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County Council Cultivates Growth for Small-Scale Growers

Powys County Council has unveiled new planning guidance designed to stimulate the growth of small-scale horticultural businesses in the region. The initiative aims to simplify the process for establishing market gardens and smallholdings, addressing the need for proximity between growers' homes and their enterprises.

Despite evidence suggesting the high productivity and profitability of such ventures, the council highlights that a significant proportion of fruit and vegetable consumption relies on produce not grown within Powys or even the UK. Matt Perry, the council's chief officer, emphasises the potential for local cultivation to bolster the economy, ensure a reliable supply of fresh produce, and reduce carbon footprints.

The council encourages small-scale growers to explore financial support available through the Welsh government's Food Business Accelerator Scheme.

It further notes that local horticultural businesses can achieve notable productivity and profitability from relatively small sites, contributing to wider environmental benefits and healthier lifestyles through access to fresh, nutritious local food.

This move signifies a conscious effort to reverse the decline in fruit and vegetable production observed since the 1950s, tapping into the potential for "re-localisation" of food sources.


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