Food network group takes new direction

Graham Ward OBE, outgoing chairman of the EYLFN, is pictured with Helen Wright, rural policy and partnerships manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Graham Ward OBE, outgoing chairman of the EYLFN, is pictured with Helen Wright, rural policy and partnerships manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Delegates attending the recent East Yorkshire Local Food Network (EYLFN) Spring Conference have been told how local food is continuing to grow in popularity and availability.

Chaired by Graham Ward OBE, the line up of speakers at the conference included presentations from John Geldard, who founded the highly-successful Plumgarths Farm Shop and Cafe in the Lake District, and Sue Nelson of events business Yorkshire Food Finder.

Despite high levels of market and political uncertainty, both contributors identified opportunities for the sector by continuing to focus on the shifting expectations of the consumer and making more of the Yorkshire heritage and provenance of local food.

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.

Graham said: “Following a review by the network’s board, we felt we had taken the network as far as we could and have been working closely with East Riding of Yorkshire Council on a way forward.

“I am delighted to say the council will be making some resources available to carry forward the network.”

Helen Wright, rural policy and partnerships manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Local food is central to 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.”