I was contacted recently by my friends at the Midlands Co-op to tell me about their new limited edition range of jams and chutneys which have just gone on sale in over 50 of their Leicestershire stores. The story is truly inspiring and I wanted to share it with you.
Midlands Co-operative has been working with a local charity, Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council (SLNC), to produce the range which includes Saffron Acres spiced plum jam and Saffron Acres spiced apple chutney for £1.89 as part of the Locally Sourced range. Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council is a charity based in one of the most deprived areas in the East Midlands. They created the Saffron Acres Project which saw twelve acres of disused land in inner-city Leicester transformed into a thriving food growing project with the aim to ‘grow people out of poverty’. The project now grows anything from everyday fruit and vegetables to the more exotic crops found around the world.
The Saffron Acres Project, which has been running since 2006, invites volunteers to help grow and pick food from the site. These volunteers include young people and adults from all backgrounds from the long term unemployed, those who have disabilities, or ex-offenders. In return, they have the opportunity to be involved in the community and gain work experience and life skills. Around 100kgs of plums and 150kgs of apples were picked as part of the Saffron Acres Project to make the delicious jam and chutney. The fruit was converted into jam and chutney by volunteers from Leicester College’s Learning for Living course, a course for adults with learning difficulties. Neil Hodgkin, Head of Development from Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council said: “Our charity has been working with volunteers and Leicester College students for the last few months to get products onto shelves in time for Christmas and we’re thrilled to see our jam and chutney in stores now. “Everyone involved has been so helpful and positive towards getting Saffron Acres jam and chutney to sale. As a result, our charity will benefit from the proceeds received from sales and we’re looking to continuing the relationship in the new year.”
Watch this video to find out more and be warned, it’ll warm your cockles and make you proud that there are companies out there who are looking out for their local community and aren’t just bothered about their own bottom line.
Saffron Acres Spiced Plum Jam and Saffron Acres Spiced Apple Chutney are available for £1.89 each from selected stores in and around Leicester* for a limited time, with an additional 10p of profits donated to Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council. Find out which stores are selling the jams and chutneys online here.