Kindling has benefited from MMU Business School students over the last few months, exploring and identifying non-food crops that can be grown by local farmers and sold in products on the local market.
The report (see below) aims to produce a set of recommendations for Kindling to take forward in our vision for a sustainable society.
Non-food crops are those which are not used for human or animal consumption, many of which can be found in our everyday products such as shampoo, washing powder and clothing. Although Kindling is dedicated to increasing local sustainable food production in the Northwest of England we were interested to see if non-food crops could play a role in making farming more financially viable and resilient. With a growing upsurge in 'green' consumer behaviour, buyers are looking to source products and services more locally.
Research by the students found that- although small- a market does exist within Manchester for products containing local non-food ingredients. A further observation found that these products were able to sell for a higher price on the market as consumers recognised the sustainable manner in which the ingredients were sourced.
The research highlighted the value non-food crops can add to a growers land in terms of generating further revenue as well as the manufacturer selling the product as they can demand a higher price. As a result, recommendations for Kindling include; communicating with consumers and manufacturers on the importance of local non-food crops, encouraging the growth of non-food crops that would flourish locally such as Borage, Hemp, Chamomile and Crambe and finally create mutually beneficial partnerships between local non-food growers and manufacturers utilising non-food ingredients.
We'd like to thank: Thomas Horne and Jack Morrison for their hard work on this project. We are sure their finding will help shape Kindling’s future direction to help make Greater Manchester more sustainable.