In the past, our communities used to grow, create and sell food all within the parish; with local farmers raising animals, growing vegetables, and selling butter and a host of other foods to the people of our communities, at locally run markets.
We see that these markets have been declining over the years, with many more people choosing to buy food in supermarkets, although some markets are still going now (though not at the same rate as in the past).
Dolan wants to boost the basic economy, and create a network that will serve our communities, enable ordinary people to sell their produce, and create food to sell to local communities, at fair prices. This will enable people to use the skills they have to gain additional funding, and contribute to their communities. Research shows that markets are very positive places to meet people, and to trade, so the impact they have is far deeper than just the economy.
By developing the food network, Dolan is empowering communities, and the people who live in them. The network being created will encourage other communities to follow the same path, hoping that eventually each community will be able to develop its own food network.
The purpose of Dolan's food plan is to:
- We want to strengthen the direct food supply chains from the producer straight to the final consumer.
- We want to establish and / or develop community spaces to:
- sell local food and produce,
learn and develop skills to grow and create food and food products locally and seasonally,
foster the growth and diversification of local food supply directly into the local community.
- We want to develop a collaborative network across our communities of businesses, individuals, groups and organizations involved in the local food sector.
- We want to identify opportunities to create alternative projects by collaborating across our cooperative network in the local food sector.
- We want to create new partnerships in our communities to promote the development of the local food sector.
- We want the produce of local food to be affordable to the local community to enable local food to be the mainstay of food purchases by our communities.
- We want to use the food sector to promote budding entrepreneurship in our communities.
- We want to use the food sector to enable people who don't want to be business people - entrepreneurs who are more than happy to be amateur, to sell the harvest of vegetables or fruit to promote garden material to grow community food.