Bude For Food

Bude For Food pulled off a festival nothing short of spectacular

As the sun bled its neon line into another horizon, drawing a close to the town’s highly successful event, many people were able to avoid thinking of bleak poverty. In fact, statistics from Eurostat recently demonstrated that average wages in the Duchy now stand at just £14,300 a year. This compares to a national average of £23,300. Due to increases in cost of living, people in Cornwall have less spending power than Eastern Bloc countries such as Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania and Hungary.

An intense marketing campaign headed by tireless committee members and excited festival goers made #BudeForFood go viral; trending on twitter. Michelin star chefs were tweeting about it, Charlie ‘Long Way Round’ Boorman was tweeting about it and for 2 days Bude loomed large on the radar. The buzz throughout the town was tangible; unrivalled by even its annual jazz festival. Fostering a real community feel, members of the Bude & North Cornwall community came together to celebrate their unique town and all it has to offer.

Michelin star chef, Paul Ainsworth, from Number 6 Padstow, recent winner of the Great British Menu and in The Good Food Guide’s Top 50 Restaurants gave a live demonstration. He said, “Bude for food is incredible. I’ve done my fair share of festivals and you guys have nailed it, it’s just brilliant. The people involved and all the community should be incredibly proud. We’ve only got it quite big in Padstow which is an established town so to do something like this for your first one has blown me away, it’s brilliant”

Young people from CATS (Community Action Through Sport) and CATS Youth Hub; plus the Bude scouts; who worked under the fantastic lead of Annie Winsland (CATS), Skip (Bude scouts), and the amazing Patrick Frost of Integer training, Bude; helped coordinate and steward the festival. Integer are a national provider of vocational training who helped lead and train a team of young volunteers in events, stewarding and security; empowering young people and adults by building up new skills and confidence, and in some cases gaining qualifications and free training at the festival, in the events sector.

Bude For Food is more than just a fantastic festival in Cornwall. Its objectives are to put Bude on the map, not just for great food; but as a year round destination. Increasing tourism; extending the season; creating employment and effectively developing the local economy, as part of a grass roots initiative by the community, for the community; are some of the bigger issues raised by the festival.

Its focus now is on creating a wealth of new opportunities and pathways to employment, education and training; using events and activities to promote and develop workshops and training placements. These will benefit sectors as diverse as hospitality and media;  horticulture and community development; and many other careers.

Work within local schools aims to bring Bude together to create a new local network of action; promoting education and information around good food, food provenance, health and wellbeing, and sustainability. As well as promoting great food, their aim is to develop further activities that help tackle local issues in a fun, informal and engaging way . These include food poverty, food equality, training, education and employment. Currently wages in the area are  around 36% lower than the EU average with many families having low aspirations. Events such as this pull the community together and inspire young people to seek careers that support them.

Martin Dorey, the Camper Van Cook (BBC2) will be leading a Wild Food Weekend from 23-25 May 2015.