Is it slightly bonkers to be excited about a veg box? I’ve just ordered our first box from Riverford Organic Farmers and am really looking forward to receiving it. We opted for the zero packaging organic veg box (priced at £15.35), as this is something very important to us and we have been trying (and sadly often failing during the lockdown period) to reduce our non recyclable waste.
One of the knock on effects of the Corona Virus pandemic has been the closure of small family run businesses. I am thinking very specifically of the greengrocers in our local town centre where we often bought our fruit and veg prior to the pandemic. We loved this particular greengrocer because most of the veg was loose so you could pick the volume you wanted and brown paper bags were provided to put them in (the above photo was taken pre-lockdown and is typically what we purchased from there). Excellent – little waste and no plastic! Plus, it was a local business and by choosing them we were helping to buoy the local economy.
Sadly the shop being very small (very difficult to socially distance) and shopping in the larger supermarkets being more expedient and often cheaper; was fatal for our greengrocers. Large supermarket chains benefit from economies of scale i.e purchasing power: they can buy in greater volume at a cheaper price, making it difficult for smaller businesses to compete on price and availability. Ever was it so – but with the additional strain of lockdown restrictions and social distancing it has became unviable for many small businesses to continue operating. I must confess that I was complicit in this shift. Owing to travel restrictions we were forced to solely use the nearby supermarket. It’s sad.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’ve replaced one big business with another by opting for Riverford over the supermarket. The difference is, is that Riverford Organics is a certified B Corporation, meaning that it is an ethical business striving to benefit people and the planet over profit. Naturally I would encourage people to support local businesses first, but where this is difficult, choose the most ethical option you can.
Our first box is scheduled to be delivered next Thursday and I plan on writing up my first impressions of the quality and value for money of the box when it arrives. I’m really hoping that it will also inspire some kitchen creativity as we have become stuck in something of a vegetable rut recently – first world problems eh!
Just as an additional note, I am in no way affiliated with Riverford Organic Farmers and plan to shop around and try out other B Corp veg box suppliers.