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A guide for community groups that want to grow and sell food in our towns and cities
A Growing Trade A guide for community groups that want to grow and sell food in our towns and cities
Cover images Top: Volunteers at the Brockwell Park Surgery, Capital Growth, South West London Bottom: French beans for sale at the London Honey Festival 2011, from Cordwainer Gardens, East London
Notes Introduction The problem with our food system Communities growing their own Funding for community food growing Community food growing - growing up A Growing Trade Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food Finding the plot Help with negotiating land Taking on land for commercial purposes Community food growing and the Allotment Act Selling produce from allotment land Using buildings for growing and selling food Planning permission Jobs, apprenticeships and volunteers Creating jobs through trading produce Selling community grown produce as part of a wider trading enterprise Apprenticeships: Growing a work force Volunteers Local investment in your venture Community Supported Agriculture Going private Finding customers and promoting what you do Market research Planning your route to market Unique selling points Communicating with your customers Urban Crops Salads, herbs and niche crops Honey Fish Processed produce The right market Selling directly to restaurants Distributing through a box scheme Selling from a market stall ii 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 7 9 9 9 13 14 14 18 18 21 22 23 27 28 29 29 30 33 35 35 35 35 40 40 44 45 Preparing produce to sell Safe soil Labelling Organic certification Packaging Weights and measures Permits and licensing to sell food from a market stall Public liability insurance What should you do with the money you make? Having a bank account Taking money Pricing Money: the who, how and what. What kind of enterprise? Business planning Unincorporated associations Incorporation Directory of case studies Avon Organic Group Ecoworks FARM:shop Food From the Sky Growing Communities Moffat CAN Organiclea The Wenlock Herb Garden Other interviewed projects and examples of community trading Funding and local food organisations Funding organisations Other Useful Organisations: National Regional support and local networks London Appendix 1: A guide to selling fruit and vegetables Appendix 2: Template invoice Appendix 3: A Basic Costing Spreadsheet References Photo credits Thanks 47 48 48 48 49 49 49 49 51 52 52 53 54 57 58 58 59 61 62 62 63 63 64 64 64 65 65 67 68 68 69 69 71 72 72 74 75 75
What kind of food? This report covers mainly fruit and vegetable cultivation and sales, as these are the most common crops produced in our town and cities. There are also fewer regulations governing their production and sale, than there are for livestock products. However, there are examples of animal products including honey, eggs and fish being produced and sold in an urban environment. Geography Many of the case studies in this report are based in London. This is because there has been major financial investment in community food growing projects in London in recent years. Also the large and diverse London population provides a significant market, allowing a number of pioneering urban food growing projects to develop. However, we are very keen to hear from projects outside of London. If you are part of a community food growing project that is trading, and you want to share your experience with others, please get in touch. Disclaimer The guidance offered in this report is an introduction to some of the issues to consider. To put your community trading ideas into practice we recommend getting professional advice. Suggestions for appropriate organisations to contact and documents to consult for professional and legal advice are highlighted throughout this report.
AA Growing Trade Growing Trade
loss of wildlife and other damage to our environment2. get some independence (from short-term grants) and contribute to the economic vitality of their neighbourhood. More recently. land and air to our plates. sea. There has also been a loss of local jobs. food is moving back into public eye. Our food travels long distances down vulnerable and destructive supply chains by. and often out of the country. 2 A Growing Trade . in wealthy countries like the UK. Communities growing their own These concerns about the problems caused by how our food is produced might lie behind the resurgence. they can also improve the appearance of the local environment and strengthen relationships in local communities by bringing life and activity to disused areas. However. of more people buying more local food and growing some themselves. skills and expertise in food production. the food supply to our urban areas is largely invisible. alongside low animal welfare standards. The problem with our food system Food production and distribution has always played an important role in the development of towns and cities in the UK. as is awareness of how it has been produced. and food production shapes where and how we live1. This is made possible by cheap fossil fuels. These food growing projects are not only empowering people to take back control over how their food is produced and sold. A Growing Trade looks at the nuts and bolts of how this can happen and the opportunities for community food growing projects to trade more of their own produce and. in doing so. as our food is produced out of sight. in recent years. making our food system a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.What can be more exciting and sustainable than buying vegetables and herbs grown by someone down the road? Having a chef serve fresh organic salad from a community food growing site harvested just hours before service? Buying delicious urban honey at a local farmers market? These are just some of the amazing examples of food that is being grown by local people in our towns and cities and sold to local people who are keen to buy it. At the same time as food gardening by individuals and families is on the rise. so are food growing projects by communities.
