Veg Box People is part of the family of enterprises incubated & supported by Kindling.
We launched our organic box scheme in the summer of 2015, in partnership with the University of Manchester. Veg Box People connects Manchester residents with some of the freshest most local organic produce around, and by delivering to community ‘hubs’ rather than individual homes it saves on transport, means customers don’t have to wait in for delivery, and keeps the scheme really affordable. We’re currently delivering to the University of Manchester, Work for Change in Hulme and Bridge 5 Mill in Ancoats.
Customers sign up to a weekly order, available to pick up from one of the hubs each Tuesday. To find out how it works and see if it’s for you, check out the Veg Box People website.
Veg Box People is helping to build the market for organic veg grown in the NorthWest; sourcing largely from the most local veg growers to Manchester. It has a unique relationship with Kindling’s two FarmStart sites in North Cheshire and Stockport, supporting a new generation of trainee growers to supply Manchester with the freshest organic veg around. From Stockport tomatoes and mange tout to Knutsford kale and fennel – this is a truly local box scheme!
As well as bringing customers great fresh produce, the scheme also offers its members the chance to create real connections with what they’re eating, with working farm visits, seasonal socials to meet the growers, and weekly updates about how the scheme fits into the wider picture of the alternative food economy we’re building. Alex, Kindling's FarmStart Co-ordinator says "Veg Box People is a great help in reconnecting people with their local growers. I know it's always great to hear how excited box customers have been about the veg we've provided from our FarmStart sites!"
Veg Box People is a member of the Manchester Veg People co-operative, which works to reconnect growers and buyers to increase understanding and fairness in the food supply chain. In contrast with wholesalers, Manchester Veg People's farmers work with the buyers to plan their crops according to demand. This means that produce is grown specially and is harvested to order – consequently it's much fresher than produce that has been in transit and in storage for a number of days. It also provides a more stable way of working for the farmers, who know they have a market for their produce, and will be paid fairly for it.
Veg Box People are working hard to create a small (but perfectly formed) food supply chain. It is building a viable alternative to the current system, one which shares the risks and rewards and can bring affordable, healthy and sustainable food to everyone.
Elsa Lee, food blogger at Elsa Eats, tells us why her weekly box is important to her.... "I love that I’m supporting local farmers and that my money isn’t going to conglomerates- that’s a big thing. Eating local food also means that you’re eating seasonally. Many of the ingredients used in Chinese cooking aren’t grown in the UK; for me, getting a veg box is an easy way of reducing the amount of airfreighted veg in my diet. There are some things we can’t grow here, but there’s still so much that you can". Read the full interview here.