Running a crofting township food hub

Working together to market, sell and distribute locally grown food to the community

Elphin, Highland

The Green Bowl (https://openfoodnetwork.org.uk/the-gr...) is a group of crofters and non-crofters in Elphin and Knockan (NW Sutherland), working together to market, sell and distribute locally grown food to our community. Seven producers sell a range of meat (beef, pork and mutton), eggs, honey, vegetables, fruit, herbs, bread and other baking. Most sales are online, with weekly home deliveries to customers around Ullapool or pickups from Elphin. In the summer, we also have a small farmshop, selling to tourists as well as residents.

We’ve found a system that works for us, focussing on convenience and regular supply for our customers while keeping our overheads down. We know that each township has different challenges, but also different opportunities and strengths. We want to share information and chat about the challenges you are facing, to help find solutions to enable more production and sales of local food to local communities.

Our main product is meat – locally grown animals, and now mostly locally butchered too in Tessa’s new “crofter made” on-site butchery unit. While not essential, it has made this side of the business more rewarding and we’re looking forward to telling you all about it on the tour. We’ll also look at some small scale horticulture, and discuss online sales, delivery logistics, pricing, environmental health requirements and working together.


'Agroecology: Facilitating Mindset Change' is a partnership project delivered by:

Nourish Scotland - https://www.nourishscotland.org/

Landworkers’ Alliance - https://landworkersalliance.org.uk/

The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission - https://ffcc.co.uk/

Pasture For Life - https://www.pastureforlife.org/

Soil Association Scotland - https://www.soilassociation.org/our-w...

Nature Friendly Farming Network - https://www.nffn.org.uk/

This project has been funded through the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF), which is funded by the Scottish Government.


More stories of action from people across the UK working for a fair and sustainable future feature in our Field Guide for the Future.