012 new community food growing spaces by the end of 2012 is being run by Sustain and supported by the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery as part of the London Food Strategy5. Community food growing . helping community food enterprises to become more successful and resilient through trading in food4. Funding for community food growing In recognition of these factors.growing up Many. all trying to create their own thriving local food economies and produce more of their own food. such as Brighton. to pay for tools and materials. Perhaps more important. services and/or or training – can help projects continue after their grants come to an end. The Big Lottery also invested in the Making Local Food Work programme. Smaller towns too are also taking action from MoffatCAN in the South of Scotland to Transition Penwith in Cornwall.000 hectares of land available in the city that would be suitable for urban food growing6. Other cities are also adopting policies to support more community food growing initiatives. providing £50 million towards local food initiative through the Local Food Fund. Introduction 3 . disbursed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts3. trading can also better embed them in their local communities by providing services that benefit local people and other local businesses. Significant investment has come from the Big Lottery. the Capital Growth campaign for 2. Produced in harmony with the seasons. community food growing projects have been established with small-scale grant funding. urban food travels the least distance. or sometimes to pay the wages of full or part-time staff to coordinate the project.Weaving the production and distribution of food into the fabric of the urban structure brings food as close to the market place as possible. urban food growing projects been funded by a range of organisations. Bristol and Manchester. if not most. Developing at least some level of trading – in food. requires less energy for refrigeration and is at its peak in terms of freshness. and without dangerous chemicals. In the 2011 publication “Who Feeds Bristol?” Bristol City Council learned that they have 2. In London.
with practical guidance. What is clear is that community food growing and trading allows communities to take back control over how their food is produced and play an important part in a sustainable and viable food system. In the UK. of course. This report explores some trading models that are being pioneered by urban food growing projects from around the country and highlights some of the key features of how they operate.The market for food with good provenance is also riper than ever with more people wanting to know by who and where their food is produced. Indeed in some ways. For others the trading element may not be central but may complement other activities or be used for community outreach or fundraising. but not yet common. For some projects they may become a successful trading enterprise. who conducted the research. 4 A Growing Trade . this should be easier. while for some projects trading will simply not be appropriate. and being undercut by other competition. It aims to encourage. In their 2011 ‘Small is Successful’ report. The elephant in the room (or perhaps the slug on the lettuce!) is whether food trading on a larger scale is viable for small community projects. more urban food growing projects to start. as urban growers are closer to larger numbers of customers. examples of economically successful urban food producers and robust community-led food trading are exciting and very promising. such as a lack of skills and knowledge in running a business. They are often working in spite of local circumstances. to decide how they want to operate. rather than being well supported by local people and local authorities and landowners. A Growing Trade It is up to individual projects. and concluded that although the projects they interviewed served rural communities there is a lot of potential for similar initiatives to thrive in an urban environment. There are other challenges too. the Ecological Land Co-operative highlighted ten examples of profitable food growers all operating on sites of less than 10 acres7. or expand their trading activities so that they can generate invaluable income and encourage local entrepreneurs and community-led enterprises. We spoke to Rebecca Laughton.
Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food .
They work with public and private land owners to negotiate land or create opportunities for food growing on areas of land that are not being used. as circumstances are different in every case. Land has come from public parks. It’s down to the individual projects to make sure that they explore their own land issues. The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. Capital Growth Finding the plot Access to land for growing food is often one of the biggest hurdles for urban food growing projects as land has a high value and is in demand for many different uses. This means. private businesses.“ It is difficult to give general advice around access to land. Some local authorities are also running their own initiatives to allow local people to have access to disused land. They have already allowed a number of sustainable food-growing non-profit groups to use stalled sites around the city. 6 A Growing Trade . Projects should always seek legal advice. It would probably be impossible for community food projects to operate if they had to buy the land or pay full rent on the sites that are being used. Glasgow City Council’s Stalled Spaces Department deals with such sites in their city. and Capital Growth are initiatives that help community food growing groups get access to land for food production8. allotment land and derelict sites awaiting development. housing associations. but for all of them there will be issues about long-term sustainability if a group wants to invest in and develop a site that will be an enterprise. though. back gardens. and even offer grants and other help for groups to set up their projects9. that projects are often very imaginative when it comes to finding places to grow. Each will come with its own advantages and disadvantages. Help with negotiating land The Landshare scheme.” Seb Mayfield.
