1. Creating a viable alternative to the food systems we are so reliant upon.
District Eating creates new indoor food growing sites, which provide green job opportunities while cutting the agricultural and transport emissions compared to traditional food growing. We also work with local authorities to develop community and educational sites, as well as helping people to discover new horticultural business opportunities. Producing food locally is an excellent way to create local economic growth. This could encourage people to not only buy their food locally but will bring people to surrounding small businesses too.
2. Harnessing waste heat for new industrial revenues, cost efficiency and reducing greenhouse emissions.
We have to be realistic about how industries can adapt. We connect industrial waste heat producers to a market. Greenhouses and vertical farms, as part of the horticultural industry, are a perfect market for the waste heat because they use heating, cooling, power and CO2 all year round. Utilising waste CO2 is a great way for business to reduce their net carbon emissions in the push for Net Zero 2050.
3. Revitalising communities with a holistic approach.
Employment, wellbeing and education are important to us. In 2018, the UK imported 80% of fruit and 44% of all vegetables. We aim to reduce these environmental and transportation costs by growing right here. This brings economic and societal gains to our doorstep, and reduces our environmental impact. Our success is compounded by putting people at the heart of it. Community work gives people an opportunity to learn about growing and innovations in farming. Spending time connecting with nature can improve your mental health and well-being. With 1 in 4 of the UK population experiencing mental health problems, this could be an amazing opportunity to create larger support bubbles, greener spaces and focus the mind on something new and exciting.
District Eating works alongside their other company Tomson consulting that provides carbon audits for farms, assesses biodiversity on arable land and identifies opportunities to enhance it. This includes habitat creation, restoration, efficient farming methods and rigorous monitoring to ensure a beneficial effect. Tomson also focuses on carbon management and how businesses can reduce scope 1,2 & 3 emissions in a way that is profitable and doesn’t affect productivity.
The work we do decentralises food growing, improving community food security and resilience. We are creative in how we work, too. There could be a wall, atrium or rooftop in your local area that provides an unexpected opportunity to reap food, community benefits and carbon reduction from waste heat.
By Pippa Lorimer
District Eating and Tomson Consultancy work hand in hand. The consultancy provides vital funding for our projects, which as we all know can be a real challenge to secure. This model means we use people's expertise to improve arable sustainability and biodiversity, and this in turn creates even more positive social and environmental change through District Eating projects.
A lot of our projects come with significant infrastructure costs, which can be hard to justify when food is considered by many as a cheap commodity. In the UK we are not used to paying the true price of food, and recent reports on improving food security have not had their conclusions embraced. At District Eating we champion the importance of reducing food supply chains, increasing urban productivity and engaging people with them food systems as these skills are going to be sorely needed as the climate emergency continues to make itself felt.
The biggest strength of District Eating and Tomson Consultancy is that our projects are multi-disciplinary, and we have learnt that together we are better than the sum of our parts. Our projects include design, engineering, accounting, horticulture, sustainability, and business intelligence. We are looking to use growing tip to advance productivity and streamline data from horticulture and system processes so we can carbon account and enable viable businesses. We have a very strong internal team as well as a number of consultants and partners who are also at the top of their industry's.
Setting up any businesses is stressful and there is a pressure to work long hours and focus purely on productivity and the bottomline. At District Eating and Tomson Consultancy we do things differently; prioritising the family and the team. A happy engaged work force produces great work, go the extra mile and have the energy to think outside the box. Our team is our strength.