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Fresh, local food just a click away with revolutionary new service

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Buying fresh, local and seasonal food is about to get a lot easier for people in Stirling as a new service offers consumers the chance to pre-order

Buying fresh, local seasonal food will be as simple as clicking and collecting, organisers of a new scheme in Stirling have promised.

The city’s first ever Food Assembly will be launched later in September, allowing local people to shop online for produce from a range of local farmers and producers.

Based on similar initiatives in France, the project allows shoppers to place orders online before collecting their shopping from a hub in the city centre.

Most of the food will come from within a couple of miles of the city, compared to an average of 600 miles with a supermarket.

Our food producers will keep over 80% of sales for every product compared to 15-25% through supermarkets

The charity Forth Environment Link is behind the project, which aims to revolutionise the way locals buy their food.

Coordinator Emily Harvey said: “We hope that this new kind of food shopping will connect people better with the seasons, their local food producers and their environment, growing their appreciation of the real value of food.

“It is free to sign up and you can shop as often or little as you like. Farmers and producers will deliver their weekly orders in person, so locals will still get the chance to meet the people behind their food, as they do at Stirling’s traditional, monthly farmers’ market.

“The difference being that shoppers will be able to see what produce is available in advance, allowing them to plan meals for the week ahead which will help prevent food waste. Pre-orders also mean less risk for the farmer and producer.”

By choosing to buy local produce, assembly users will also be boosting the area’s economy.

Harvey added: “The assembly ensures food producers get a fair price for every product sold. Our food producers will keep over 80% of sales for every product compared to 15 to 25% through supermarkets.”

One of the first producers to sign up is Theo Laffargue, baker and director of Stirling’s community supported Riverside Bakery.

He said: “Our team are passionate advocates for a reimagined Scottish food system that breaks down barriers between producers and consumers. A system that has thriving farmers and food producers at its centre, builds vibrant communities and produces food for people that is ecologically and socially just.

“Our bakery is run for and by the local community, we co-produce the bread together. Joining the Stirling Food Assembly will help strengthen our local food network and help make our handmade bread available to the wider Stirling community.”

Stirling Food Assembly launches on Thursday 29 September. Customers will be able to collect their shopping from Stirling Cycle Hub, by the railway station, on Thursday evenings from 4.30pm-6.30pm.

To register for the scheme, visit the Stirling Food Assembly website.