The case study below shows an example of successfully negotiating land from a local authority to use as a community market garden. “ Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food 7 . Organiclea told us that building relations with the community. Organiclea Organiclea was also able to put pressure on the planning department to prioritise their case because the deadline for the Local Food Fund was an opportunity not to be missed. a workers co-operative and community food enterprise in North East London. Organiclea have a standard lease agreement with the council. Indeed. When securing land we need to be strategic and think in a multi-stranded way” Clare Joy. National Heart Forum Many landowners may feel uncertain about allocating land temporarily for community food growing because. bought their case to the attention of a senior official. which was the result of a three year negotiation period with the council and local community. as this defines a certain size of land certain type of activity taking place on it and this is protected by allotment law” Colin Mitchell. the council did not know what to do with the site so Organiclea was in a good position to provide a positive and realistic option. Case study Organiclea and London Borough of Waltham Forest Organiclea. Good relations with the head of the council. using their local network and contacts and thinking strategically were key to their success. if they need to get the site back. and the requirements for this means there needs to be a 25 year lease. The lease is more than just a piece of paper. They have concluded that: “Generally land that is being used for community food growing activity falls under the Allotment Act. However.Taking on land for commercial purposes There are examples of community market gardens that have successfully negotiated access to public and private land. First. The Hawkwood site is also situated close to Epping Forest and so there was support from the local residents that using the site to grow food fitted in with the environment and conversation of the area. if this is regarded as falling under the Allotment Act. such as a 12 month notice period. Community food growing and the Allotment Act The National Heart Forum has conducted extensive research into land use for community food growing groups10. successfully negotiated a 10 year lease from the London Borough of Waltham Forest to take on a 12 acre former local authority plant nursery and glass house to create a community market garden. through their network. They are developing plans to combine the glass house with a community energy scheme. several of the groups we interviewed did not want the details to be published in this report as they were concerned about sensitive issues around their land arrangements being published. there are lots of issues around the long-term use of the site and each situation appears unique.” Clare Joy. The Organiclea staff are now working to secure the site beyond the 10 year period and are thinking creatively about how this can happen. there are restrictions on the landowners. Organiclea “ Clare told us that there were a number of factors that helped them to secure the site. it’s community support for the project and you take time to build that up.
So we encourage allotment holders to sell their surplus produce and understand that the produce has a value. However. This provides an excellent way for them to raise their profile in the community and generates a useful income for some of the members. they also trade their surplus produce that comes from a range of sites. Being defined as an allotment is also potentially a problem for the community food growing groups because. under allotment law.” Shannon Horfield The producers receive 80% of the sale price with 20% going to the Avon Organic Group to cover their public liability insurance and other administrative costs. . to a maximum of £150. the site should not be used for commercial fruit and vegetable production. The value of income from the sale of produce varies between producers. • Mainly used to grow fruit and vegetables (not flowers). allotment holders. community groups and organic campaigners in Bristol. The Avon Organic Group “ 8 A Growing Trade This community group was established in 1984 and includes a wide range of local growers including gardeners. Case study “ The Avon Organic Group. Collectively the group produce an abundance of crops which are for their own consumption. • Growing fruit and vegetables for consumption not for sale.Section 22 (1) of the Allotment Act 192211 specifies allotments are: • Around ¼ acre or less. which is a significant income for some of the members.” Shannon Horfield. Bristol It is really shocking to see the amount of produce that is wasted from a conventional allotment site. from a minimum of £10.
