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Courgette Pilot

In 2023, Food Sense Wales published an evaluation report of an action research pilot project that explored what it would take in practice to get Welsh veg from agroecological producers onto school children’s plates In Wales.

Food Sense Wales, Food Cardiff, Castell Howell and Blas Gwent alongside key partners, Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Tyfu Cymru, decided to focus on courgettes and committed to a pilot looking at the challenges of getting veg through the food system and consumed in schools.

Courgette pilot - cover pageThe pilot project was undertaken over a period of three weeks during the Food and Fun summer programme across 29 Cardiff Primary schools engaging with approximately 1500 children.  Nearly 1 tonne of courgettes went through the supply chain and these courgettes were used by the school catering teams to create lunches as well as by the Food and Fun Co-ordinators to engage children in cookery and other related activities such as courgette art.

This action research pilot showed that school meals represent an opportunity for a secure market for agroecological veg producers and could be used as a key mechanism for investment in vegetable supply chains in Wales.  The report notes that subsequent investment would have the knock-on effect of developing a regionalised and resilient network of food producers that would be able to supply veg into the heart of their communities.  In order to achieve this, the report recommends the need for a sustainable supply chain investment scheme that specifically targets the gap between cheapest available veg and sustainably produced Welsh veg.

You can find out more by reading the evaluation report here.