Manchester Veg People are jubilant this afternoon as their Crowdfunding campaign to 'Get the Manchester Food Revolution moving’ has exceeded it £16,000 target! This very modern form of fund-raising utilised a huge twitter campaign, and mobilised bloggers and celebrity chefs to help spread the word over six weeks. The result: over 300 people from across the UK made pledges from £5 up to a thousand pounds.
The overwhelming support and enthusiasm for the campaign has shown what an appetite there is for a fairer food system to thrive in Manchester a fact that is backed up by the recent poll, commissioned by the Prince's Countryside Fund that reveals public concern about mainstream food production. Funds raised will allow the cooperative to buy much needed equipment, helping them to grow the capacity of the co-op and realise their dream to bring affordable, healthy and sustainable food to everyone – whilst also paying local growers fair price for their produce.
Talking about the campaign Veg People co-ordinator Katie Brandon said ‘We’re ecstatic that the campaign has hit the target. It’s been a nail biting 6 weeks but the support and messages we’ve received have been amazing. This funding will make such a huge difference to us – more storage space and our own van means we'll be able to supply loads more pubs, restaurants, canteens and schools across Greater Manchester and in turn help more local farmers set up in production by paying them a living wage which is currently an issue in encouraging new people to the industry'.
During the course of the campaign a Gtr Manchester local authority have agreed to a pilot supplying Manchester Veg People produce in a local primary school. Meaning MVP will be supplying local organic veg direct from local farmers our children and young people. Initiatives such as these are at the heart of what MVP and partner organisation The Kindling Trust are try to achieve; ensuring a better fairer food system for Greater Manchester.
Helen Woodcock from the Kindling Trust said 'It can feel like an impossible task to create a food system that is fair to everyone. Paying farmers a fair price for their produce and at the same time making this fresh sustainable and tasty produce available to everyone at times seem like two aims that are completely at odds with each other. But Manchester Veg People are proving that this is a model that can work – so much so that we’re having to support new farmers to set up so that we have enough produce to sell!'
'We’d like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign in a variety of different ways' said Katie 'we really couldn't have done it without any of you!'
Manchester Veg People is a unique multi-stakeholder co-operative of local organic growers and buyers who are working together to help develop a new model for the local food supply chain. We want to increase access to local produce, at the same time as creating a larger and much more stable market for the growers’ produce.
We only sell local, seasonal produce. All our produce is sourced from within 50 miles of Manchester city centre and is picked to order for our buyers the day before delivery. Because we're a co-op growers are better able to work together to ensure the greatest range of produce for customers, as well as share knowledge, skills and resources; and buyers and growers can co-ordinate supply and demand locally, minimising waste, strengthening trust and understanding, and eliminating much of the risk for growers.
And on top of all that we are committed to developing a pricing structure that is based on the actual cost of production for our veg, ensuring that out growers always receive a fair price for their produce and are not pressured to accept less than what their produce is worth.
A list of members of the co-op can be found here