How do we feed ourselves?

How do we feed ourselves?

The food and farming sector is different from every other sector because it’s vital for our survival. We need food for our health, continued life, and continued participation in our communities.

How can we take action to transform food and farming in South West Wales, making healthy local food accessible to all and good for the planet? (Pic: Pixabay)

Food can be a powerful force for good, reconnecting us with our natural world, with our local places, and with each other, and making us more resilient, as people and communities.

Food resilience has become ever more critical in the face of multiple threats, from the increasing cost of food and energy to growing global instability.

How can we take action to transform food and farming in South West Wales, making healthy local food accessible to all and good for the planet?

In 1984, Britain produced enough food to feed itself for 306 days of the year. By 2021, the country only produced enough to feed itself for 233 days.

In terms of meat, Wales produces mostly beef and lamb but eats mostly pork and chicken. Only 0.1% of our land is used to grow fruit and vegetables, producing 19,551 tonnes a year. That’s enough to give 3.5% of the population their five a day!

The war in Ukraine has made us even more aware of our reliance on imports for up to 40% of our food. Before the war, Ukraine was producing 12% of the world’s wheat and 46% of its sunflower oil. Russia is also a major producer of wheat and seed oils.

So what can we do?

In Wales about 400,000 tonnes of food are wasted each year. If only 1% of that is edible it would be enough to contribute to over nine million meals! Thankfully there are groups ensuring some of this food goes where it’s needed. FairShare Cymru distributes surplus food to organisations working to address poverty. Swansea Community Fridge provides surplus food to all on a take what you need pay what you can basis.

Sometimes farmers and growers have no choice but to leave some crops unharvested. The food gets left in the fields or is ploughed back in the soil. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as unpredictable weather reducing demand, overproduction, and because crops don’t meet the cosmetic specifications required by retailers.

FairShare Cymru are looking at working with growers on a gleaning project. This would involve teams of volunteers salvaging fresh, nutritious food from farms and directing it to organisations such as homeless hostels and charities. Similar schemes in England have already salvaged tonnes of excellent but unharvested produce, including apples, cabbages, cauliflowers, spring greens and kale.

But we can also grow a lot more food!

Agroecology is the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming. We should be driving increased production of, and demand for, sustainably and regionally produced, nutritious, culturally appropriate foods as part of a green economic recovery.

In a world of increasing urbanisation, producing food in and around cities has the potential to improve nutritional and health outcomes, alleviate poverty, provide habitat for wildlife, create sustainable cities, and reduce food miles and transportation costs.

Not that long ago, market gardens were providing most towns and cities with a flow of fresh produce, so it makes sense to revive and improve upon this model. There are exciting opportunities to use the peri-urban fringe (land adjacent to urban settlements) to provide more agroecologically produced food and to connect urban and rural economies through food growing.

Research has found converting just 1.4% of land growing cereals and grassland around London to vegetables could produce an additional 1.3 million kilos of food for communities.

And peri-urban farming would provide a lot of additional social, economic and ecological benefits. It would generate goods and services that support community wealth building, provide jobs and training, give people access to green space and outdoor learning at the edge of built up cities, and support community development through community owned resources, events and volunteering.

Carbon capture and storage, above and below ground, through farming approaches that work with natural cycles would in effect create ‘carbon sinks’ surrounding urban space and would benefit natural capital assets such as flood risk adaptation.

We’ve said before that trees are great and we want to see more of them. However, there is a danger that corporations are ‘pricing out’ farmers by buying up land for tree planting. So how can we address this?

Agroforestry is a great example of agroecology. It means combining trees and farming and demonstrates how food production and nature can co-exist. Grazing farm animals under trees gives them shelter and food, while their manure enriches the soil. And planting trees on land normally used to grow cereal crops means you can provide another crop, such as fruit, nuts or timber. This provides another income stream for farmers and also protects soils from erosion, because the trees’ deep roots help create a healthy soil structure.

And what about within our towns and cities themselves?

Currently only 1% of urban green space is used for allotments, but research shows urban and under utilised green spaces could produce nearly 40% of the UK’s fresh fruit and vegetables!

A recent study found ‘citizen scientists’ in Brighton and Hove, who were growing fruit and vegetables on their allotments, gardens and balconies, were able to harvest a kilo of fruit and vegetables per square metre in a season. This puts their yields within the range of conventional farms! And some people were harvesting up to 10 kilos per square metre. This is just from insect pollinated crops, so it’s probably an underestimate.

