Call for a new era of localism


Businesses in Cornwall need to take control of their own future – that’s the message from Dr Alan Knight OBE ahead of the Cornwall Sustainability Awards.

Dr Alan Knight
Dr Alan Knight

Dr Knight has been at the forefront of many leading resource initiatives including the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) organisation.

“We started FSC 20 years ago because we had a global resources issue surrounding wood, particularly hardwood and de-forestation.

“Now we face a resources issue surrounding energy and food for example and similar actions need to be taken.”

He believes that Cornwall can future proof its own resources and by doing so can spearhead a new movement of localism.

“Localism can often be misunderstood, but it’s really the only way that counties such as Cornwall, that are logistically challenged, will be competitive in the future.

“As we enter a global energy supply crisis, prices will continue to increase.

“Community groups, like the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network, that own the means to generate power, will be financially more stable and secure than those that don’t.

“The so called Big Six energy companies have already shown us which way the market is going and they plan further increases in the future.

“The same is true when dealing with food and this is an area where Cornwall has distinct advantage to other parts of the UK as we have an abundance of really good farmland.

“Buying locally safeguards our own economy, reduces our dependence on external supply, cleans up the supply chain and will ultimately stop costs from spiraling out of control.”

Dr Knight warns that there is no overnight solution.

“None of these are short-term fixes, these are long term solutions for an ever growing planetary population.”

Dr Knight says that businesses who haven’t considered these problems before are missing a trick.

“Cornish businesses can make a real difference to both the economy and security of the county by thinking about these issues and moving towards economic and resource sustainability.

“It’s not about being ‘eco’ or ‘green’, or saving the planet for that matter, it’s about good resource management for a growing population.

“If Cornwall gets it right then it can safeguard its own future and growth, if not then it will be reliant on global markets as opposed to supplying them.”

Dr Alan Knight will be delivering the keynote speech at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards that takes place the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay on Friday, December 6.

To book a free ticket, click here.


  1. If some of the larger businesses, and organisations, controlling work in Cornwall, invested (and placed work) with businesses investing, and retaining profits, in Cornwall, growth, new jobs and economic prosperity would be self-perpetuating.

    Value, and mutual benefits, can be gained be gained by working co-operatively. Value IS NOT buying for the cheapest price. Cheap does not deliver apprenticeships, jobs and investment in staff.

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