Not only does the FARM:shop show the potential for indoor growing space to be used they also show how a disused shop can be bought back to a new use.” The Food Co-ops toolkit. Having good relations with the planning department and within the council has been key for these groups. Case study The FARM:shop. London The FARM: shop in Dalston East London is a unique enterprise that combines food growing with a retail space. to sell allotment produce under some circumstances. and they negotiated free use for one year with the local council while they got established. taken from the Allotment Act19081950 section 22 (1) There are a number of examples of community food growing projects that are either on allotment land or distribute surplus produce from allotment holders. it won’t be regarded as illegal to sell the surplus. has hydroponic and aquaponic systems indoors on two other floors to produce quantities of salad. A standard lease can be negotiated with the landowner. What is clear is that the commercial element of community food projects needs recognition in the eyes of the law and policies in place to support its development. The FARM:Shop has a rooftop that is used to keep chickens. Selling produce from allotment land It is possible. café and venue. Planning permission All the case study projects in this section have had dealings with their local planning department and have needed to get permission. what they have plenty of is buildings and these can be used imaginatively for growing food.It may be preferable. and sources of more information and support with this process are listed below. They are now earning enough of their own income to sustain their rent on the shop. Ecoworks in Nottingham and Organiclea’s Cropshare scheme. “An allotment cannot be used to support a business. In the case of Organiclea it was permission to manage the site on behalf of the council and in the other examples it was to get permission to put in necessary infrastructure. while others are campaigning to incorporate food growing in to new building design and use. Some new food growing projects are making efficient use of disused building. This can be attractive option if a food growing space is combined with a food sales outlet and opens up opportunities for non-conventional food growing systems to be used. Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food 9 . however. The FARM: shop aims to show that our buildings are suitable spaces to produce food and that it can be beneficial to combine this with conventional building uses such as running a shop or café to sell that produce directly. But if an allotment holder can prove they have more than they can use themselves. for landowners that have land that they want to use for food growing activities to make an agreement with a community group to use a site for commercial growing. Using buildings for growing and selling food While towns and cities are usually short of good food growing land. and also has a small back yard with a polytunnel and conventional growing beds. fruit and fish. There is hope that the new planning system will recognise the importance of community food growing and be able to make decisions in favour of new projects. This includes The Avon Organic Group in Bristol. therefore. This enterprise operates out of a previous disused shop.
10 A Growing Trade .
operated on a not for profit basis. The produce is grown in containers on the rooftop and is on sale in the supermarket. the project had the support of other council departments. which was granted. granted permission to Food From the Sky for the rooftop to be used in this way. The store does not own the free hold and is currently in negotiations with the freeholder to get a licence to secure the use of the rooftop. Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food 11 . Having the growing space on the rooftop not only makes a previously disused space productive. who then worked with the planning department. When dealing with the planning department the importance of the good relations we had built across the council came in to play and made it easier for the planning department to understand what we are doing” Andrew Thornton “ Food from the Sky wants to be a template for other supermarkets to have their own community food growing space. The project was initiated by Budgens with the aim of creating a self-financing community food growing space.Case study Food From the Sky. Andrew Thornton. A staircase to the roof was built from scaffolding. The project needed to get planning permission to put in the infrastructure. with any profits going back into the project. Although there were some local objections around safety. London Food From the Sky in North London grows food in containers on the roof of a Budgens franchise store. Food From the Sky is a Company Limited by Guarantee. such as the polytunnel and fencing. as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. the owner of this Budgens store. and for the safety of people working up there. so the growing site has a guaranteed market for its produce. which is an informal agreement. but also fits with the supermarket’s ethos of providing a facility for the local community. and suitable arrangements were made for insurance.
.hogco-devonrcc.uk/wps/.org. http://www.uk/ Selling Allotment Surplus: Is it legal? Is it right? A report by Organiclea exploring the ups and downs of selling surplus food grown on allotment sites.org.org. http://www.Useful information Organisations Capital Growth The campaign for 2012 new food growing spaces in London.K.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.landshare.uk/ Local Authority Planning Portal Information about which Local Authority is relevant for planning in your area http://www. buying.org.planningaidforlondon.uk Food Matters A not for profit organisation that has developed a planning advisory note with Brighton and Hove council to encourage the provision of new food growing spaces in developments. http://www.organiclea. The Federation offer a range of advice and support.org.org.foodmatters. http://www. http://www./ genpub_LocalInformation National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners NSALG is the recognised national representative body for the allotment movement in the U. http://www. preparing and eating local food.uk/ email@example.com Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens This is a network of community led and managed projects.org.capitalgrowth.somersetcommunityfood. Law Works LawWorks is a charity which aims to provide free legal help to individuals and community groups who cannot afford to pay for it and who are unable to obtain legal aid. including all outer boroughs http://www. (2007) http://www. including on access to land for community groups.healthyplaces. involving people. independent and professional town planning advice and support to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay planning consultants in Greater London.uk Somerset Community Food Somerset Community Food aims to reconnect people with the social. They have looked at the Allotment Act and community food growing.org.uk/ info@hogco-devonrcc. http://www.nsalg.org.uk Meanwhile Project Promotes temporary use of vacant buildings or land for a socially beneficial purpose http://www. Their current work revolves around bringing more land in to production for community based growing. The report includes a section on urban food growing.uk/resources/ publications/ 12 A Growing Trade .org. http://www.org.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org..meanwhile.net.sustainweb.com Planning Aid for London Provides free.org.uk Landshare Landshare brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food.gov. connecting those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food. health and environmental effects of growing.uk/ Reports Good Planning for Good Food A report produced by Sustain that looks at how the planning system can support a more sustainable food system.net/ email@example.com/ admin@farmgarden. animals and plants.farmgarden.org/ Home Grown Community Owned Run by the Community Council of Devon providing help with developing community food producing projects http://www.uk eb@meanwhilespace. The campaign offers a package of support to new spaces and has expertise in negotiating land from large landowners.planningportal.org/ publications/?id=192 Healthy Places Research carried out by the National Heart Forum to highlight areas of the law that could change to create healthier living environments.
