Could Wholesalers be game-changers in building a better, more secure food system in Britain? Sheila Dillon asks.

The BBC's Food Programme today features Sustainable Food Member Birmingham at 24min 22sec. Sheila Dillon asks: Could wholesalers, that hidden middle, be game-changers in building a better, more secure, food system in Britain?

BBC Food Programme

Sheila Dillon talks to Dr Justin Varney, the Council's Director of Public Health, about how Birmingham plans to use markets as a key part of it's new food strategy. One example he mentions is how Birmingham has connected a local culinary school with local produce bought through wholesale markets. He says; "It's about understanding the flow of food around the city and the wider region". He goes further to say; "the wholesale market is absolutely pivotal as one of those core gateway points for people to connect with seasonal locally produced food as well as the global food market itself."

Professor Tim Lang of City University backs up Birmingham's work but with a big policy caveat;

"the wholesaling has that potential, but it will only work in an overt policy world of encouraging diversity and regionalism. And that's tricky, it will not happen against the concentration, centralisation, and monopolisation, of the "Tesco et al" regime-time... People like me are exploring a regionalisation, a serious decentralisation of the British food system as the way to go for food security... wholesalers have a key role in that, they can be the regional hubs. We have to go that way to decarbonise the food system".

Listen to the whole episode here.

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