Welsh Veg in Schools
Food Sense Wales is leading on a pilot to develop new local agroecological supply chains into schools – specifically focusing on Veg. The Welsh Veg in Schools pilot is supported by Welsh Government Foundational Economy funding and key partners include Food Partnerships, Local Authorities and Health Boards covering Cardiff, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire along with wholesaler, Castell Howell, a number of enthusiastic growers as well as Farming Connect Horticulture.
This current pilot started in April 2023 and will run until Spring 2024. It builds on the findings of the ‘Courgette pilot’ which was developed by Food Sense Wales as a result of Castell Howell’s Peas Please pledge to increase the amount of local veg going into schools. The ‘courgette pilot’ worked with agroecological growers supplying through Castell Howell into Cardiff primary schools involving local catering teams and Food Cardiff (Cardiff’s food partnership), and integrated veg activities as well as farm visits.
This new ‘Welsh Veg in Schools’ pilot study will enable us to test the following questions:
- Can you replicate the “courgette” model in other local authority areas and into school term time?
- How could agroecological Welsh veg supply chain be organised across geographies?
- Is the Sustainable Supply Chain Investment Scheme (price gap between conventional and local organic) viable and/or are there other financial mechanisms to bridge the gap?
- What are the implications for school Food Standards and food education in schools?
During the pilot, Food Sense Wales and the project team will also:
- trial and develop a mechanism for supplying Welsh agroecologically grown produce (Organic or in conversion to Organic) into schools through the wholesaler Castell Howell
- dove tail work with developing alternative routes to market and new product development for local produce
- work on bespoke Audit standards to enable small scale growers to supply into public sector
- develop and expand the growers’ supply chain- up from one in the courgette pilot, to three for Food and Fun 2023, to five for Autumn term 2023 – and looking to include more going forward, subject to continuation of the pilot
- test out school farm visits and establish any barriers for schools and growers
- develop veg activities related to Welsh seasonal veg linking farm to school and school to home.
- explore an economic model including social return on investment
The final report is likely to be published in the Spring 2024 but in the meantime we are intending to continue building on the progress to date and to begin the planning for the 2024 growing season in November.
If you’re interested in finding out more or would like more information about how to get involved in the project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org