Knowledge for better food systems

The Local Food Programme - Assessing the return on investment of Local Food

This Local food grants report by University of Gloucestershire’s Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) assesses the benefits created by the Local Food Programme using a Social Return on Investment (SROI) approach. The SROI approach was developed from social accounting and cost-benefit analysis. The outcome assessment is based on a ratio of benefit-to-investment calculation including social, environmental and economic values.

The report includes three case study projects, which were drawn from each of the project categories identified through the wider Local Food programme evaluation: enterprise, community growing and education and learning. Evidence from the three case studies combined, show that every £1 invested in Local Food is shown to return between £6 and £8 to society in the form of social and economic outcomes including health and well-being, training and skills. Environmental outcomes were however not evidenced and are thus not included in the impact estimates. The value of the initial investment is reportedly being returned directly through training, education and skills, with the majority of additional benefits attributed to health and well-being, community benefits in terms of increased participation and vibrancy, impacts on the local economy and improved food affordability.

Read the full report here.

You can also browse through FCRN's resources on the topic of local food ad community farming here.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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