Importance of local produce

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:34 10 June 2010

It gives me great pleasure to invite Journal readers to a thought-provoking evening with Patrick Holden, chairman of the Soil Association. Patrick will be speaking and leading a discussion on why now, more than at any previous time in history, it is impo

It gives me great pleasure to invite Journal readers to a thought-provoking evening with Patrick Holden, chairman of the Soil Association. Patrick will be speaking and leading a discussion on why now, more than at any previous time in history, it is important to look to our local community and producers as a source of sustainable food supply.He has been involved in the organic food movement for 30 years, initially as a full-time organic food farmer and, since 2005, as director of the Soil Association. He has received notable recognition from Prince Charles, who believes that he has 'contributed enormously' to the organic movement:"The development of the organic food market over the last few years has been staggering and much down to Patrick's unique determination and commitment."Patrick has been at the forefront of persuading national retailers to sell organic foods, a business that has grown from £105 million to £1.2 billion in the last decade.In the wake of Jamie Oliver's school dinners, the Soil Association is now working with 300 schools and several education authorities in its 'Food For Life Programme', set up in 2003 for improved nutritional standards.The appeal of organic food is further boosted by the emerging fragility of our industrialised food system, a fragility which may one day make us reliant on local sourcing. This promises to be a constructive and thought-provoking evening so please join me at The Judith Telfer Centre, Exmouth Community College, on March 2, at 7.30pm.Chris White, Chairman,Transition Town Exmouth.

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