BBC Food and Farming Awards
Community Shop News
Community Shop amongst Best Initiatives in British Food at BBC Food and Farming Awards.
Community Shop, the UK’s first network of social supermarkets delivered by Company Shop, joined the toast of the food and farming sector at a glittering awards ceremony in Bristol last night, where the social enterprise reached the final three in the ‘Best Initiative in British Food’ category at the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2014.
Beating thousands of applicants to be shortlisted into the final three of the fiercely competitive category, the team had a fantastic evening and were full of praise for ‘Feeding the 5000’, who picked up the prize for their work in changing the supply chain in favour of low-waste food production and consumption.
Community Shop is a social enterprise that redistributes surplus food from the supply chain and makes it available at heavily discounted prices to people who are on the cusp of food poverty, and need a helping hand.
Its pilot store was launched in the South Yorkshire town of Goldthorpe in December 2013 - one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK - as a membership-based store for those in receipt of income-related benefits. It gained widespread national and international media coverage on its launch, and was highlighted as a ‘Future Icon’ of sustainable, socially impactful consumer business practice by The Big Issue magazine.
Working with most of the major retailers and many top brands, including ASDA, Morrisons, The Co-operative, M&S, Tesco, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, Tetley, Young’s and Muller amongst others, industry support has been significant, and continues to grow.
But it is not just access to discounted food that made Community Shop worthy of this nomination. Members of the store also benefit from access to its ‘Community Hub’; where they can engage with professional mentors and seek support with budgeting and debt advice, skills training and participate in classes. The Community Hub Success Plan aims to provide a route back to financial independence, and towards mainstream retail.
Delivering maximum social, environmental and economic impact from surplus product is the driving motivation behind Community Shop. Following the success of the Goldthorpe pilot, the team are now working hard to secure a venue for their next pilot store, in London.
Following the awards, Mark Game, Managing Director of Company Shop, said:
“We are so proud to be here this evening, alongside such fantastic competition and at such a high-profile event.
“It has been a fantastic year for Community Shop and Company Shop and being amongst the finalists tonight shows us that we’re having a real impact.
“We’re looking forward to the year ahead and expanding Community Shop’s reach even further.”