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Last updated: Fri 25 Nov 2016

Frome Food Assembly

Frome Food Assembly is a new initiative by Nunney resident Pia McGee that aims to put consumers face-to-face with the people who produce the food again.

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Frome Food Assembly’s philosophy is simple: the choices we make about the food we buy – how far it travels, how it is produced – are some of the biggest effects we can have on the planet.

“Agriculture emits more greenhouse gases than all our cars, trucks, trains, and aeroplanes combined.” (National Geographic, May 2014).

Frome Food AssemblySo, given that, Pia McGee decided to try to do something about that. The Frome Food Assembly she is setting up is a cross between a buyers co-operative and a weekly click-and-collect farmer’s market.

Its philosophy is to put us back in touch (face-to-face) with the people who produce the food we eat, via a transparent model which guarantees the producer 83.3% of the pre-tax sale price, 8.3% funds the payment processing and the website, and 8.3% funds the organiser (Pia) for her time, the venue cost, and publicity materials.

Pia McGee

Frome Food Assembly’s Pia McGee on a visit to a supplier.

In France the system is already a huge success, with 400 local assemblies up and running. It seems to have integrated well with other channels to local food (markets, box schemes), supporting people in weaning themselves off the supermarkets.

With the Frome Food Assembly, you order and pay online, and then collect your produce directly from the farmers and foodmakers on a Wednesday evening (time to be confirmed, but a 2-hour slot) after work at the Cheese and Grain.

Producers will come from within a 35-mile radius of Frome (most from far closer than that), with a few specials such as fresh seafish or shellfish from a little further afield (the sea).

Liam McGee out and about promoting Frome Food Assembly

Liam McGee out and about promoting Frome Food Assembly

Because you collect it, it means that it becomes viable for smaller and more specialist local producers to supply – it removes risk and waste for them. It’s free to join, and there’s no commitment on members to buy anything, but you get an email each week to let you know when the latest produce has been uploaded.

The assembly needed 100 members to be viable for local producers from launch. Interest has been so great that almost 200 members have already signed up!

64782_313263312201672_4998538532683319482_nThe Frome Food Assembly was launched on Wednesday 3 December. You can register online to become a member of the Frome Food Assembly at https://thefoodassembly.com/ and select Frome as your local venue. If you are already a member, thank you for registering, and tell your friends!

To keep up to date with progress, you can follow the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheFromeFoodAssembly

And, if you think that this is a good idea, please tell others and spread the word.

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