Selected from over a hundred entrants UK wide, the local food delivery service was awarded ‘Best New Local Food Initiative’ in 2001 by YOU magazine and the Soil Association and the vehicle has now become quite famous.
Set up March 2000, this local food distribution van was initially awarded £1000 to provide a local food distribution service. It turned out to be a success from the word go.
Food producers are now able to take orders that they have otherwise been unable to fulfil. Sales have increased, from £6800 worth of local produce carried annually to over £90k, thanks to being able to reach customers that are off the beaten track.
Bridget Hagmann of Glendale Salads said: “It’s brilliant. We are no longer confined to delivering in our area – we now supply throughout the whole of Skye & Lochalsh with our organic salads, herbs, veg and fruit. This is helping keep a greater proportion of produce in the local economy.”
One of the van’s biggest customers is Shirley Spear of the renowned Three Chimneys Restaurant. “Now that we’ve got the Local Food Link van, I can rely on a brilliant range of the freshest local produce delivered right to our kitchen door. Skye and Lochalsh Food Link has made a real difference to our sourcing, saving us precious time, particularly at the height of the season.”
The local distribution system cuts down on food miles travelled by individual producers. improves the quality and variety of food available on the local market and makes fresh, nutritious food more readily available.
Skye and Lochalsh Food Link is understandably proud of their achievement: “To think that this small Highland community scooped an award against stiff competition from entrants with far more resources than we have – that shows what a strong community spirit can achieve. We are confident that we will encourage even more people to switch to local produce. It’s good for health, good for the local economy and good for the environment. And best of all, we did it for ourselves.”