Lobbying to change government policy to encourage more use of local food is a policy that’s succeeding, says Emma Hockridge, a project manager with Sustain. A 27-year-old farmer’s daughter from Crediton in Devon, she is the latest Massey Ferguson Face of the Future and is passionate about local food and local communities.

Sustain lobbies government on behalf of more than 100 organisations that range from the NFU to the Butterfly Conservation Group. The organisation has scored some notable successes, particularly in running pilot projects that encourage hospitals and care homes to use more locally-sourced food. It also promotes good quality, affordable food that helps maintain – economically, socially and health-wise – local communities.

Emma also believes that small to medium sized farms are the best way of ensuring that profits circulate within the local community and are the ideal vehicle for protecting the countryside.

“A New Economics Foundation study showed that £10 spent on a vegetable box brought £25 of trade to the local community. But £10 spent at a supermarket brings just £14 to the local community, partly because most of the profit goes back to a central headquarters.”

To see the full text of the interview with Emma Hockridge and the19 other MF Faces of the Future that have been published in Farmers Weekly since the series began in September 2005, click on the link.

If you think you’d make a good Face of the Future – or you know someone else who fits the bill – get in touch. You need to be under 35, making good headway in farming or a related industry and have definite views about the future of the sector. Email david.cousins@rbi.co.uk  

Massey Ferguson is also sponsoring the Young Farmer of the Year category in the 2007 Farmers Weekly awards. To enter see www.farmersweeklyawards.co.uk