It is wonderful what a diverse range of enterprises are playing a role in shaping the local food sector. But it is also a source of confusion as people of struggle to make the connection between, for instance, community supported agriculture and a farmers' market.
So I was interested to see a US attempt to bring these all together under the banner of Community Food Enterprise. The project looks at such enterprises around the world and makes a powerful case for what they can achieve. With funding from both the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it has certainly attracted support. They define a Community Food Enterprise as being an enterprise, being involved with food, having local ownership (defining this as 50% plus) and being locally controlled. I'm sure that many of us would season this definition to taste, but it is a good starting point.
The report covers a wonderful range of enterprises around the world. The most striking is the Cabbages & Condoms restaurant in Thailand, but many others are even more co-operative.
The report makes an inspiring read about what can be achieved and, equally important, understood if we can find a common language to talk about food and community enterprise.