Jobs. apprenticeships and volunteers .
In the majority of projects that we interviewed those aiming for some level of financial independence took a diverse approach to their sources of income and were getting money from providing services. 14 A Growing Trade . They have built up relations with a number of good customers and understand the market and the opportunities available. There are many challenges in opting for a larger trading model. opportunities for other producers and access to good local food for their community. The case study on the right shows an example of a small but commercially minded community food growing space that received a small amount of funding to get established and is now generating enough income to pay for some of the time of the people involved through selling their produce. This values the time of the people involved and helps to ensure that the project has a long-term future. Selling community grown produce as part of a wider trading enterprise Some community growing projects want to trade their own produce as part of a larger trading model. They might want to run a vegetable box or food co-op which combines what they produce with other items that they are not able to grow. The income that you need to generate will need be higher to make it viable. Many projects have received grant funding to pay for a project officer to run the site but find it difficult to know how they will be able to pay for that role once the funding has ceased. training and other trading activities. However in cases where it has worked the project is able to provide paid employment.Creating jobs through trading produce The aspiration for a lot of community food growing projects is to be able to create paid jobs for the people involved.
But I also think that Wenlock will be here in three or four years time and a lot of other growing spaces. The project was established in Spring 2010 on a 140m2 patch of disused land on a housing estate in Hackney. London The Wenlock Herb Garden is a community run market garden based on a housing estate in East London. All the people involved also commit a considerable amount of time on a voluntary basis. won’t be unless they put financial sustainability up there with environmental sustainability. a local resident and part-time grower. it is all very well to have an easy going. to manage the site and make deliveries. The project generates enough income through sales of their salad bags to pay a fair wage to a part-time grower to manage the site and also for some administration. We pay £15 per hour for trained growers and also for paid administrative work. The Wenlock Herb garden supplied over 200 kilos of cropped salad and herbs to two local restaurants and a local retailer and made additional sales to people on the estate. but if gardens are to remain open and growing and the urban agriculture issues are to get any place on the government’s agenda then we need to get a bit more hard nosed about it. apprenticeships and volunteers 15 .Case study The Wenlock Herb Garden. although this was never something that was asked of people. Jobs. just what they naturally did!” Kate De Syllas This year the project has focused on a more low maintenance approach to growing and on more unusual and profitable crops such as Japanese wine berries and edible flowers. I know that many people might not like the commercial aspect of a project like Wenlock and think it would be better if residents could just come and help themselves to the crops. cosy attitude to it. The commercial element was important to ensure that their project had a longterm future and that it was able to pay for the time of the people that were involved. community group. If we want to grow food in the city.” Kate De Syllas “ “ In the first growing season the income generated from salad production paid for Michael Turrisi. sadly.
Growing Communities employs over 20 local people part-time. The Growing Communities model is being tested to see if it can be adopted by other community groups across the UK12. and also operates a number of commerical growing sites in East London. which sells produce from local organic farmers. Julie Brown. runs a farmers’ market. These are being developed into an urban patchwork farm managed by a network of apprentice growers who receive an income from the food they grow. 16 A Growing Trade . The enterprise has around 1000 customers each week and is an example of an urban food growing project that is a viable enterprise. London Growing Communities is a pioneering and successful community-led box scheme in Hackney.Case study Growing Communities. who set up Growing Communities explained that from her experience urban food growing on its own is not economically viable but can be if it is part of a wider trading model. paid for out of food sales from their box scheme and community trading model.
