The Small Food Bakery, Nottingham #FoodTalks


Super-edited highlights of Kimberley Bell’s contribution to #FoodTalks: Addressing Multiple Emergencies, an online panel discussion from the Food Ethics Council. You should totally catch the whole thing if you can.

Kimberley Bell set up the Small Food Bakery in Nottingham as a small-scale, ground up experiment in decommodifying the Food System. (Scholars from Lincoln’s Social Science Centre know right where she’s coming from!)

It is a sourdough bakery, kitchen and grocery store, trading directly with farmers, with a vision of a better and more resilient food economy.

“People working within the food system need to feel differently about their role within society.”

Kimberley Bell

Small Food Bakery’s response to Covid19

Like so many good food enterprises, the Small Food Bakery has held onto their values in their response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. They have not imposed rationing but have personal conversations with their customers; they have continued to use reusable packaging and avoid waste. They have also gained more customers and have had new suppliers approach them.

Their fundamental principles have stood them in good stead and improved their resilience. For example, choosing to maximise diversity – of people, skills, products – has fortified the business in the face of the Covid19 crisis.

Kimberley urges that we should not accept a trade-off between economic, environmental and social goals; the answer to rebuilding the food system is finding an intersection between agro-ecology and social ecology, and we don’t trade unless we can do so in a way that meets those goals.

It’s about everyone supporting each other

As increasing numbers of shops and cafes start to re-open, there is a call to “support local” – but it is clear to see that people at the Small Food Bakery are working incredibly hard to serve their local community, and provide real, healthy, local food.

It’s not about them and us; it’s about everyone supporting each other. Let’s stop talking about “supporting local” as if it’s shoppers doing a favour, and be more aware of our shared, co-operative endeavours.

(More about rejecting the producer-consumer mindset from the Food Ethics Council here.)

#FoodTalks

The next #FoodTalks – How Food Can Save The World – is coming up on Tuesday 30th June 2020 (5.00-6.30pm) and you can book here

#Food Talks is a series of online panel discussions about food in its social and environmental context, from the Food Ethics Council, designed “to stimulate debate and empower people to take action on critical and contentious food issues.”

The most recent #FoodTalks, from which I made these notes, looked at how we might “address the multiple and intersecting climate, biodiversity, obesity and democracy emergencies… with the urgency they merit.”

If you have time to watch the discussion in its entirety – and I hope I can persuade you that this would be an excellent use of 90 minutes – you can find it here

I’ve scribbled a few highlights of several of the talks for those of you in a hurry – more soon. Join our mailing list if you’d like a notification to by email.

If you join the #FoodTalks discussion, please do tag us @Food_Lincoln on Twitter or @LincolnFoodPartnership on Instagram so we can work together to make stuff happen in Lincoln!

Image: Liane Fredericks

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