The Glasgow based community interest company, which already runs a shop, market garden and urban croft, has launched its Big Plan which outlines their aim to scale up and launch a large social enterprise grocery store which can go head to head with the supermarkets.
Alongside the release of the plan they are launching a crowd fund campaign to raise money for the project. Members of the public can give £15-£250 towards the project in exchange for rewards including bread making workshops and veg box deliveries. A Loan Stock offer is also being issued which will allow people to invest any sum over £250 in Locavore as a loan with the option to choose the rate of return from 0-6%.
Reuben Chesters, Managing Director of Locavore says “Everyone eats food, and the food we choose to eat has far reaching impacts which shape our landscapes, streetscapes and local economic situations. What we eat impacts our health, but also everything else in the world with issues as wide ranging as deforestation, climate change, animal welfare, public health, exploitation of the global poor and workers rights.
We think at the root of many of these big overwhelming global and local problems is the basic model of the big corporations who run the food system. They exist to extract as much money as possible from customers for the benefit of their shareholders. With supermarket chains in the UK holding 97% the grocery market it’s not much of a surprise that things are in such a dire state.
We think that by replacing shareholders with our social enterprise values we can build a the type of food system which is better for society and the environment. We want to take what we’ve learned over the last few years to scale up and trade in the same marketplace as the big corporates,
but to our own rules, with our own end goals. Instead of spending profits on TV ads and shareholder dividends we’d like profits to go towards helping local growers and developing fairer supply chains.”
In total the enterprise is looking to raise at least £200k through crowd funding, loan stock and social lending to launch their larger store which will include fresh local and organic produce alongside store cupboard groceries, cheese, meat and veggie substitutes. There will be an emphasis on reducing packaging and promoting affordable, local, organic, fair and sustainable products.
Locavore have already secured £17.5k of funding through LaunchMe, a social enterprise accelerator programme run by Firstport. Through Launchme they will also have the opportunity to match investment with up to £100k grant funding for the project.
Reuben Chesters, MD says, “We're really excited to be launching our Big Plan and to be seeking investment from real people with an interest in what we do. We hope we get a good response and attract people to invest, perhaps for the first time, in something which is pretty revolutionary and has the potential to build a more sustainable local food economy which is better for us all”.
Locavore's Big Plan is available in hard copy at their shop (66 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow) and online (from the 3rd Nov) at www.glasgowlocavore.org/BigPlan where information can also be found on Loan Stock. The crowd fund campaign goes live on the 3rd of November at: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BigPlan