Scottish Borders LEADER Fund is an EU fund giving grants to a range of organisations including businesses, charities and social enterprises. Whilst most of the money is given to Borders based organisations, there’s a small pot of money set aside for projects linking the Borders with elsewhere in Europe. In this case Borders LEADER is working with other areas of Scotland including Outer Hebrides, South Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, Fife and Falkirk to look at setting up Food Assemblies across the different areas.
A Food Assembly is an online farmers market and 2015 winner of the BBC’s Food & Farming awards https://thefoodassembly.com/en . It is free to join, and allows local people to browse and order goods directly from a wide range of local producers. They then pick up pre-paid fresh food each week at a meet-the-producer pop up market. Pre-ordering minimises food waste at source and offers valuable support to local businesses, both by facilitating a safe route to market for their produce and by the wider support from the food assembly and producer network. The only one present in the Borders is in Eyemouth https://www.facebook.com/eyemouthfa/
If there is enough interest there are plans to set up 2 Food Assemblies in the Borders (1/year). Amongst areas suggested have been Peebles/Tweeddale, Jed/Kelso, Hawick; though no decision has been made.
Based on their past experience in setting up and supporting the running of Food Assemblies, Forth Environment Link will be the applicant organisation. They would work with local partners to help set up the Borders Food Assemblies.
Before proceeding any further we’re looking to gauge the demand both amongst consumers and producers. Please check the links below and complete one or more of the surveys. Closes Monday 14th May 2018.