Mon, 25 Jul

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Zoom

Communities and Climate Action: how community-owned businesses are responding to the climate crisis

The talk will outline examples of existing community businesses that are building a more sustainable food system, and what needs to change in terms of national policy, legislation and funding for more communities to be able to take ownership of food production and supply to ensure a just transition.

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Communities and Climate Action: how community-owned businesses are responding to the climate crisis

Time & Location

25 Jul, 14:00 – 15:00 BST

Zoom

About The Event

Georgina Edwards is Policy and Research Manager at the Plunkett Foundation, a UK-wide charity supporting people to set up community-owned businesses that are inclusive, innovative and impactful. If you are or know of a developing community business project, we’d love to hear from you. Access free advice from Plunkett on 01993 630022 or email info@plunkett.co.uk.

The talk will outline examples of existing community businesses that are building a more sustainable food system, as well as what needs to change in terms of national policy, legislation and funding for more communities to be able to take ownership of food production and supply to ensure a just transition.

How can we build a fairer, more environmentally sustainable food system that works for both people and the planet? Work by the Plunkett Foundation indicates that community ownership could provide an answer. Community businesses are owned by local people, and run for wider social, economic and environmental benefit. Over 800 exist across the UK, ranging from shops, bakeries and pubs to farms, renewable energy and woodlands. They operate on a democratic one-member-one-vote system, where local people become shareholders in the business and have a say in how it is run – regardless of whether they have invested £1 or £100.

This business model has local accountability at its core. In the context of the food system, community-owned farms often incorporate a sustainable approach into their business from the beginning – such as organic growing practices and agroecology. They also work to benefit the local community, providing paid employment and reconnecting people to the land by setting up educational visits for schools, growing schemes and care farms. Community ownership of food distribution businesses – such as shops and markets – can also drive a move towards re-localising the food system, therefore reducing emissions and boosting the local economy by providing a route to market for small-scale producers. Sustainable products is a priority for such community businesses, as is reduced packaging, fair pay and ethical sourcing.

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