The Oral Histories Project is a collaboration between Bristol Food Connections festival, the University of the West of England, and Bristol Food Producers.
A significant proportion of people are disconnected from where their food comes from. Where once there were strong relationships between farmers and consumers, many people now have little idea where the food they eat is produced or who the people are who are growing and raising it. This disconnection means that there is little understanding of agriculture or land management, and a lack of awareness about how the food we eat impacts on the environment and ecology of our land.
Faced with competition from supermarkets and cheap imported food, many farmers and producers are struggling to run viable businesses, especially those who are choosing to farm in ways which preserve the countryside and conserve nature and the environment. In addition, this lack of connection means that local producers are not being valued or supported by their community, meaning that food is often transported from further afield and abroad, leading to higher food miles and produce that isn’t as fresh or healthy.
This project, run by Bristol Food Connections, aims to reconnect people with our rural hinterland by introducing some of the farmers and food producers in and around Bristol, capturing the stories of the people who feed us and why they farm, what their life as a farmer is like, and how COVID-19 has impacted them as producers.