AT A recent meeting, members of the Rotary Club of Oswestry, learned about a new food market model which has been operating for the last couple of years in nearby Llangollen. Part of a nationwide movement pioneered in France, but the first one in Wales, the Llangollen Food Assembly was launched in November 2015 to connect local farmers and producers with their customers.

During an informative talk, the Llangollen Assembly’s founder organiser, Robyn Lovegood, known as the Assembly’s host, took the audience through its workings from the online ordering system through to customer collection of their orders at The Ponsonby Arms in the town. Other venues had been suggested but the pub worked best for everyone!

“This is a fun, sociable way of shopping.” Robyn said. “Our customers get the chance to meet the producers of the amazing range of food available in our area who, in turn, receive a fairer proportion of the proceeds. Only a very small percentage of the price is taken up by Food Assembly overheads; money is kept in the local economy. It’s one of the main reasons I got involved with the Food Assembly in Llangollen.”

The Assembly has its own page on the national Food Assembly website (where orders are placed by Monday evening each week) and Facebook and Twitter accounts giving details of special offers and news of the producers, including the chance to meet them and hear about their business, fostering a connection between the two.

To demonstrate this relationship, Robyn had invited Barbara Jones, local holistic vet and owner of Babbinswood Farm and Veg Shop, to come along with her and talk about supplying vegetables for the Assembly. “I like supplying the Assembly because on a Wednesday morning we just dig up whatever is ordered by the Monday night. There’s no waste and it couldn’t be more fresh!” Barbara explained.

After two years, Robyn has handed over the reins of the Food Assembly to new host Olivia Redway but will stay involved on the sidelines. Members thanked Robyn for her presentation and wished her luck!

Pictured: (L-R) Barbara Jones of Babbinswood Farm and Robyn Lovegood Llangollen Food Assembly Host

To find out more about the Llangollen Food assembly follow them on Twitter and Facebook or read the National Food Assembly Blog