New horizons for East Yorkshire Local Food Network
Graham Ward OBE, outgoing chair of the EYLFN, and Helen Wright, rural policy and partnerships manager
By East Riding of Yorkshire Council | Posted: 6 May 2017
Delegates attending the recent East Yorkshire Local Food Network (EYLFN) Spring Conference, held on Monday, 24 April at Bishop Burton College, have been told how local food is continuing to grow in popularity and availability.
Chaired by Graham Ward OBE, the line up of speakers included presentations from John Geldard, who founded the highly-successful Plumgarths Farm Shop and Café, in the Lake District, and Sue Nelson of events business Yorkshire Food Finder.
Despite current high levels of market and political uncertainty, both contributors identified further opportunities for the sector by continuing to focus on the shifting needs and expectations of the consumer and making more of the Yorkshire heritage and provenance of local food.
The event also provided an opportunity for delegates to learn about business risk management from event sponsor McClarrons and hear from a range of experts on the latest developments in sector-specific skills, innovation and funding opportunities.
The event was also an opportunity to set out a new direction for EYLFN. After five years at the helm, Graham is stepping down as chair of the network which was incorporated as a not-for-profit limited company in 2012.
“Following a review by the network’s board, we felt we had taken the network as far as we could in the current environment and have been working closely with East Riding of Yorkshire Council on a way forward,” said Graham.
“I am delighted to say the council will be making some resources available to carry forward the network and wish it every success for the future.”
Helen Wright, rural policy and partnerships manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Local food is central to the place that is the East Riding and the local food network plays a key role in growing the local food sector. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the network in the months ahead.
“I would like to thank Graham for his tireless support to the local food network over the past five years and the work he has done to establish the strong network of businesses that exists today.
“We can be very proud of the local food produced in this area and I am very pleased that the council has the opportunity to continue to support the network and the vital work it does on behalf of our small rural businesses.”