Food for thought

Collaborative juices were flowing at the food and catering industry roundtable

Kicking off Cooperate Islington’s series of roundtable discussions was our food and catering roundtable. Cooperatives and businesses from around Islington were invited to participate in this networking and collaborative problem solving opportunity. 

During a mapping exercise attendees shared about the difficulties that their businesses were facing and then brainstormed possible solutions. Many of the solutions that came up were around collaboration, sharing skills and mutual aid. 

One of the common themes that arose was that many of the groups lacked access to a space. The couriers needed somewhere for tools and to rest, the caterers needed somewhere to cook, others needed space to pack and distribute from. Each group needed it for slightly different purposes, but the intersection of food brought it all together. As a collective they might be able to make a persuasive case to create a food and catering hub here in Islington, similar to the fashion hub at FC Designers Workshop.

A pivotal moment happened near the end of the roundtable when we hosted a Brickless style networking activity. Each group shared their burning needs and offered each other services and support. The event had transitioned from being about the big picture thinking to honing in on practical collaborations and solutions to get things moving. 

It was evident to everybody that there was a buzz of energy in the room. We all agreed by working together we would become stronger and more resilient. The group will reconvene again in their near future, facilitated by Islington Food Partnership. We are all excited to see how this new network of food and catering cooperatives work together to bring healthy and delicious food to Islington into the future. 

The event was attended by:

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