We will create the infrastructure that will ensure a lot more locally and sustainably produced food will be consumed in Cambridge.
As things stand, very little of the food that is used in our local restaurants, colleges, schools and hospital is being sourced directly from local farms or from farms which employ sustainable production techniques.
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. However, the infrastructure to enable Cambridge University to purchase directly from Chiver’s Farm does not currently exist.
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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Partners who are helping us meet this objective…