Jobs. apprenticeships and volunteers 17 .
Even among those projects that have created jobs. it is important to be aware of the implications of incorporating volunteer labour in to an enterprise model. Each apprentice commits about two working days a week and goes through a carefully planned training programme that aims for specific results. crop rotation. It is essentially subsidising the costs of production and can be problematic to rely on long-term as. and the plan is for Growing Communities to make plots of land available to do so via the Patchwork Farm. There are also opportunities to provide training or apprenticeships for people who might go on to get paid employment. It is also important to remember that using volunteers is not cost-free. Growing Communities recruits between two and six new apprentices who go through a formal application and interview process to take part in the apprenticeship scheme for that growing season.Case study Growing Communities. 18 A Growing Trade . and make sure that you collect a copy of the receipt14. co-ordination needs to be paid for. Apprenticeships: Growing a work force The majority of people involved in community growing projects are volunteers. At the end of the scheme many of the apprentices go on to manage their own market garden. Any additional income they earn through direct sales to other buyers is theirs to keep. City and Guilds have researched this and found that food growing projects can play a role in helping to improve people’s work skills and employability. as time-consuming manual jobs can become activities that other people are happy to get involved in for the opportunities they provide to learn new skills and socialise. selling produce and coordinating volunteers. creating opportunities to work in food growing and horticulture. London Each growing season. This may take the form of an apprenticeship scheme. Paying volunteers – A note of caution Volunteers can be liable for tax on some kinds of income. Volunteers Many people might not want to commit to an apprenticeship scheme and may just want to volunteer on a one off basis or have less time available but still want to help. The apprentice will grow an agreed amount of produce each week which they can sell to the box scheme. inevitably. However. Make sure that volunteers only receive reimbursement for out-ofpocket expenses such as travel. Some projects run a formal training structure for long-term volunteers. The apprentices cover all aspects of running a market garden including organic horticulture. as their outof-pocket expenses should be covered and. volunteers still remain an important part of their workforce. This is particularly important when operating as an enterprise. The previous section show that there are paid jobs being created out of community food growing but that examples of this are quite rare. some volunteers will stop volunteering at some stage. and some projects are building this into their structure as an invaluable part of how the enterprise might run. and also help people with mental illness to regain confidence13. It is a good idea to have systems in place to be able to be able to manage people that want to be involved. if there are a lot of volunteers.
and some volunteers will be regulars. rather than pounding a treadmill! Jobs. and ensure that the right jobs get done. London We would be unable to harvest some of our more labour intensive crops without the help of our volunteers. safely and well. delivering produce and marketing. as well as book-keeping. meeting new people and keeping active. Hawkwood Site. clearing large areas of land and harvesting labour-intensive produce such as tomatoes. Co-ordination is essential as there can sometimes be as many as 40 volunteers on site.Case study “ Organiclea. while others may only have occasional time to offer. They also run Hawkwood volunteer days to maximise the sociability and effectiveness of the work. apprenticeships and volunteers 19 . Volunteers are rewarded with a free lunch and benefit from learning new skills. Jobs include digging beds. Organiclea Organiclea has a volunteer coordinator to help them manage volunteers and the activities undertaken by those volunteers while they are on the growing site. This helps to create a friendly. This is physical exercise with a productive purpose. particularly if they are older as they find the activity relaxing and a break from the digging” Clare Joy. supportive and productive relationship with volunteers.
apprenticeships.dwp.soilassociation. http://www.pdf Financing Apprenticeships National Apprenticeship Service covers the financial aspect of training apprentices depending on their age http://www.uk/docs/eia-jsaregulations-2011.org.uk/Employers/ Other-Questions.aspx#Question22 Food Co-ops Toolkit Includes information on recruiting and managing volunteers http://www.volunteering. both for those who volunteer and for the wider community http://www.org. Skills and Enterprise Scheme Details of employment initiatives to enable people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance to participate in the Scheme http://www. org/foodcoopstoolkit Roots to work: Developing employability through community food-growing and other urban agriculture projects City and Guilds report on developing employability through community food growing and other urban agriculture projects http://www.uk Reports Employment.uk firstname.lastname@example.org/ researchprojects/urban_agriculture.aspx 20 A Growing Trade .org.apprenticeships.uk/ Soil Association: Organic Apprenticeship Scheme Two year work-based placement with an organic farmer or grower http://www. service for both employers and learners.gov.org/ Volunteering England Works to promote volunteering as a powerful force for change.org.Useful information Organisations National Apprenticeship Service (including voluntary sector apprenticeships) Designed to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated.org.
