Enhancing the local economy through localised supply chains.

To achieve our mission for resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities throughout the UK, we have five core values. 

One of these values is stimulating the economy through localised supply chains. We encourage local communities to stock local produce, use local suppliers, and engage specific local people for particular needs.

According to research by Plunkett partners, Power to Change, for every £1 spent with a community business, 56p stays in the local economy – compared with just 40p for large private sector firms.

At the heart of this figure is a commitment made by the community business movement to source locally, genuinely contributing to and creating circular economy in the places they exist.

Sourcing locally at Community-Owned Businesses

Local supply is most evident in community-owned shops, stocking and marketing goods and produce from within a local proximity to their business.

In Bledington Community Shop, in Gloucestershire, they supply locally sourced alcohol, such as their own brand of beer.

Across the border, at Tackley Village Shop in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, they use a local bakery to supply them with sausage rolls, which are very popular, selling 7 to 8 thousand a year! 

Pastry display at Tackley Village Shop

Display of local produce at Bledington Community Shop.

However, behind the scenes there are also examples of how the movement contributes to other local economic growth.

For example, the use of local tradespeople supported Amberley Shop on the Common, a community shop in a church in Stroud, to open last year.

At Bledington Community Shop, a local builder is helping them extend their café to offer a larger and more spacious area for their customers. Also, The White Horse, Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, had the help from local brewery Real Ox, who not only supply them with ale, but also helped them fit their cellar.

Even at Plunkett UK, we utilised a local marketing firm , Purpose and Action LTD (PANDA), who led on our brand refresh!

A great insight from Local Supply champions! 

Menter y Glan, a community pub in Powys, Wales, was the winner of Plunkett’s 2023 Rural Community Business Award for ‘Community Food and Local Supply’.

The business operates around the ‘farm to fork’ approach, using meats, dairy products, vegetables and serving drinks from over 40 local suppliers.

As stated in their nomination for the award: “Behind every recipe is the story of how that food or drink product was crafted. We believe this approach not only embeds the local economy into people’s purchasing choices, it also creates a sense of place and enhance, or in most cases, reconnects people with nature, the seasons and how food is produced.”

Based in the rural uplands of Mid Wales, agriculture is a fundamental economic driver. Due to the sensitive farming practices the area is fortunate that it has a high-quality environment with dedicated food producers that support their vision.

Collecting garden produce at Menter y Glan

Meirion Roberts, from the pub’s social enterprise, talks about their recognition for the award, and brings an update on their project. 

Menter y Glan, at the 2023 Rural Community Business Awards.

Rural Community Business Awards 2024

At this year’s awards, we will be celebrating how community-owned businesses are supporting the local economy by utilising local supply chains.

This will be through the ‘Keeping it Local Award’, which is kindly sponsored by the Coop. Like Menter y Glan, we want to see how your local business is committed to support local services!

Join the movement: Become a member today

If you want to learn more about how you can support the local economy, or you share or vision for a vibrant rural economy with community business at heart, why not join Plunkett as a member? 

Your membership, which for individuals’ costs just £20 per year, will support our ambition to grow the community ownership movement across the nation. 

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