London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has recently backed the capital’s small food businesses in a new pilot scheme, aiming to create more jobs and reinvigorate the lifeless high streets.
The innovative six-month programme, developed by the Mayor’s Food Advisor Rosie Boycott, aims to support small social enterprises expand into sizeable, more profitable businesses. It will be implemented in partnership with the Plunkett Foundation; an organisation that provides advice for community co-operatives and social enterprises.
The programme will include four small businesses; each will be working towards expansion, to provide more jobs, training, and apprenticeship opportunities. They will also be offered expert advice with the option of low-cost finance from Triodos Bank; committed to working with ethical enterprises that promote environmental change. The results of the trial will then be used to design future phases of the Greater London Authority Project.
One of the four businesses to be backed is KERB, a Street Food organisation based in King’s Cross; taking part in the pilot scheme will enable KERB to launch an new Saturday market (KERB Saturdays) to reach new customers. NCASS has been working closely with KERB to raise awareness and create new opportunities within the catering industry. Other organisations taking part are; Unpackaged community cafe, Field to Fork Organics Co-operative community-run fruit and vegetable box scheme and Cultivate London a horticultural social enterprise.
Mark Laurie, Director of NCASS, comments; “It’s great to see the Mayor of London getting behind Street Food and innovative community-based catering start-ups. For several years London’s Street Food entrepreneurs have battled against misconceptions and restrictive trading legislation and now seems to be making hard earned head way”
“Street Food offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs and artisan producers as a low-risk, low-cost start-up business; it has changed the cityscape in London for the better and now forward thinking politicians and business people are seeing the benefits it can bring from employment to changing the way we eat”
“A lot of credit must also go to our friends at KERB who have been leading the way, with our support in London for several years. We have also been working at government level to raise awareness about the cultural, social and economic benefits of Street Food and also seem to be making progress.