The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted both the fragility and adaptability of Cornwall’s food supply chains. The disparities between food production and food waste became apparent during the crisis, especially as the Cornwall food and drink sector is heavily reliant on the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries which were suddenly cut off during lockdown. Increasing supply to different sectors would diversify this reliance and could potentially improve the flow and distribution of local food and drink networks.
Researchers at the University of Exeter joined forces with the Rural Group of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (CIoS LEP) to undertake a 12-week Agri-tech Cornwall project. The aims were: 1) investigate the potential for more local produce to be used by care homes and schools in Cornwall, and 2) help the CIoS LEP better understand how they can respond to and support the needs of the Cornish food and drink sector, including farm shops and Cornish fishers.
The findings of this project give us the opportunity to work towards greater unity in bringing together producers, distributors and consumers to increase efficiency and resilience of one of Cornwall’s greatest assets: its food and drink industry.
“This study has helped us to understand the above in great detail and will signpost many initiatives to build a stronger sector while also informing an ask of Government to put in place local powers that can best support growth.” Mark Duddridge, Chair CIoS LEP.
For more information contact: Devi Whittle, Impact and Partnership Development Officer at Exeter University, firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the final report on the COVID-19 Cornwall Food and Drink project, please click here.
View the survey results here.