Food bags make growers’ scheme a growing’ business
A SMALL organic produce business in East London is beating the recession by marketing food bags’ cheaply to its member’ customers—who often volunteer to help it tick along. Now the Organiclea Community Growers’ vegetable scheme near the River Lea, celebrating its first birthday this month, is aiming for a target of selling 100 bags a week
A SMALL organic produce business in East London is beating the recession by marketing food bags’ cheaply to its member’ customers—who often volunteer to help it tick along.
Now the Organiclea Community Growers’ vegetable scheme near the River Lea, celebrating its first birthday this month, is aiming for a target of selling 100 bags a week.
The co-operative, with its outlet at Walthamstow’s Hornbeam centre in Hoe Street, has become popular on the ethos of very local’ produce as well as organic foods.
Fruit and veg arrive from gardens and allotments in the Waltham Forest area every Wednesday morning.
You may also want to watch:
Surplus potatoes, extra chard, apples or plums from a garden tree in Leyton are sorted and put with the regular delivery from small organic farmers in Norfolk and Cambridge.
- 1 Tower Hamlets votes to keep directly-elected mayoral post
- 2 Election 2021: Live updates for GLA seat and referendums
- 3 Early front-runners for Leyton Orient managerial vacancy
- 4 Leyton Orient defender Josh Coulson set to depart
- 5 Blaze at Canary Wharf tower block with cladding issue
- 6 Racist vandalism keyed on cars parked in street on Isle of Dogs
- 7 Politicians join forces on referendum about Tower Hamlets mayor
- 8 Mayor or leader: Your choice on May 6
- 9 Leyton Orient searching for a new manager as they bid farewell to McAnuff
- 10 'I'm backing leader and cabinet model in Tower Hamlets referendum'
“Our growth has been less affected by the credit crunch than some other high street businesses,” said Organiclea member Clare Joy.
“We wonder if this is because of the different reasons we are here—our members are not simply consumers’. This shields us from the rollercoaster of market forces.”
Workers and volunteers pack the bags, and prepare bulk orders to be delivered by bike and trailer.
The produce is split between the bags and is ready to be picked up by 4pm.
Box scheme members then arrive for their fresh, local bag of organic supplies.
The box’ scheme is set to get even more local.’
By next year it is hoped that up to 30 per cent of the bags will be grown no further away than Chingford, just four miles up the road, from Organiclea’s new growing site’ and nursery.
Box Scheme coordinator Rebecca Tully explained: “Our aim is to make this a sustainable business, otherwise it couldn’t continue.
“But we’re trying to do this creatively. Volunteers help out on flexible basis, learning more about food production and perhaps for work experience, and this keeps the project ticking along in a more stable way.”
She added: “The benefits from this community involvement are that one more shop-front stays filled, people understand their area and feel safer, and people’s money stays in the community.”
But they admit Organiclea can only continue if people use it. So this modest co-operative is ambitiously aiming to sell 100 bags a week by its second birthday.
They can be reached by email here or by phone on: 07588-422263.