11 February 2021

Processing Surplus in a Community Kitchen

Flavour partners use Belta community kitchen

processing gleaned pumpkin

Over in Brighton, three Flavour project partners have set up processing pilots in a shared kitchen space. In October 2020, Feedback, FareShare Sussex and the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership moved into the kitchen of the Bristol Estate Community Room in the east of the city and have been working to a schedule for their respective usage. And with remote support from Vives in Flanders, these pilots have now developed their products to extend the shelf-life of surplus produce and are beginning the production phase.

The Feedback team, having gleaned and stored several tonnes of squash in the autumn, is making pumpkin soup, which will be sterilised in an autoclave purchased with Flavour funding. The machine was dispatched from Barcelona in mid-December and took until the first week of February to arrive due to the freight disruptions caused by covid and Brexit. Phil Holtam from Feedback said “We were inspired by the quality and longevity of the fish soup made by Panier de La Mere when we visited Boulogne in March 2020, so hopefully our soup can live up to their example”. The processing will be done by local young people hired on Living Wage paid internships, who have been receiving induction and training in recent weeks. And the products will sold in independent shops in Brighton under the brand ‘Sussex Surplus’ as well as distributed through a network of social projects supporting people in food insecurity.

Meanwhile, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership have purchased an industrial dehydrator to create dried vegetable stew packs to go out through a network of organisations providing emergency food support.

Despite high covid rates in the area and lockdown measures creating a difficult working environment this winter, the pilots have made progress and will be processing throughout 2021.