Oldham Council is developing a recipe for success using innovation to create a sustainable local food chain.
The town has secured £150,000 for participating in Food Chains 4 EU, a new Europe-wide project focussed on creating environmentally sustainable food chains.
In simple terms, the project is about supporting innovation through community growing, cooking and marketing locally produced food, reducing food miles and redistributing surplus food.
Working with Manchester Metropolitan University and experienced partners from as far and wide as the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Italy and Romania, the town hopes to capitalise on the funding boost to support community groups and businesses who provide local food for residents.
Oldham Food Network, whose members have already helped a number of communities around growing, cooking, healthy eating and education, will be closely involved in the project, helping engage local residents, groups and businesses.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods and cooperatives, said: “Members of Oldham Food Network do a fantastic job of inspiring communities to grow, cook, educate and share food.
“We’re now hoping this project will take that work one step further.
“We all know that its common sense to eat locally grown food but the commercial nature and the convenient focus of our eating habits these days can get in the way of that.
“Our hope is this project will make a difference to that, giving local food producers and growers an opportunity to sell their products locally and allowing local residents the opportunity to enjoy that food, reduce food miles and eat more healthily.”
And Cllr Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council, who led on securing the funding, said: “It’s a win-win and thanks to the external funding we have received, won’t cut in to our budget for core services.”
The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.