Hampshire County Council is helping to put more local produce on the public sector plate by encouraging other councils to follow its lead in buying local.

Hampshire’s public sector spends around £25 million on food each year and traditionally little of this was local produce. As a result of the determination to make a difference, the County Council now sources a range of meats and apple juice from Hampshire, as well as over 10,000 cabbages and 600,000 free-range eggs annually. School caterers HC3S have increased the value of produce they source locally by around £1million.

The County Council’s ‘Farm to Plate’ project has received national recognition from the Commission for Rural Communities and is being used by them as a case study on economic wellbeing.

To spread the word further the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) awarded the County Council funding to produce an educational film that would help other public sector organisations overcome some of the perceived barriers to sourcing locally, such as price, distribution and volume.

The documentary outlines the story of Hampshire’s success through collaboration between County Council buyers and caterers, county food group Hampshire Fare, local producers and food distributors.

Tim Brock from Hampshire Fare said: “This on-going initiative really has proved there are no losers when it comes to local sourcing. Hopefully those who view this short film will be inspired to do likewise!”You can view the film at youtube.com/watch?v=OxQgL6sBjdQ or request a hard copy on DVD from Tim Brock at Hampshire Fare on 01962 845999, tim.brock@hants.gov.uk.