Local investment in your venture .
some equipment and some bees donated to us. These approaches are highlighted in the case studies below and show the opportunities that can be nurtured. 22 A Growing Trade . The group calculate the amount of money needed for equipment or training and then works out how many people will need to pledge £20 to raise the money. landowners and local institutions. Community Supported Agriculture The Soil Association is the leading organisation promoting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in this country.Case study Bungay Community Bee Keepers. Members chose to participate as much or as little as they wished. Bungay The Bungay Community Bee Keepers raised money to buy bee keeping equipment for their project by asking for donations from the local community who then become members. This meant that although we never saw some members they were still receiving regular updates by e-mail. In the short-term the project wanted to be independent from grants and also wanted local people to value and be involved in their project. training for two more keepers and two nucleus’ of bees. During our first year 37 members were recruited. CSAs thrive on the relationship between the producer and the customers and means that your customers/ members will buy “ Members received a number of benefits such as being invited to meetings and events and the potential for a share in the honey harvest.” Soil Association15. The group is approaching the second year of the five year plan that sets out how the group aims to grow and the income that they need to support this. businesses. Bungay Community Bees16 To thrive and secure their long-term success.” Elinor McDowall. There are a number of community food projects that have secured money and commitment from their local community and customers from the start. but this is not guaranteed. providing mutual benefits and reconnecting people to the land where their food is grown. smocks and veils. “Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and the local community. reports of the monthly summer meetings and a copy of the end of year summary. With subscriptions set at £20 we raised enough money to buy three National Hives with basic equipment. In addition we had one1 hive. For them. insurance for two keepers. food growing projects need to engage the support of local people.
some of which have generated hundreds of thousands of pounds. There are lots of different types of examples of memberships and community ownership schemes. has invested around £10. rural farms but it can work on a smaller scale and in urban areas. I am not looking for a return as the investment demonstrates the store’s values” Andrew Thornton. and land as the case study on the left shows. or invest in your business because they value what you are doing. Case study Food From the Sky and Budgens Supermarket. and faster. “ • • • • • For Thonton’s Budgens the benefits of having their own roof top community growing space include: A lot of positive PR. which has given them greater influence in the supermarket industry.000 to establish “Food From the Sky” and is encouraging other supermarkets and businesses to do the same.produce from you. not least because it is easier for people to visit their local food growing space. Great community involvement and energy New and cheap ways of team building for the supermarket staff Incredible and unique products in their store Greater knowledge about food production for supermarket managers Food from the Sky aims to be self financing from the sale of produce which is available to buy in store. commercial sources is that an initiative is likely to get more money. The money may also come with a package of very useful commercial expertise. London Andrew Thornton. Thornton’s Budgens Going private Perhaps the main advantage of obtaining funding from private. The case study on the right shows how this can work on a smaller scale. Local investment in your venture 23 . than from approaching people in the community. who runs the Thornton’s Budgens franchise supermarket in north London. Many CSAs link people with larger.
24 A Growing Trade .
The Table are currently paying an average of £150-£200 each week for produce that is income for St Mungo’s. Shaun Alpine-Crabtree the head chef at the table has given a list of crops that they are interested in purchasing in the next season. In addition to their plot at Melior Street St Mungo’s also have a much larger food growing site six miles away in Tottenham. they all cook seasonal food. It is early days but the match is working well for both parties and they are currently exploring how it can develop. Melior Street.Case study “Adopt a Plot” London Food Link London Food Link is a sustainable food network in the capital. change their menu’s regularly and source food with strong providence.” Eloise Dey. I work with them to understand the value of their produce and that certain buyers can be flexible and accommodating. St Mungo’s and The Table Café. Capital Growth “ Local investment in your venture 25 . London Melior Street is a community garden in central London that is managed by St Mungo’s a charity that works with homeless people. In the early stages the community gardens that I work with do not think they are in a position to sell their produce to restaurants. London Food Link have worked with St Mungo’s to successfully link then with a buyer with the aim of having a long-term profitable relation for both parties. This “Adopt a plot” scheme asks local restaurants to make a small financial contribution to the community spaces in return for a share of the produce. They generally do not think they have enough produce to be able to meet a commercial kitchen demand. Melior Street is now working with The Table Café in Southwark. They also see it as a positive way to engage and work with local people which is a change from their normal customers. One of its most recent initiatives is connecting community food growing spaces from the Capital Growth18 project with local restaurants and caterers in the Ethical Eats network18. In general the restaurants that we work with have several things in common.