The urban growers were each able to grow an average of £550 worth of produce between March and October. £380 worth of this was from insect pollinated produce, such as squash, courgettes, blackberries, tomatoes, apples and beans, weighing an average of 70 kilos. Berries were the most attractive crop to pollinators. Growers used less pesticides than conventional farming techniques, using them in under 10% of pest cases. If you’re wondering, the most common pests were slugs, snails and aphids, and the worst affected produce was soft fruit and beans.

Urban and peri-urban farming can further be supported by removing the current 5 hectare eligibility criteria for farming support. This would make it easier for small growers to produce sustainably grown nutritious local food.

We need to take action to transform food and farming in South West Wales, so that healthy local food is accessible to all and good for the planet. We believe food can be a powerful force for good. It can reconnect us with our natural world, our local places, and with each other, and make us more resilient, as people and communities.

On behalf of Swansea Council, 4theRegion is convening a Green Recovery Conference & Exhibition on June 16th to showcase the businesses, projects and organisations who are leading the city’s green recovery. Food will be a big part of that! You can register for free here, and if you’d like to be involved, please contact

Everybody’s Business

Everybody’s Business

At 4theRegion we want to ensure South West Wales is a welcoming and safe region where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and progress fulfilling careers. Building cohesive communities is about developing neighbourhoods, social spaces and workplaces where difference is welcomed and celebrated. This involves moving beyond narratives of ‘us’ and ‘them’ towards a greater sense of trust and a shared sense of belonging.

How can businesses play a role in supporting cohesive communities? (Pic: fauxels)

Building a more cohesive society is everybody’s business. We are all part of the social fabric, the strength of which can be an important influence on our wellbeing as communities and individuals. We all have a responsibility to build and maintain the relationships, connections and understandings which make up that social fabric. Cohesion is a shared objective, in which every person, community and organisation has a role to play.

So how can we support social cohesion?

A new report from Belong looks at just that! Everybody’s Business, produced in conjunction with the Intercultural Cities Network, sets out how businesses can play a role in supporting cohesive communities, and how local authorities can support them in doing this. The report draws its findings from a series of roundtable conversations with local authorities and businesses in a number of towns and cities across the UK, including Swansea.

Belong use the term ‘social cohesion’ to describe how well people from different backgrounds mix, interact and get along with each other. Those differences can be ethnicity, faith, social class, age, gender, sexuality, or a range of other differences that might potentially divide us.

There’s lots of potential to support community cohesion within a business! Research shows that workplaces can provide the opportunity for people from different backgrounds to connect in a way that leads to more positive attitudes towards diversity and higher levels of social cohesion. If you work in a diverse workplace you’re more likely to have friends from different backgrounds, although your interactions will need to be more than passing for the effects to extend beyond the workplace.

By their very nature, some businesses represent vital social infrastructure providing opportunities for people to meet and mix across different boundaries. And the experience of the pandemic has made clear the vital importance of these shared spaces! As ‘third places’, other than home and work, they provide a venue where members of the community can interact with one another informally, and where collective space can be provided for community initiatives such as charitable fundraising.

So how can you as a business help maximise the positive impact you have?

First and foremost, recruiting a workforce which fully reflects the diversity of local communities, across all functions and levels of seniority, is necessary for any business that wants to support social cohesion.

As a business, you can promote an inclusive culture through cohesion aware management. This means creating a climate of openness and trust, ensuring demographic attributes (ethnicity, gender, sexuality etc) do not overlap with functional roles and supporting meaningful interactions between people of all backgrounds across the workforce, are key elements of workplaces that support cohesion.

You can enable minorities and diverse groups to lead innovation. Ensuring that innovation is led by diverse teams and people from under represented groups enables better understanding of the needs of communities and increases awareness of market and product opportunities that might otherwise be missed.

You can invest in social infrastructure in the local community. What can you do to support welcoming, inclusive community spaces? This could be in the course of your everyday operations or, for example, through the innovative use of your commercial property.

Businesses can also deliver added social value by supporting community organisations and initiatives which build cohesive communities.

You can do this by partnering with a local community group or charity. Imagine if more businesses were regularly twinned with a local community group or charity as part of an ongoing relationship? This could involve sponsorship or support in kind, and would help deepen the connections between a business and the community around it.

