Local Food Economy

Bristol Food Network survey: Your lockdown habits

By Ramona Andrews

Bristol Going for Gold partner, Bristol Food Network, is researching how Bristol citizens have adapted their grocery shopping during lockdown, and what people are likely to do when restrictions are lifted. Participants could win a voucher worth £25 to spend on local, sustainable food. Ramona Andrews, Bristol Going for Gold Content Coordinator, reports.

The pandemic has forced us all to quickly change our food shopping habits, from the launch of online alternatives to the high streets, to the scaling up of local food production, to citizens taking action as part of the #BristolFoodKind campaign. Let’s hope some of these changes become permanent habits.

Bristol Food Network is inviting citizens to participate in research on lockdown habits – the short survey can be taken here. This research is timely as there are a number of other reports and surveys advocating for the security that short supply chains offer.

The Community Farm is also conducting focus groups with new and previously lapsed customers to build up a picture of how food shopping might change in the long term. The Community Farm’s sales of veg boxes doubled during lockdown, and it is no wonder that local food producers would like to understand how to make these habits the ‘new normal’.

This potential for a revolution in the food system has been reported by the BBC this week. Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, is seeing these changes as an opportunity to reimagine future food policy, and this report by the Soil Association shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the fragility of long supply chains, and offers a route to shorter supply chains. Sustain has suggested five ways to support our farmers during the pandemic, essentially using markets and local shops where possible.  Sam Leach from Wilding Orchard recently highlighted this issue on this blog, writing about how small and localised supply chains can adapt in a crisis more easily than more complicated global supply chains.

The Bristol Going for Gold blog is running a series of blog posts looking at how we can emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a more resilient food system. Our first blog in this series is by Bristol Going for Gold Coordinator, Joy Carey, identifying five core principles to start building a better and more resilient food system as soon as we can. The second in the series, by Sara Venn of Incredible Edible Bristol, looked at how the city can keep the momentum going to upscale and increase urban food production.

The Bristol Going for Gold team will continue to offer more ways to make this vision a reality, but right now you can contribute by simply filling out Bristol Food Network’s survey to let us know about your own food shopping habits. Please note that the survey is looking at how citizens have accessed the services of Bristol’s independent food sellers during this period, so there are no questions relating to shopping experiences at supermarkets and delivery services such as Amazon in this questionnaire. What is of particular interest is hearing from people who are new to shopping this way, or who have only occasionally used local and independent services in the past year.

Please take the survey now and spread the word through your networks! Please note, the closing date for this survey is Friday 10th July 2020.

Visit Bristol Food Network for more information and resources on Bristol’s Good Food response to the pandemic. There are also more resources relating to cooking on the Bristol Food Network website.

#BristolFoodKind is a collaboration between Bristol Green Capital PartnershipBristol Food NetworkBristol City Council and Resource Futures. See our #BristolFoodKind food waste highlightsgrow your own highlights and support local food highlights.

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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