Our vision is to build and grow a local organic food-supply-chain network for Greater Manchester with everyone working together.
Manchester Veg People have key strategic partnerships and associations with other organisations across Greater Manchester to help deliver sustainable, organic, local produce to the wider market.
FarmStart Manchester is the UK’s first farm business incubator and aims to make the route into farming easier.
The Kindling Trust launched FarmStart Manchester in March 2013 in partnership with Abbey Leys Farm. The farm is just 15 miles to the south-west of Manchester, with great motorway access to the city. The land is flat and fertile and already certified organic.
New growers join FarmStart as TestCroppers, and benefit from access to certified organic land, training and mentoring, market access and peer support. This is a chance to see if farming suits them, and to put their ideas to the test. In year 2 TestCroppers go on as FarmStarters, and take on up to ¼ acre sections to trial their growing skills and business ideas. If they prove viable, they may expand each year.
Growers may work on their own or with friends or family, and depending on what they grow, could expect to spend anything from a few hours to a couple of days each week tending their crops.
“It’s hard to put into words the feeling of seeing my lettuces on the shelf at a local grocery”, Caroline, FarmStarter, 2014.
The Kindling Trust was registered in 2007, to work for a just and ecologically sustainable society. We act as a catalyst for social change through progressive yet practical projects, and our eventual aim is to establish a rural base where we can bring together, demonstrate and build on all three strands of our work – Sustainable Production, Sustainable Living and Sustainable Activism.
Much of our current work is based around food (production, consumption and activism) as a vehicle for tackling some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. We work with communities, farmers, activists and policy makers to challenge the dominant model of industrial production and work towards true Food Sovereignty by creating and supporting fair, sustainable alternatives. We also advocate for and support those in the Global South working in similar ways.
Whilst highly practical, our work is inspired and guided by a radical perspective that identifies the need for significant social change. Our work around food closely mirrors the Food Sovereignty approach developed by small-scale farmers worldwide.
The rural base we hope to create will include pioneering systems for producing & distributing food, a residential centre for social change and a rural enterprise zone, plus low-impact housing for members.
Living in an urban area like Greater Manchester it is very easy to forget that the food we eat has a huge impact not only on our health, but also on local communities and businesses, individual farmers and the environment.
Sustainable food takes into account environmental, health, social & economic concerns. Our definition (see below) consists of eight inter-related principles. Although few of us can claim to adhere to all of the principles all of the time, this definition is an underlying aspiration to drive change within the organisations listed on this website and the wider food system.
Join Manchester’s blossoming sustainable food movement by buying, growing, selling and promoting food that:
- Is local & seasonal.
- Comes from organic & sustainable farms.
- Minimises foods of animal origin & maximising welfare standards.
- Excludes fish species identified as at risk.
- Is Fair-trade-certified.
- Has reduced waste and packaging.
- Promotes health and well being.
- Increases ‘food’ democracy.
With over 400 sustainable food initiatives from across Greater Manchester it is becoming easier to support a greener, healthier and fairer future for our city, our rural neighbours and communities across the Globe.
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development:
Europe investing in rural areas
This project was supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.