Thoughts on criteria for producers in a local food network

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well. I’m part of Roscommon Produce Network, a collective of local producers selling their produce in Roscommon.
Criteria for allowing new suppliers to join has been a discussion within our group since it began, and we’d love to hear how other groups/hubs created their criteria or came to some kind of consensus around this.
Ideally, for some of the group producers would only sell local, organic produce, for some existing members the criteria seems a little rigid and limits options with home baking for example. Although the ingredients are not local or organic, the product is made locally. We are exploring the possibility of buying organic ingredients like flour and sugar wholesale as a solution…
Any thoughts or ideas on this would be most welcome!
Thanks in advance!

Hi Ruth,
This is a great question and one that I presumer all hubs and coops need to grapple with. We are about to launch a Community of Practice for hubs and to share knowledge, build capacity and dive into questions like these. Cloughjordan Open Food Hub got support to run an Open Training Network. Can you send me an email and will add you to the list of hubs we will be inviting. There will also be something in this months newsletter. Of course getting a discussion going here is also good.

My own take on this is we need to build local resilience and regional food economies urgently. Encouraging organic but emphasising local allows more people to engage - I would also allow produce traded fairly or in solidarity arrangements.

Davie - Cloughjordan Open Food Hub -

Hi Davie,

thanks for this! I got your email this eve and will send it around to members of our hub to see if a few are interested in attending.

Good advice there too.

All the best,

Hiya, I just want to throw my 2 cents in - I think you can overthink this, and I agree with Davie that building local resilience and food security, to me is the highest priority.

Supply chains are horribly complicated and obscure but having said that, I think there should be a few basic premises to stick to (in my own order of importance);

  1. Produced locally and by the ‘producer’ (even if ingredients aren’t necessary local),
  2. Plastic Free Packaging and single use plastic free
  3. Organically produced (even if not certified) or at least Fair Trade

These are are my own ethical minimums and the minimums I would hope to see from fellow producers in a hub.

I think price points are really important so its all a balance: Hard working, often unsubsidised producers deserve to earn a living, but good, ethical, clean food shouldn’t just be for the well-heeled.

Its complicated?

Wild Acre Farm