and alternative routes to market.

Ashley will be looking to link up with, and learn from, food and drink activity in other areas. So, if you are doing something similar in your area, would be interested in some cooperation activity, or simply agree that there is value is in sharing knowledge that already exists, please do get in touch with Ashley by emailing