Open4Business: May 2016

Pioneering food shopping concept comes to Putney

Putney Food assembly

An exciting new concept which allows members of the public to order fresh produce directly from local producers has been launched in Putney.

The Putney Food Assembly

Described as 'a cross between a farmers market and a buying group', The Food Assembly is a community food network, which aims to support local food businesses and provide an alternative to supermarket shopping.

More than 100 people attended the launch at the Duke's Head in Putney last month, and local businesses selling their wares on the day included:

Guy D, from Wandsworth, who attended the launch event said:

"I was impressed by the quality of the produce and it was great to meet the people who reared, grew or made the food."

The Food Assembly - which began in France in 2011 and arrived in the UK three years later - is gathering momentum across Europe. There are more than 700 Assemblies taking place in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Italy, each of which are run by a local leader/host, who organises venues and signs up local producers and growers to the scheme.

The pop up food system works by identifying the best food producers and farmers within a 28 mile radius of Putney. Every Thursday, members of the local community can order directly from a selection of local producers, who get to keep more than 80% from each sale in contrast to the 15 - 25% they’d receive from supermarket sales. There are plans to launch an online market where customers can register and order goods for collection.

Floriane Malot - the woman behind the Putney Food Assembly - said:

"I used to visit Farmers markets but found there were none close to where I lived or at a time I could make. So I decided to find a solution that would bring me good, local food, in a convenient place and at a time I could make."

She attributes growing up in the French countryside, where her grandparents were farmers (her father grew vegetable and fruit), to her being 'sensitive' to quality food. She studied food business in France and her first international job was to help promote a local producer of delicacies from her region in the UK.

People are becoming more concerned about the quality of the food they eat, and how far it has travelled. In Putney, our community is made up of lots of families and the quality of the food is even more important when you have children. I believe in the quality of the products we are bringing to our tables and the added value that it is an environmentally friendly way of shopping.

The next Putney Food Assembly takes place on Thursday 19 May, and every Thursday thereafter, at:

The Duke's Head
8 Lower Richmond Rd
London
SW15 1JN
6.30pm - 9.00pm

If you are a local food producer interested in finding out how you can be involved, email Floriane Malot at putneyfoodassembly@gmail.com.

Visit the Putney Food Assembly website.