You can provide direct support through employee volunteering. You can enable more employee volunteering which aids charities, community groups and hubs supporting community life and bringing people together. This helps to connect employees to the community and to people from different backgrounds.

You can localise your supply chain. By applying the ‘think local’ principle to as much of their supply chain as possible, businesses can extend more opportunities to the local community, and help to strengthen the networks of social and economic ties that can support cohesive communities.

And, wherever possible, you should evaluate the impact of work that you’re doing to support social cohesion.

It’s great to see the report citing our members Gower Gas and Oil as example of what businesses in the region are already doing! The heating services company has led a variety of initiatives to address social isolation. The #DontDanceAlone social media campaign, in partnership with The Wave and Swansea Sound, has raised awareness of isolation amongst older people and helped raise money for older people’s charities. Gower Gas and Oil also help coordinate the Gower Isolation Support Group, which helps ensure that isolated older people are visited regularly, with a view to ensuring positive social and health outcomes, which was particularly important during lockdown.

And what can local authorities do to support businesses to do all this? The report says they can provide leadership by being clear about how businesses can support local cohesion objectives and playing a coordinating role in helping them do so. They can incentivise businesses to act through highlighting cohesion outcomes in their approach to procurement and social value, and by recognising businesses that do this well. And they create an evaluation framework based on local needs, providing a robust and rigorous framework for evaluating cohesion oriented activity that businesses carry out, including shared measures and reporting.

Everyone has a role to play in building and maintaining cohesive communities. And it is particularly good to see a report which focusses on the often under appreciated role businesses can play in supporting social cohesion. If you’d like to find out more about how businesses can be a force for good, join us at the Introbiz Expo on April 7th!

4theRegion is an alliance of people, businesses and organisations across South West Wales, who love where we live and want our region to flourish. We connect people, share good news and enable collaboration, through our forums, events, projects and comms, for a future that promotes the wellbeing of people and planet. Support our movement and be part of the solution!

How do we get there?

How do we get there?

Last week 4theRegion hosted our City Centre Conference. We’re so proud to have been the first major exhibitor at the new Swansea Arena – which looks amazing! We had over a hundred and twenty exhibitors and over two thousand five hundred people registered to attend.

We all have a part to play in the transition to a greener, healthier, more equal, more integrated, more accessible and more affordable transport system (Pic: MART PRODUCTION)

Even before our conference had taken place interest in Swansea Arena was already skyrocketing. They expect their calendar to be pretty much full for the next six months, but say they’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of the potential for city wide events. These events would involve the arena working with hotels and other venues across the city. We’d see the hotels fully booked and Swansea really put on the map for conferences!

Of course it isn’t just conference goers that we’ll be welcoming to our wonderful region. An integrated, sustainable travel network is essential to prosperity and wellbeing, with tourism being a key economic driver for South West Wales. And we all have a part to play in the transition to a greener, healthier, more equal, more integrated, more accessible and more affordable transport system. We need to work collaboratively to address the challenges we face, to create flourishing local places, connected by inclusive and sustainable transport that meets the needs of businesses, serves communities, and improves wellbeing across the region.

So how do we get there?

How about a rail network integrated with bus routes, ticketing and timetables, so that you can seamlessly switch between trains and buses to get to your destination? This is the vision for the Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro. It’ll also offer an enhanced rail network with new stations serving Swansea’s outlying communities and a significantly increased number of trains stopping at stations every hour. An extension of the much publicised South Wales Metro, developed for Cardiff and the surrounding area, we’ve been told the Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro will start to deliver visible results this year.

Another key component of the Metro are plans to introduce hydrogen buses as part of a pilot scheme in Swansea Bay and Pembrokeshire. And these aren’t the only clean solution to road travel in the region. Eight electric buses will replace diesel buses on the route between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth by the end of this year.

But of course it isn’t just about public transport. How do we travel more sustainably as individuals and businesses? For some people the solution might be an e-bike. You pedal it like a regular bike but it has a battery to get you more easily up hills or to enable you to cover longer distances. But how do you know if one would be right for you? Well how about a free trial? If you live in Swansea, Sustrans could offer you a four week trial of an e-bike absolutely free!

But an even more exciting travel solution is an e-cargo bike! If you’re a business in Swansea business you could be eligible for a three month trial to see if one of them could be right for you. This too is absolutely free!

