Simply Sarah's staff team


There’s never been a better time to support our local farmers and food and drink producers.

Buying local means that you’re reducing food miles and helping support the industry at a testing time.

Over the past few months, local food businesses, community enterprises and charities across Forth Valley have quickly adapted to the challenges posed by Covid-19 to support the local community in a time of great need.
Innovations range from Briarlands Farm’s strawberry drive thru and The Smiddy Farm Shop’s new home delivery service, to The Kitchen at 44 King Street’s community fridge and Food Train’s volunteer shopper service for those most vulnerable.

Stirling based photographer Julie Howden is shining a spotlight on some of the great people keeping food on the table across Stirlingshire during the pandemic, with her Local Food Heroes project.

Julie explained: “I wanted to give back to my community by documenting the great work our local food and drink businesses are doing during the crisis. Since the lockdown, these people have become our ‘local food heroes’ through the impressive way they have mobilised to keep our community fed. My vulnerable parents for example have found farm shop deliveries to be an absolute godsend. I’ve been out and about photographing farmers, producers, restaurant owners and volunteers across the area, free of charge, to showcase the great work they are doing for our community. I’ve also given them a copy of the images so that they can use them to promote their business or organisation in these uncertain times.”

Local food and drink businesses have also been working together to support each other during the crisis and have recently launched Forth Valley Food and Drink Network. The network will help promote the area’s rich local larder, as well as provide mutual support – something which is particularly important in the current circumstances.

Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER, Stirling Council, Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise, and local communications business Stirling PR have been helping get the network off the ground.

Anne-Michelle Ketteridge from LEADER said: “In times like these, we rely on our local food networks more than ever. We hope that the legacy of this crisis will be a lasting change to buying habits. By choosing to shop local, you’re supporting the local economy and creating a robust local food supply chain that is there for us in good times and in bad.”

Food and drink suppliers interested in taking part in Julie’s photography project can contact her via her website:

For the latest local food and drink news follow Forth Valley Food and Drink on Facebook. To express an interest in joining the network fill out the form on our Membership page, join is free.

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