Running a close second on the emotion scale to the GM food/organics furore, the challenges around local sourcing are rarely out of sight, as was demonstrated at this week's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee hearing. Anecdotal evidence suggests many consumers would "buy local," were the produce consistently available, but too many distribution and availability problems remain for enough local sourcing projects to become commercial reality. But at least the topic has been given fresh impetus by the Curry Report which declares that the time has come for locality food marketing to become mainstream in Britain as it already has in, whisper it, France. And Curry, while recognising the work done by the Countryside Agency in pump-priming some schemes, says that the management of regional food should transfer to Food from Britain and its five regional food groups. An excellent idea. In the same way that the IGD is the most appropriate body to facilitate Curry's proposal for a Food Chain Centre, Food from Britain, with its proven track record in waving the flag for our producers at home and abroad, is the ideal motivator for a new initiative to devise more professional strategies for regional food and drink. Curry talks sense when he calls for professionallymanaged collaborative ventures developing processing units which should have a high priority for grant funding and government-aided capital venture initiatives. Sadly, however, there is a danger that many of his proposals could become bogged down in the Whitehall mire as Mrs B and her DEFRA gang fight the tight-fisted Treasury mandarins. The buy local' issue ­ given the rich vein of added-value potential still to be tapped ­ should be among the priorities for extra government funding. DEFRA ministers have consistently lined up with vocal support. They should be knocking on Gordon Brown's door as a matter of urgency. {{OPINION }}