Farmers are receiving a smaller share of the value of a basket of food. National distribution of food creates a very large carbon footprint and many people, even in rural areas, do not fully appreciate the contribution of farming to the local economy and environment. We want to reconnect local farmers and local people, shortening the food chain and retaining more of the added value from processing and marketing in the local economy.

Some of the projects we funded last time:

Rectory FarmThis project increased the efficiency of the farm by providing a new fit-for-purpose cold store for fruits and vegetables. Cold storage allows higher value crops to be grown; it allows the quality to be maintained so ensuring greater profit. Produce is sold on-farm and through local farm shops and other outlets.

Children's Food FestivalThe Children’s Food Festival is a celebration of food production, cooking and healthy eating. The aims are to engage young people in food and farming and inspire them to cook, taste new things and eat healthily. The event creates a great visitor experience in South Oxfordshire, enables national and local producers to demonstrate healthy food and reinforces the link between food and the environment.

Ashtrees FarmThis was a farm diversification project to produce apple juice and cider. Apples are collected from local orchards and gardens. Funding was used to erect a timber building to house the press, fermentation tanks and other equipment. The finished cider / juice is pasteurised and sold to pubs in the local area.

Step FarmThe Saunders family began producing food organically in 1982 at their 600 hectare mixed farm. They have a mixture of enterprises including dairy cows, beef and cereals. In 2009, they used LEADER funding to create a new fully-functional 30/60 milking parlour with associated dairy, office and machine space.

Lily's Farm Shop and TearoomClays farm already sold produce at local markets but they wanted to meet demand and make their foods more accessible to the community. The farm itself was unsuitable for public access so funding was used to start up a farm shop and tea room in the centre of Dorchester. Here they sell produce from the farm and other locally sourced foods to villagers and tourists.
Lily’s Farm Shop and Tearoom

Previously there were limited slaughtering facilities in Oxfordshire, the nearest being over 3 hours away making it hard to make a profit and sell to local markets. The farm converted an existing building on their farm into a slaughter house for their birds and for other local poultry producers to sell onto local markets.