Food business aims to inspire community veg-box schemes nationwide

A social enterprise supplying local food in east London has launched a programme to help other communities set up their own vegetable box schemes across the UK

Growing Communities, based in Hackney, has run its own successful fruit and vegetable box scheme for the past 18 years. It has now launched a programme called Start-Up with the aim of using its model of community-led trade to support other groups to do the same.

Last year a pilot project for Start-Up helped five groups in south London, Margate, Burnley, Manchester and Moffat in Scotland, to set up their own veg-box schemes.

“These are now thriving and supplying sustainably and locally produced fruit and veg to their local communities,” said Growing Communities. These schemes have also generated new jobs and each support at least eight local organic farms and two wholesalers in their local areas.

Growing Communities aims to take on a further six groups during 2012. “One day, we’d like everyone to shop and eat this way,” said Richenda Wilson of Growing Communities.