Could an e-cargo bike benefit your business? Research has found e-cargo bikes make deliveries about 60% faster than vans in city centres. Vans can obviously travel along clear stretches of road much faster, but they get slowed down by congestion and have to spend time looking for parking spaces. E-cargo bikes, on the other hand, can bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride directly to the customer’s door. On average, e-cargo bikes will drop off ten parcels an hour, compared to six parcels for vans. They also cut carbon emissions by 90% compared with diesel vans, and by a third compared to electric vans. Recent estimates suggest that up to 51% of all freight journeys in European cities could be replaced by e-cargo bikes.

And what else do we want to see?

We think transport should be regarded as a universal basic service – like healthcare and education. Low cost, or better still free, public transport is central to creating a healthier, more equal, more prosperous region and achieving Wales’ climate emergency commitments. We also need much more infrastructure for charging electric vehicles across the region, but we’re not sure private electric cars are the answer or will, in themselves, be enough to address the climate crisis or transport inequality. So how about EV car share projects, which would be supported in communities and by employers? This would ensure everyone has access to a car, without actually needing to own one.

An integrated, sustainable travel network is essential to prosperity and wellbeing. At 4theRegion, we’ve been thinking a lot about how we can get there. Read our Transport Manifesto to find out more.

Help create a happier, healthier region with a thriving economy! Your support and involvement makes our work possible! We welcome you to join 4theRegion, to demonstrate your commitment to South West Wales and to access our support.

Making Hope Happen

Making Hope Happen

At 4theRegion our mission is to co-create a happier, healthier South West Wales with a thriving economy. And what do we mean by ‘thriving’? For us, in the truest sense of the word, thriving is about wellbeing.

What do we hope for? (Pic: Engin Akyurt)

We’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of hope. Amplifying hope is a big part of what we’re trying to do, because when people are hopeful about the future they are happier and healthier. We took the title for this article from a book by Shane J Lopez. Drawing on the largest study of hopeful people ever conducted, he argues that hope isn’t just an emotion, it’s an essential life tool!

We believe all conversations should start with what’s working well. We call this asset based community development, which we ground in social purpose and underpin with wellbeing. We engage with people, businesses and organisations who want to see South West Wales flourish.

So what do we hope for?

We want to see the region leading in making new ways of living, working, and organising our society and economy, so that it’s more visible, accessible and relevant to everyone who lives here. And there’s so much to feel positive about here in South West Wales! An amazing natural environment. Caring communities. A brilliant quality of life. We want to make South West Wales the UK’s first wellbeing region. Imagine if we made wellbeing our unique selling point, our regional identity, and our shared purpose?

So what can help us understand wellbeing?

Neo-liberalism has promoted the idea that we are in competition with one and other. This view leads to an increased sense of social isolation, which impacts on individual wellbeing. However, recent developments in wellbeing science have seen a move beyond just looking at ourselves as individuals, and instead taking a broader view that encompasses the wellbeing of people and planet.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant we all started to think more about wellbeing. It gave us increased opportunities to work from home, and gave us a greater awareness of how work stresses impacted employees than we had before the pandemic. And it showed our capacity for hope! Research shows we protected our wellbeing by learning to understand there can be hope and meaning in life even in the midst of pain and suffering. This is what psychologists call ‘tragic optimism’. Of course, this wasn’t all. Other things that protected our wellbeing included gratitude, our physical health, social cohesion and identity, and connecting with nature. At a biological level, there’s now compelling evidence for the interconnectedness of physical and mental health. Our wellbeing has a causal link with our health and longevity.

Academics at Swansea University have developed the GENIAL framework which explicitly links wellbeing and health. This covers individual wellbeing (including a balanced mind and a healthy body), collective wellbeing (social connectedness), and planetary wellbeing (connection with nature). It recognises that individuals must first understand how to care for themselves in order to then care for others and care for the environment. The capacity for individuals to promote their own wellbeing will be greater than their capacity to promote collective wellbeing, which is greater than the capacity to promote planetary wellbeing. Nevertheless, there is massive potential for us to promote our individual wellbeing alongside larger collaborative efforts such as community partnerships, collaborative working, and activism to address various societal challenges such as climate change.

So how are the academics doing this in practice?

