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Mayor unveils support for London's small food businesses

17 | 06 | 13

The mayor of London is backing a new project to support small food businesses in London. 

A pilot scheme has been developed that aims to help firms expand their operations, create more jobs and add diversity to the food sector. 

The project is being produced by the mayor’s food advisor Rosie Boycott, charity the Plunkett Foundation and food network the London Food Link. 

It will start by working with four small businesses and helping them to provide ten or more people with jobs, training or apprenticeships. Financial advice will be supplied by the ethical and sustainable Triodos Bank.

If the pilot is a success, it will be used to design future schemes and this could have a positive knock-on effect for catering and kitchen equipment suppliers, as they may benefit from the increased demand created by the expansion of small firms. 

The mayor Boris Johnson commented: "From urban farms to bustling street markets, London’s food scene is one of the most diverse and exciting in the world. I am pleased to support Rosie's initiative seeking to fuse Londoners' passion for food with their entrepreneurial spirit."

He added that the aim of the scheme is to prove that food businesses can not only produce quality meals, but encourage people into town centres, create employment and deliver wider economic benefits.

Ms Boycott stated: "The capital’s food sector is a vital and vibrant part of London life." She claimed the firms involved with the pilot are already providing excellent food for the capital and with the project's support they will be able to expand to the next level.

According to official statistics, London's food sector is currently worth around £17 billion and small to medium-sized businesses provide the majority of the 300,000 jobs in the industry.

Ian Price, Triodos Bank manager for food and farming, said community-based food operations are key to securing a sustainable future and hopes the pilot will create a model for other firms to follow.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801599663-ADNFCR

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