A compact Auchterarder producer has found its orders soar many thanks to staying part of a “click and collect” NeighbourFood farmers’ market place undertaking across Scotland.

SimplyFlo, which specialises in genuine Lebanese delicacies, went from 35 to 250 orders a month by staying part of the charity Forth Surroundings Link’s Regional Food initiative.

The programme has injected almost a quarter of a million pounds into the rural economic system – aiding continue to keep foods and consume producers stay afloat at a crucial time for the market.

And SimplyFlo is just one of more than 110 Scottish food stuff and drink producers, lots of from our location, who have had a lifeline from the initiative as it presents them with a reliable, regional route to sector at a time when much of marketplace has shut down or is working at reduced capacity thanks to Covid-19 limitations.

Florence Gebara from SimplyFlo.

Many thanks to the Chief funded job, there are now 6 NeighbourFood marketplaces functioning weekly local meals collections from Balfron and Killin in Stirlingshire and Peebles in the Scottish Borders, to Falkland in Fife and the Carse of Gowrie and Blairgowrie in Perthshire.

They abide by in the footsteps of Scotland’s first NeighbourFood marketplace, which was established up by Forth Environment Link in Stirling again in 2018.

Due to the fact then a lot more than 3,000 Scots have signed up to store through the NeighbourFood platform, with all over 50 % of those purchasing regularly with their regional current market.

Safety through uncertainty

Producing reliable, home made vegan and vegetarian Lebanese delicacies, Florence Gebara from SimplyFlo claims NeighbourFood has offered her business enterprise safety at a time of fantastic uncertainty.

“We joined NeighbourFood in lockdown last 12 months and now supply 9 of their marketplaces throughout Scotland, from Megginch Castle in Perthshire to Falkland in Fife.

“We adore it as it brings us encounter-to-experience with our customers, in a safe and sound controlled natural environment, so that they can get to know us and can see the passion that goes into the dishes we make.

“We’ve gone from 35 orders in our initially month with NeighbourFood, to over 250 orders for each thirty day period!”

Pierre Leger of Crieff-dependent Strathearn Cheese Firm said: “It’s fantastic! It places the producers in call with the shoppers and vice-versa. It is good to be able to sell directly to the prospects.”

Catherine Drummond-Herdman.


“NeighbourFood has been brilliant,” added Megginch Castle’s guardian and NeighbourFood industry host, Catherine Drummond-Herdman.

“Otherwise people can’t get their issues to market and then you drop the complete dynamics of the community as properly.

“It’s genuinely crucial to get the job done with kids to show them how matters are grown and how you can offer, so we have a scheme doing work with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in the yard.

“Hopefully the young children there are going to increase their develop and they will then be in a position to sell it via the NeighbourFood hub.”

Gavin Ramsey attends to his bees at Megginch Castle in Perthshire.

Gavin Ramsey of Tay Bees and Honey, says Megginch is the ideal ecosystem for bees because of to its ancient orchard and various habitats.

Of the initiative, he explained: “NeighbourFood is a terrific opportunity to get the products and solutions to individuals locally. I have a history in plant science so I do my finest to individual the unique sorts of honey that I get from different places and different seasons.

“That’s an angle you really don’t get with industrial solutions in supermarkets in terms of the diversity of local honeys that you can find.”

Satisfied buyer at Falkland Kay Cunningham.


Falkland NeighbourFood, has injected approximately £12,000 into the regional overall economy considering that launching last June at the Centre for Stewardship.

Industry hosts Falkland Estate have assisted neighborhood food items and drink producers sell much more than 400 baskets of create over the previous six months at their weekly Thursday selection.

Lesley Duffy, who will help operate Falkland NeighbourFood, included: “NeighbourFood is incredible for us at Falkland Rural Enterprises due to the fact we really do not have our personal shop front so NeighbourFood provides us the opportunity on a Thursday to market our develop, other create as nicely and to meet customers communicate to them about what we do listed here, what we expand and how it’s made.

“For regional producers it’s truly great, it’s giving them an outlet, it saves them time, it saves them money as they can just pop alongside right here and deliver several orders to many prospects.

“It’s a get, win!”

Lesley Duffy.

Foodstuff shortages

Project coordinator Stuart Guzinski added that the community played a crucial role as men and women bought to grips with the very first coronavirus lockdown just about a 12 months back.

“The NeighbourFood community rose to the problem of meals shortages for countless numbers of people today for the duration of the 1st lockdown in 2020.

“Market hosts across Scotland worked very challenging to mobilise volunteers and organise deliveries of meals to individuals shielding or self-isolating in their local communities.

“And if it wasn’t for NeighbourFood, many of Scotland’s modest food stuff and consume producers would have missing all of their profits channels right away as hospitality and deal with to encounter offering shutdown.”

The unexpected reliance on community food stuff programs past March, meant that numerous producers had to immediately up their ability to fulfill neighborhood demand from customers.

Megginch Castle is a charming setting for NeighbourFood situations.

Stuart added: “Small producers observed their orders soar, as locals struggled to obtain foods via their normal channels. While that original surge in fascination has settled down a minimal in excess of the previous 12 months, there is a great deal of evidence to clearly show that many individuals aren’t returning to their aged foods searching habits – in Balfron and Blairgowrie buy numbers are still a few situations greater than they ended up pre-lockdown.”


Forth Natural environment Connection believes the re-localisation of Scotland’s food items systems can play a pivotal component in Scotland’s submit Covid-19 restoration, assisting tackle local climate change by cutting down foods miles and helping the transition in the direction of fairer extra resilient financial system.

“Lockdown has taught us that simply click and acquire marketplaces like NeighbourFood enjoy a important position in serving their communities assisting both of those individuals and producers,” Stuart ongoing.

“Our network was in a position to source fresh foodstuff to folks and supply neighborhood firms with an money only because they acted in local community alternatively than business fascination they were supported by an military of volunteers who rallied to the cause.

“Covid-19 has proven that our nearby food stuff programs can be exceptionally resilient but they have to have our ongoing aid and investment decision if we want them to be all around in very good situations and in negative.”

The NeighbourFood sector model works on an 80/20 break up, with producers keeping the lion’s share of the financial gain (as opposed to around 25/75 with supermarkets).

Hosts and the platform share the remaining 20%, with some markets selecting to reinvest their gain in crisis food provide throughout the Covid-19 disaster.

With weather emergency, a diet program associated health disaster, inequality widening and Covid-19 disrupting meals materials, can ‘quaint’ local foods help save the environment?

Clean and in year

NeighbourFood founder Jack Crotty thinks so. He claimed: “When we purchase the tastiest food stuff we can, the relaxation falls into spot. Regional foodstuff is fresher, it’s in year and it is going to have increased nutritional benefit.

“It’s supporting the surroundings, the neighborhood overall economy and making a additional resilient food stuff technique that’ll however be accessible the upcoming time source chains are disrupted.

“Ultimately, it is good value for the honest price tag compensated, and encourages people to benefit foods a lot more and squander fewer, creating the solutions we have develop into utilised to seem like a lesser high quality preference.”

Study much more about NeighbourFood…

Maintaining it in the NeighbourFood: Virtual farmers’ marketplace will convey the stalls to your dwelling home