They introduce their students to the concept of sustainable happiness and wellbeing. This is about placing happiness and wellbeing within the context of environmental sustainability. This means strategies to promote wellbeing that don’t involve the exploitation of other people, the environment or future generations.

They also recognise people living with chronic conditions have tremendous potential for wellbeing. Surf therapy, for example, brings together people with acquired brain injury and their families to engage with nature based exercise, facilitating wellbeing, and hopefully encouraging pro-environmental behaviour.

At 4theRegion we want to co-create a happier, healthier South West Wales, with a thriving economy in the truest sense of the word. Thriving is about wellbeing. Let’s make hope happen!

We think it’s important to be forward looking, which is why all our events and conversations start with what’s working well. We want people to appreciate the good things about South West Wales, and celebrate the beautiful corner of the world where we live! Positivity is at heart of everything we do, with the Swansea City Centre Conference being no different! We’re celebrating and showcasing what we love about the regional capital. Join us in Swansea Arena on March 17th. Register here for your free tickets.

What is green recovery?

What is green recovery?

When the coronavirus pandemic hit global economies, governments pledged to rebuild, create jobs and spark growth. But many people recognised we can’t just go back to doing things the way we did before. So what would our rebuilt economy look like?

Three Cliffs Bay

We need to think about the problem of “growth”. Traditional ideas of economic recovery have focussed on growth, but wouldn’t it be better for us to be aiming for wellbeing, whether or not the economy grows?

Economist Kate Raworth has said “Mainstream economics views endless GDP growth as a must, but nothing in nature grows forever and the economic attempt to buck that trend is raising tough questions in high-income but low-growth countries. That’s because today we have economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive. What we need are economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow. That radical flip in perspective invites us to become agnostic about growth and to explore how our economies—which are currently financially, politically and socially addicted to growth—could learn to live with or without it.”

Green recovery means accelerating development along a more sustainable path. Natural Resources Wales says this means reducing carbon emissions, increasing resilience to climate change, reversing the decline in biodiversity, connecting people and nature and tackling unsustainable levels of production and consumption, while ensuring job creation, skills development, new markets and vulnerable groups are prioritised.

The region will need £4.3bn in investment by 2035 to tackle climate change. We’ll need to reduce carbon emissions by 58% in the domestic heat and power sector, 56% in the commercial and industrial sector and 51% in road transport. This means more wind and solar farms, more electric cars, a tidal lagoon, and the creation of around sixteen thousand new jobs!

Some of the most exciting proposals so far are in marine energy. The Blue Eden project, led by DST Innovations, would see a battery factory, data centre and thousands of homes powered by a new tidal lagoon. It would create two and half thousand permanent jobs. Meanwhile, Hiraeth Energy and Magnora Offshore Wind just announced proposals for two offshore windfarms in the Celtic Sea, which could power half the homes in Wales.

We need to move away from just making, using and disposing things, and instead conserve resources and ensure long term sustainability.

Ministry of Furniture recently fitted out the WLGA’s new offices with chairs made from recycled PET plastic bottles and desks, lockers and planters recycled from the WLGA’s legacy furniture! They also provided new 100% biodegradable bar stools made from hemp and resin.

The Welsh Government has pledged to use more Welsh wool as insulation, after it dropped in price during the pandemic. Wool insulation also forms part of a project by J.G. Hale Construction and SO Modular to build and retrofit flats in Aberavon. Using innovative insulation materials doesn’t stop with wool, they’re also using mushrooms and wood fibre!

Would you like your own tree?

Trees are great! They give us shade, clean our air, capture carbon and support biodiversity. They also provide timber, which is a more sustainable than traditional building materials like cement. The Welsh Government has announced that every household in Wales will get a free tree to plant. At 4theRegion, we welcome the commitment to more tree planting and recognise the importance of ensuring the right trees are planted in the right places.

And what about food?

We once had a thriving oyster trade, which gave Oystermouth its name. The population collapsed in the twentieth century, but now millions of oysters are being put on the seabed in Swansea Bay, in a process likened to growing a forest. In addition to being food, oysters store carbon and improve water quality.

