Tuesday, May 8, 2012
- Green Thinking from Crop to Crumb
Green Party members Natalie Bennett (left) and Ben Samuel (right) visited the Bread Factory this week to show their support for this important project providing healthy food to local people while investing in a fleet with zero carbon pollution. The Green Party passed new policy at its recent National Conference offering more support to local food initiatives. The Greens recognised the vital role they can play in providing fresher, more healthy food, addressing growing food poverty and greening local communities. Of course the new fleet is also more environmentally friendly, relying less on dirty diesel (£110 a tank) and making our food distribution systems less reliant on fuel. Ben Samuel, 25, who lives in the Brent Cross community said ‘We would like to see more of these fleets and see them getting better infrastructure from Barnet Council. The Council should be supporting local food by ensuring their procurement process makes use of local produce. The Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration should also be used to encourage the inclusion of food growing spaces that can be used by the community and unused land should be made available for people to grow their own food, whether you're into rocket or coleslaw sandwich fillings’.
The director of the Bread Factory said, "This initiative came out of thinking about how we take care of the environment. We have here two electric vans. We hope to get two more. The other thing is the electricity it is fed by is now fed by solar or wind, so as I was saying to the Green Party it is zero emissions. We hope to do our small change from our small perspective here in Hendon"
Alon from Oreo V representing the new vans said... I think this is an historic movement. We believe the revolution of electric cars starts here. Electric vehicles are more efficient. All trains are now electric. It is very brave to be taking that first step.
Natalie Bennett, said "John Lewis had electric delivery vans. Back then there was hundreds and hundreds of different sorts of vehicles on our roads, especially adapted by their manufacturers to be suited to the job. We got away from that with mass production and so what you have now is vehicles that are probably designed for running around motorways at high speed and high energy capacities and I was hearing earlier today lots of them do 60-80 km a day around London and the average speed in London is 7 mph (12 kph). So what you are doing is going back to the future! Back to the right vehicle for the right job which means that we are also producing on a small scale with the right thing for the right job. Now this is the sort of industry that we in the Green Party believe we need and that of course mirrors what you are doing with bread too because you are employing lots of (300) people and you said earlier that you value your people too. And what we need is we need jobs, we need energy efficiency and we need quality products and you are delivering all of those, congratulations."
The manufacturer told me informally the battery now weighs only 150 kg, and I asked him if there was evidence that it goes 100 miles; of course the answer was yes. I also asked them if the Bread Factory had any plans for green roofs.
Stop press: The Greens are now the third party in London ahead of the Lib-Dems, according to the last Assembly Poll which uses a proportional system. The Green constituency candidate for the Assembly got nearly 11% of votes cast, behind local Tory Brian Coleman, but ahead of the Lib-Dem.