OPINION: A passion for localisation - Daisy Snow

North Devon Gazette

Hey! My name is Daisy and I run an ethical homewares company called Ian Snow Ltd, I manage the overall business, and specifically the Ian Snow, Myakka & Scrap Scrap brands and websites, we also have a shop called Sunshine and Snow in Bideford which my sister runs.Â

My dad started the business in 1977, my mum ran it from 1999 to 2019 and I’ve looked after it ever since, after leaving school at 16 desperate to be involved in the family business.Â

In the past two years it has changed dramatically from previously being a wholesale business to now multiple brands that sell online.Â

There’s constant hurdles and daily stresses but it’s a really rewarding journey and I am proud to have an independent business that stands for making positive change in the world using our voice and purchasing power as well as employing 25 or so local people.Â

Currently when not working, I am spending all my spare time renovating my first home, a 500-year-old farm house which is proving to be slightly more of a job than first thought (water dripping down the inside of walls isn’t too major surely?!)Â

I’m known for always taking on more than I can probably realistically handle which leads me to be constantly rushed off my feet and spinning a lot of plates, but I continue to always jump in headfirst so I guess I kind of like it like this or will never learn!Â

My real passions are localisation, regenerative agriculture and soil health, having grown up on a farm here in North Devon, and I’m really looking forward to sharing with you the weekly going’s on of business and farm life.Â

This past week was an exciting one as we were kindly given the opportunity to hold a little exhibition at the Burton in Bideford, alongside Josies Interiors, Sunshine & Snow and Churchpark Flowers.Â

The brief was ‘Tablescapes’, and for the Ian Snow table we decided to use the space to show two contrasting scenarios relating to food production.Â

One showing mass produced, imported, packaged food, chemically products, plastic flowers and food waste, the other showing locally grown, seasonal produce, foraging and small-scale farming, with tableware bought from the local tip and a handmade, recycled tablecloth.Â

I read through about 100 farmers weekly’s and cut out positive and negative headlines to display on each table.Â

The topic seemed very apt as later on in the week I attended the first Future Farming Resilience meeting, ‘Navigating the Agricultural Transition’, held at The Big Sheep, which is a free series of talks and advice provided by Defra and DCC for anyone with a holding number, giving information about the transition from the Basic Payment Scheme to the new Environmental Land Management Scheme.Â

From an overall outlook I am thoroughly an advocate for the subsidies to stop, just simple logic says that it is wrong that food production is a loss-making entity if it wasn’t for a government payment. Â

The transition inevitably means that change has to be on the horizon, whether that will be in the form of price increases, or maybe a restructuring where the farmer profits rather than just the supermarket their food is sold in... time will tell.Â

The change is happening for every single farmer in the UK, no matter the type or size of farm so in that respect it’s a level playing field, the more worrying aspect arises when you add cheaper imported food into the equation, environmental advantages aside, the next few years will be the most crucial time to buy British, purely if we want to have any British farmers and UK self-sufficiency left.Â