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Students get real world experience of local food

Students at Leeds Metropolitan University have been working with local food retailers to produce a report.

Picture - Students get real world experience of local food

Retail Marketing Management students at Leeds Metropolitan University have Looking at the success of local food marketing in North Yorkshire retail outlets.

The students, who are all studying the level five module, Managing Retail Development, were set the brief to compile a report and deliver a presentation evaluating the success of projects in local stores by Esther Pugh, Retail Lecturer, and Charlotte Foster, Community Retail Adviser for 'Making Local Food Work', after a guest lecture delivered by Charlotte in October last year.

The project has involved the students visiting stores such as The Dales Store in Birstwith, North Yorkshire, and Shop on the Green in Burnsall, North Yorkshire, which source their food from local producers and suppliers, and carrying out their own primary research.

Charlotte's lecture introduced the students to the structural change in retail and developments in consumer trends over the last 20 years which have led to the establishment of local food projects. She also discussed the reaction of supermarkets to these projects.

'Making Local Food Work' is funded by the Big Lottery Fund as part of its Changing Spaces programme and is based on the belief that the needs of consumers, producers and the land are interdependent, and that community enterprise can renew and strengthen these links to the lasting benefit of us all. The programme provides stores with advice on sourcing local food and ways of presenting it in order to increase sales.

Esther commented: "We always try to provide experiential and active learning which makes the curriculum relevant and enjoyable. Our engagement with Charlotte and the local food projects has provided just this and student feedback has been very positive."

Charlotte added: "The students were a great and diverse bunch; I have really enjoyed working with them and hope we can enjoy more collaborations in the future."

Retail student Alex Edwards said: "The people in the stores were wonderful and put the life and soul into the local food project and I really enjoyed it. This project has helped me see the relevance of what we are learning."

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