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Amazing Essential doubling donations to Bristol Local Food Fund

Updated: Mar 5


Image of around 30 Essential staff outside their warehouse on their recent open day
Some of the Essential staff on their recent open day

As winter sets in again, the cost of living crisis and food insecurity continue to impact thousands of people across our city. Community food projects are working hard to help people as much as possible, but they need far more resources and support.


That’s why Bristol Local Food Fund is aiming to raise at least £150,000 in 2024, to support community food projects and help build a city of food justice.


And today we’re thrilled to announce an amazing £5,000 match-funding boost from Essential, one of Bristol’s most brilliant and long-standing food businesses.

Essential doubling donations From today, every donation to Bristol Local Food Fund will be matched pound-for-pound, up to £5,000, by Essential. We think this sets a shining example for other Bristol’s businesses and also perfectly encapsulates Essential’s held values and ethos.

Two female Essential staff load up an order at the warehouse

Based in Fishponds, in East Bristol, Essential is a cooperative business, founded in 1971 with an impressive track record of sourcing and supplying ethical wholefoods, practicing sustainability, supporting independent businesses and working with local communities.


Essential is one of the largest worker co-operatives in the UK, owned and operated by their staff, and a pioneer of vegetarian, vegan, organic, sustainable and ‘free-from’ foods.


As a worker cooperative, Essential values the voices of its workers, encouraging participation and keeping decision-making power with the people who run the organisation. This ethos has a strong synergy with BLFF’s use of participatory grantmaking - giving decision-making power to a Citizens Panel of people with lived experience of food insecurity because we believe it makes funding much more effective.

Community and charity support

Essential have continually supported charities and communities across the South West, including the Marmalade Trust, St. Michael’s Maternity Hospital, FareShare South West, The Hatch Camphill Community, Eastville Park Food Club, and the League Against Cruel Sports. And we were grateful when they supported BLFF’s first crowdfunder video, created by Bristol-based filmmaker Sam Cole (thanks Sam!) Essential also supports local food growing. In 2022 they worked with Sims Hill Shared Harvest - one of the first BLFF grantees - to finance vegetable boxes for residents of Bristol who otherwise may not have access to nutritious, seasonal, and locally grown food.

Donate and support

Please become a supporter of Bristol Local Food Fund today. Every donation helps community food projects to build a city of food justice and if you get in quick, with Essential’s help, the impact of your donation will be doubled!

Donate to the Bristol Local Food Fund here: www.bristollocalfoodfund.com/donate


Find out more about Essential: https://essential-trading.coop/


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