Embracing short supply chains, nurturing communities

In the picturesque landscapes of East Devon, a silent revolution is underway—a shift towards short supply chains that are not just reshaping commerce but nurturing the very essence of local prosperity. The importance of embracing these short supply chains for businesses in this idyllic corner of England is more than a trend; it's a transformative journey towards sustainability, community resilience, and economic vitality.   

Preserving Local Identity and Heritage

Short supply chains are the threads that weave the fabric of local identity. In East Devon, where history whispers through ancient landscapes, local businesses are the custodians of a unique heritage. By embracing short supply chains, these businesses not only preserve traditional crafts and practices but also ensure that the essence of East Devon permeates through every product and service, creating an authentic and memorable experience for residents and visitors alike.  Changemaker Champions Otterton Mill is an example of commitment to short supply chains, promoting local artisans, musicians and food producers.  Find out more about what they do here.

Reducing Environmental Footprints

In an era where sustainability is paramount, short-supply chains emerge as environmental champions. By minimizing the distance between producers and consumers, businesses in East Devon are reducing carbon footprints and promoting eco-friendly practices. From farm to table, or artisan to consumer, the shorter the supply chain, the smaller the environmental impact. This commitment to sustainability not only resonates with environmentally conscious consumers but also positions East Devon as a beacon of responsible commerce.  Our Changemaker Champion Sidmouth Trawlers are an example of a local business that is reducing food miles and bringing locally sourced fish to new consumers in Sidmouth, championing sustainable fishing techniques and sustainable fish stocks. 

Fostering Community Resilience

The interconnected web of short supply chains forms a resilient backbone for local communities. By sourcing products and services locally, businesses in East Devon are investing in their neighbours and building a network of mutual support. This resilience becomes evident in times of economic challenges, as the community stands together, bolstered by the strength of local businesses. East Devon becomes more than just a geographical location; it becomes a community that thrives together.  Think about whether you can work together with other local businesses to provide “bundle” deals to customers, maybe linking accommodation, food and drink and activities.  And promote other local businesses on your website, maybe by sharing short video clips.  Sharing and liking their social media posts can benefit everyone, too.

By working together in a connected way, seeing one another as collaborators rather than competitors, we can encourage visitors to move across East Devon, linger for longer and return to us to experience again and again all that this great region has to offer.

Empowering Local Producers and Artisans

Short supply chains empower local producers and artisans, allowing them to showcase their talents and craftsmanship. Whether it's the fresh produce from nearby farms, the handcrafted goods from skilled artisans, or the unique services provided by local professionals, East Devon's businesses are nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship and self-expression. This not only enriches the local economy but also adds a distinctive charm to the offerings that set them apart on a broader stage.  Changemaker Champion Sidmouth Hotels and Inn [link] transforms local produce into mouthwatering dishes and drinks and showcases the very best food and drink that Devon has to offer

Guests are increasingly looking for authentic experiences and a sense of place and businesses can benefit by taking very simple steps to show their passion for our area.
Tom Johnson Sabine, of the Glamping business West Meadow Cabins, near Honiton, offers special hampers of locally sourced produce.  It’s benefitted his business.  As he says: “It gives our guests an authentic taste of beautiful Devon produce, directly supports local farms and producers, helps reduce car journeys by our guests, and generates additional revenue for our business.”

Support local culture and artistic endeavours by telling your customers about any local festivals and events, and consider showcasing work by local artists in your public areas or bedrooms.  Consider nurturing local talent by inviting them to perform in your venues.   Sponsoring local festivals, events or art installations is also a great way to contribute to the vibrant cultural scene in East Devon while also getting your name in front of new customers. 

Boosting Economic Circulation

Money spent locally stays local, and short supply chains are the conduits that keep economic circulation vibrant. Businesses in East Devon, by prioritising local suppliers and services, contribute to the circular economy, creating a positive cycle of growth. This not only stimulates job creation but also ensures that the economic benefits are distributed more equitably within the community.

A Pathway to Sustainable Growth

Short supply chains are not just a buzzword; they are the pathway to sustainable growth for businesses in East Devon. By embracing this model, businesses are not only adapting to the changing landscape of commerce but are actively shaping it. The importance of short supply chains lies not just in the efficiency of transactions but in the resilience, identity, and prosperity they bring to the heart of East Devon's business community.

If you want to find out more, the UN World Tourism Organisation has produced these video guides to implementing shorter supply chains here