New oyster bars are exciting, but we want to see affordable, nutritious, locally produced sustainable food available to everyone. Currently only 1% of urban green space is used for allotments, but research shows urban and under utilised green spaces could produce nearly 40% of the UK’s fresh fruit and vegetables! And urban food production is just as productive as conventional farming. Obviously we don’t want to see our parks ploughed up, but there is clearly land in towns and cities where we can grow useful amounts of fruit and vegetables. There are already plans to develop a “farm” near Morriston Hospital. Giving local people the opportunity to grow and eat healthy locally sourced food will help reduce pressures on the health service. It would also reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint, with fresh food literally coming from across the road!

What about jobs and skills?

Retrofitting, for example, requires electricians, plumbers, surveyors and builders. What if all contracts included a condition to take on apprenticeships? This would provide real life experience in areas like renewable energy, retrofitting, energy and water efficient technologies, and building techniques using non-traditional materials.

Last year, nearly six hundred and fifty homes in Swansea benefitted from the largest energy retrofit scheme of its kind in the UK, as part of a partnership between Pobl Group and Sero. It meant the community could generate up to 60% of its electricity requirements, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions! A wider roll out will see seven thousand homes retrofitted and three thousand three hundred homes built as “Homes as Power Stations”.

In the past, we have aimed at growth, whether it creates wellbeing or not. Instead we should be aiming for wellbeing (especially in light of the Well-being of Future Generations Act), whether or not the economy grows. Green recovery means we can reduce our carbon emissions, reverse the decline in biodiversity and tackle unsustainable levels of production and consumption while creating jobs, developing skills and protecting vulnerable groups and communities.

Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming conference on green recovery! Join our mailing list to be the first to know.


Buying more from each other

Buying more from each other

What can we do to keep more of our spending in the region? By this we mean both the money we spend as individuals and businesses, and the public money spent by local authorities and major organisations.

Did you know if every individual and business in South West Wales spent an extra £100 a year with regional businesses we’d have an extra £108m circulating and multiplying in our economy? This doesn’t just keep more wealth in our local economy. Buying more from each other helps develop supply chains and creates more opportunities for people and businesses.

This principle is already well understand, for example the Well-being of Future Generations Act says public organisations should spend 95% of their budgets within Wales. But there remain a lot of barriers to buying locally. Local businesses struggle to compete against online shopping and out of town retail parks. Tendering processes are complicated and place a lot of pressure on suppliers.

So what’s working well in the region?

Swansea Council has been able to put out contracts worth under £140,000 to local businesses, and recently announced that firms in the Swansea Bay City Region benefitted from £34.6m from the construction of Copr Bay phase one, with £17.9m benefitting Swansea based businesses.

Community wealth building means local economies are reorganised so that more wealth is retained locally and income is recirculated. It’s emerged as a powerful approach to local economic development, with progressive procurement as one of its main pillars. Progressive procurement can develop dense local supply chains, SMEs, employee owned businesses, social enterprises and cooperatives and other forms of community business. These types of businesses are more likely to support local employment and to retain wealth and surplus locally.

Hywel Dda University Health Board want to adopt a more locally focused approach to procurement, driven by community wealth building principles. They recognise the potential of working with other anchor institutions (organisations which have an important local presence, such as councils and universities) in areas of common spending, such as food procurement and collaborative working, in order to maximise the local impact of £2.5bn in total spending in the Health Board area.

So what more can we do?

There are clearly some areas the government would need to lead on, for example taxation of big corporations to help create a level playing field for local businesses. But there are also things we can do as businesses, communities and individuals. It’s been great to see the creation of a directory like South Wales Food & Drink, which helps connect people with local food and drink producers! Food and drink are relatively easy to procure locally, but how do we improve procurement of other local goods and services such as clothes and stationery? Could they have their own directories to connect suppliers with customers? And what if we had local distribution centres for food, clothes and stationery, operating in a similar way to an Amazon Fulfilment Centre?

We also need to consider the environmental impact of what we buy. Natural Resources Wales estimates nearly 90% of our carbon emissions are from procurement. And this isn’t just an issue for the public sector. By producing, distributing and purchasing the things we need as locally as possible we can all help reduce carbon emissions. Think of all those empty offices. Imagine if they were vertical farms providing local communities with nutritious locally grown food!

At 4theRegion, we know that if businesses and organisations in South West Wales buy more from each other, we can keep more wealth here in our local economy, develop our supply chains, and create more opportunities for people and businesses.

If you agree that buying locally is important, and want to be part of an alliance that work proactively to enable more local sourcing at all levels, please join us! Subscribe to our newsletter, become a member, come along to our events, or get in touch!