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Key Conversations at 'Keep It Local'


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January 25, 2024

Around forty relevant local food producers, distributors, software specialists and marketeers attended the Keep It Local Symposium on Friday 10th November at Follaton House in Totnes.

They were invited by South Hams District Council to the event, facilitated by SusSH, with the intention of bringing together expertise and experience around the challenges of selling locally and the potential solutions. This initial discussion focussed on food, but could be expanding out in future to other sectors.

Following introductions, attendees addressed two key questions:

  • What stops producers selling more locally?
  • What can SHDC do to help?

The main barriers were identified as the awareness, perceptions, skills and resources of both consumers and producers. Ideas to address these challenges centred around: creating a food culture; creating a food hub network; and exploring collaborative procurement solutions.

Several opportunities for council assistance were noted, including the creation of a shared vision, considering a new officer role for food & farming, and mapping what already exists.

Next steps will see Councillor John McKay taking the lead in one-to-one discussions to prioritise and develop an action plan.

Find the full notes from the event here, including links to presentations, and the full mind map of meeting discussions here.