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Green is the new Red

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Whether it provides a real benefit or is merely a PR stunt, Liverpool are starting to grow their own locally produced, organic food for matchday catering.

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Liverpool Pre-Season Tour Of the US
Ah yes, locally grown, 100% organic donuts.

When you think about all the day-to-day operations that must go on behind closed doors to keep a major football club functioning, farming is probably pretty far down that list (if on the list at all). Of course, Liverpool does provide catering to its clientele and that food has to come from somewhere.

Now, for at least some of the food served at Anfield, that somewhere will be a 1200 square meter urban farm, located in the Tuebrook area. According to the club the allotment will be used “ to grow and harvest seasonal produce, including fruit, vegetables and honey, on a scale that assists the matchday catering operation.” For those who like bees, 10,000 have been introduced to the site, presumably to scare off small children and/or produce honey.

It is unclear whether this is part of Liverpool’s “Reds Going Green” initiative (one that by all appearances seems to have fallen by the wayside), or just part of their overall community outreach efforts. Regardless, the allotment was built with sustainability in mind, utilizing reclaimed wood and wire mesh from the recently completed Main Stand renovation, and garden furniture made from recycled plastic bottles. Moreover, all food will be grown organically.

The question of how much food transportation actually adds to our carbon footprint is one of great debate, but it is generally agreed upon that locally produced food is better, particularly when it is organically produced.

The club refers to it as their “first allotment” which might imply more city farms if this one is a success, though that is mere speculation on my part.

“We are really pleased to be able to utilize this land to grow our own fresh produce,” Liverpool general manager of hospitality, tourism and events, Paul Cuttill said. “We hope the allotment will play a valuable role in our catering operation and also the local community.

“The produce from the allotment will hopefully go a long way to help promote healthy eating and it is brilliant that it will be utilized in the new Main Stand.”

So. Liverpool now own and operate a garden. However, I feel like they missed a golden opportunity to show Simon Mignolet picking fresh pears.