The City Council announced in January last year in its Economic Zones report that the wholesale markets would be moving to a purpose-built centre in the Food Hub zone in Witton in May 2015 – perhaps inspired by the growing US movement now acknowledged and supported by the US Department of Agriculture. There has, however, been little activity in this zone, compared with the meetings and reports about the other zones.

food hub bham graphic

The Economic Zones report states that the former IMI site in Witton, designated to be the Food Hub zone, is owned by PruPrim (now M&G Real Estate), and that the site has planning permission for B1 (light industry), B2 (general industry) and B8 (storage and distribution) uses.

Then in September it was suggested that a Food Crime Intelligence Unit – a national hub – be set up in the city. Birmingham City Council chief executive Mark Rogers and director of regulation and enforcement Jacqui Kennedy were said to have offered council services to host the unit. The subject of food waste has also been aired in a report recently.

Self-starters – a contrast

stroudco food hub logo

Stroudco Food Hub started seven years ago, and has one part-time paid member of staff and an increasing group of enthusiastic volunteers. It currently supports some 57 local food and drink producers. 522 households are now registered with the food hub.

Stroudco is one of a number of food hubs operating all over the world and has inspired similar schemes in Dursley and the Forest of Dean. Read on here.