We aim to create the infrastructure that will enable a lot more locally and sustainably produced food to be consumed in Cambridge.
The majority of our food is distributed over global or national supply chains. Some of this is inevitable: we cannot buy local bananas in Cambridge, for example. And we’re not arguing that local is always the most sustainable option. However, there is a lot of potential for infrastructure to be developed that enables more food grown locally to be consumed locally, shortening supply chains and removing the need for extensive journeys across the country:
Take Cambridge University Catering. They wanted to buy strawberries from Chiver’s Farm, near Histon. But in order to do so, these strawberries had to go on a 200km journey via New Covent Garden Market in London to eventually be consumed around 5km from where they were grown. With the additional miles travelled comes additional environmental impact from emissions.
At the heart of the Food Hub will be a substantial food storage and distribution centre which will be predominantly filled with food that has come directly from farms that are local to Cambridge and which has been produced sustainably. From here it can be distributed throughout the city, and in doing so, transform institutional procurement.
This distribution system will be comprised of technological and physical elements:
- Technological: An online trading platform where local farmers can upload produce they have available and buyers can purchase directly from them.
- Physical: A fleet of electric vans to collect produce and distribute it with the minimum environmental impact. The Food Hub building itself will be significant here, with space for food aggregation and storage ready for dispatch.
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