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Organisations working locally and nationally to support sustainable food systems

Big Barn

Tel: 01234 871005          E-mail:

Big Barn is the website that gives consumers the opportunity to buy produce direct from around 5,000 independent food producers.

Cultivating Communities

Tel: 0117 914 2425         E-mail:

Cultivating Communities is a Soil Association project. The website is a resource for all community-based local food initiatives and can be used as a networking tool.

Elm Farm Research Centre

Tel: 01488 658298          E-mail:

EFRC is based on an organic farm in Berkshire. The Farm provides a base for EFRC's research and educational work as well as being a commercial farming and marketing operation. As an educational charity EFRC provides an

Organic Advisory Service and Education Services.


Tel: 020 7352 7928         Email:

farm is a campaigning and membership organisation, fighting for a viable future for independent and family farms. It exists to protect and promote the interests of farmers, to get their voices heard by decision-makers, and to campaign for a positive future for farming, rural communities and the countryside.


Tel: 0845 45 88 420        E-mail:

The National Farmers' Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) is a co-operative of farmers, producers selling on a local scale, and farmers' markets organisers. FARMA represents direct sales to customers through farm shops, Pick-Your-Own, farmers' markets, home delivery, on-farm catering, and farm entertainment. FARMA inspects farm retail and farmers' markets to ensure that they are 'the real thing'.

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

Tel: 0117 923 1800         E-mail:

City farms and community gardens are community-managed projects working with people, animals and plants.  They exist mainly in urban areas and are created in response to a lack of access to green space, combined with a desire to encourage strong community relationships and an awareness of gardening and farming.

Five-a-Day Initiative

South East Co-ordinator, Johnny Denis

Tel: 01273 403677          E-mail:

Berkshire and North Surrey Co-ordinator, Joanna Feast.

Tel: 0118 975 6396 E-mail:

Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Co-ordinator, Sharon Sexton.

Tel: 0118 975 5306 E-mail:

5 a day is the national campaign to help people eat more fruit and vegetables. Joanna Feast and Sharon Sexton are working with schools and communities in their areas.

Food Animal Initiative

Tel: 01865 790880          E-mail:

FAI is based on an Oxfordshire farm, and is committed to developing new farming practices that are welfare friendly, food safe, and environmentally sustainable whilst helping secure the future livelihoods of our rural communities.

Food for Life

Tel: 0117 314 5000

The Soil Association's Food for Life programme produced Jamie Olivers Action Pack to improve school dinners. The Food for Life programme includes practical work to get fresh, seasonal, unprocessed, local and organic ingredients into school meals; and national policy work to put pressure on the government to provide a supportive framework for school meal providers.

Food Poverty Network

Tel: 020 7837 1228

The Food Poverty Network provides a forum, information, advice and a database for project workers, researchers and campaign groups tackling food poverty.

Foundation for Local Food Initiatives (f3)

Tel: 0845 4589525          E-mail:

f3 the local food consultants, is a not for profit organisation providing consultancy services to the local food sector. FLAIR the Food and Local Agriculture Information resource is a partnership project led by f3 which aims to enable the development of a national food links network.

Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA)

Tel: 02476 303517          E-mail:

HDRA is a registered charity and Europes largest organic membership organisation. It provides information and advice on how to grow fruit and vegetables organically, carries out research, runs events and courses, maintains the heritage seed library and supports a network of local groups.

National Association of Farmers Markets see FARMA

National Farmers Union

South East Office

Tel 01730 408 000          E-mail:

The NFU is the largest union representing farmers in the UK and provides a range of services to support the sector. The South East office helped to initiate the Berkshire Food Group, and supports the work of BBO Food Group.

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners

Tel: 01536 266576          E-mail:

The objective of the Society is to help all enjoy the recreation of gardening and so promote their health, education and community fellowship.


Tel: 01993 883636     E-mail:

Plunkett (formerly the Plunkett Foundation), based in Oxfordshire, advocates and supports self-help as an effective instrument for rural communities. Plunkett supports the growth and development of farmer-controlled businesses and enables rural communities to establish and run enterprises that provide them with essential services.

Rare Breeds Survival Trust

Tel: 024 7669 6551

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) is the national conservation organisation whose aim is to secure sustainable futures for those native British breeds of farm animal identified as being rare and threatened within the UK. The Trust currently lists over 70 rare breeds (including cattle, goats, horses, pigs, poultry and sheep) using a set of guidelines based on conservation criteria.

Slow Food

Slow Food, founded in 1986, is an international organisation whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenisation of modern fast food and life. It promotes taste education, gastronomic culture, protects traditional foods at risk of extinction. Oxfordshire Convivium contact is Tamara Schiopu, 01865 484116.

Small Farms Association

Tel:01548 830302  E-mail:

The Small Farms Association (SFA) is a not-for-profit organisation representing small farmers across the UK. The SFA welcomes everyone who is interested in the conservation of the countryside, particularly those who manage their farms in traditional and organic systems.

Soil Association

Tel: 0117 929 0661         E-mail:

The Soil Association exists to research, develop and promote sustainable relationships between the soil, plants, animal and the biosphere, in order to produce healthy food and other products while protecting and enhancing the environment.


South East Food Group Partnership


The South East Food Group Partnership (SEFGP) is an umbrella organisation funded by South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and was set up to support local food groups and producers in the South East of England. SEFGP also runs local projects that are funded by Food from Britain (FFB) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). 


Tel: 020 7837 1228         E-mail:

The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improves the working and living environment, promotes equity and enriches society and culture.

Thames Valley Farmers Markets Co-operative

Tel: 0870 241 4762

TVFMC represent small producers and farmers selling direct to consumers at Farmers' Markets in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire. TVFMC also runs many of the Farmers Markets.


Tel: 0118 988 5688         E-mail:

Thrive is the national horticultural charity enabling disadvantaged, disabled and older people to participate fully in the social and economic life of the community. Based at Beech Hill, near Reading, Berkshire, Thrive supports a network of specialist projects that run horticultural activity programmes for training, employment, therapy and health.

WI Country Markets Ltd

Tel: 01246 261508          E-mail:

WI Country Markets sell a range of baked goods, preserves, eggs and honey, garden produce and crafts. However, all Markets are different - the produce range is dependent upon local producers and their specialities. Visit the website to find the markets where you live.

Womens Food and Farming Union


Founded in 1979, this voluntary organisation is committed to promoting an understanding of and confidence in all aspects of quality British produce. The WFU believes that by representing the best interests of consumers and producers, both the health and economy of the nation will benefit.


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