Farmer-focussed routes to market

Evidence suggesting short, local, decentralised supply chains have a part to play in mitigating climate change and improving health outcomes.

This 2021 report from the New Economic Foundation, based on research from Growing Communities, finds many reasons why direct, decentralised and short supply chains benefit everyone involved, financially, socially and environmentally.

Growing Communities is a London-based, farmer-focused food retailer that is reshaping food and farming systems.
Read more about them here.

New Economics Foundation is the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic, and environmental justice to transform the economy.
Find out how they compiled this report and what it says about our food systems.

“For every £1 spent buying organic food through London-based food retailer Growing Communities, almost £3 more is generated in benefits to customers, farmers, citizens and the planet.”



By monetising the social, environmental and economic impact of Growing Communities, giving organic farmers a robust and reliable route to market, we see:


A partnership-focussed buying policy leads to increased turnover for farmers. 

85% of farmers surveyed reported sales growth of an average of 87% since working with Growing Communities. 



Dealing directly with farmers cuts waste 

A third of farmers surveyed said they produced less waste as a result of working directly with Growing Communities’ veg box scheme and farmer’s market.


A partnership-focussed buying policy leads to more jobs on farms. 

On average, farms report employing four more people since working with the Growing Communities network. 

Innovation in action


Food delivery is convenient, but can it offer other benefits – not just for shoppers, but growers, businesses and the environment too. Growing Communities think so ...


Individuals who support local and sustainable supply chains help drive change in public procurement. Pioneers like Jackie at Leicestershire Trading Services.


How can technology help get more fresh, local food on the menu in schools? Fresh-Range may have the answer.

Shortening supply chains: Roads to regional resilience

Find out how businesses and councils are already working to shorten supply chains, and what opportunities exist for producers to increase the availability of local, sustainable food in your community.

Recommendations for policymakers

Incentivise sustainable food sourcing and short food supply chains in the public sector.

Recognise and pay for the ‘public goods’ delivered by sustainable and regional food production – like climate change mitigation, higher food security and bolstered local economic resilience.

Develop planning policies that allow the development of regional food processing and distribution infrastructure.

Invest in the co-ordination and mapping of local food producers in pilot areas.

Give local food hubs technical support to develop IT and logistics expertise.

Want to connect with caterers?

Connect with caterers and make purchasing easier
with the Food for Life Supplier Scheme.

Organic supply chain sourcing support

Whether you're a producer, processor or distributor we can help with your supply chain needs.