http://www. providing mutual benefits and reconnecting people to the land where their food is grown.uk Report Community Ownership and Management of Assets Report on the scale of activity. They offer support and advice on community ownership and structures.co. the benefits and the factors that support it happening http://www.co.org Co-operatives UK Co-operatives UK is a national trade body that campaigns for co-operation and works to develop co-operative enterprises.jrf.uk/ email@example.com/sacsa11 firstname.lastname@example.org/ Community Supported Agriculture Partnership between farmers and the local community.Useful information Organisations Community Farm – Bristol Community Farm launched a community share offer.makinglocalfoodwork. inviting members of the public to invest in the farm http://www.uk/publications/communityownership-and-management-assets 26 A Growing Trade .co. seasonal produce directly from the farmer http://www.coop/ Making Local Food Work Enabling communities to get local.thecommunityfarm. http://tinyurl.
Finding customers and promoting what you do 5 .
This means. It does not have to be an expensive or difficult process. For example. Getting Down to Business conference 2010 Crop planning means finding a balance between crops the group want to produce and what is suitable for the site you have. It’s good to be aware of this so that you can better define what makes you different.Access to land for growing food is often one of the biggest hurdles for urban food growing projects as land has a high value and is in demand for many different uses. that projects are often very imaginative when it comes to finding places to grow. This method works particularly well when working with a restaurant or caterer. but for all of them there will be issues about long-term sustainability if a group wants to invest in and develop a site that will be an enterprise. It’s also good to target a particular customer that might want to purchase something more unusual and that might be difficult for them to find. This might be local residents. “ As a buyer I would recommend that it is better to have larger quantities of just a few items e. It’s a good idea to target customers that you realistically think might want to buy produce from you. Each will come with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some techniques that projects have used to do so include: Conducting a local survey of potential customers to gauge their interest. The Wenlock Herb Garden Market research Growers can sometimes be wary of the concept of ‘market research’. There may also be opportunities to collaborate with your competition so that you can provide complementary products. Knowing who your competition is. Land has come from public parks. allotment land and derelict sites awaiting development. housing associations. back gardens. • 28 A Growing Trade . Finding a customer first and growing to meet that order. “ • • There are some things people will pay more for and some things they aren’t interested in buying” Kate De Syllas. though. private businesses. but without it you risk having a lot of produce that no-one wants to buy. It would probably be impossible for community food projects to operate if they had to buy the land or pay full rent on the sites that are being used. It is also good to research food trends and avenues for niche crops as it is good to stay aware of what might be in demand or what unique sale you could offer. Chef. Growers wanting to sell more commercially should identify a gap in the market and then think how they can meet this. with what customers want to buy. Organiclea invited a number of local chefs to their Hawkwood growing site so that the chefs could understand where the produce was coming from and talk directly to the growers about their requirements. It is essential to get a good grip on this early on to maximise what you are able to do.g. restaurants and other outlets to find out what they would like to buy. a whole plot of chard rather than a couple of bunches” Oliver Rowe. businesses or a combination. It can be as simple as chatting to local people.
Planning your route to market As well as researching the type of customer that you might want to supply you also need to get a realistic idea of what quantity you are able to supply and how regularly. • • • • • • Unique selling points Remember that the day you think that all you are doing is selling salad. These are your unique selling points and might includes several of these features: community grown produce is generally top quality. which you can only use if you are certified – see below) there is a very short and clear story about how each product is grown Buyers/ customers can put a name and a face to the grower. to make it look amazing. you may be offering unique products not available elsewhere (e. if you’re going to sell it.g.” Tom James. Abundance Sheffield Finding customers and promoting what you do 29 . Super local. What your customers are paying for and are interested in is not just vegetables but all those additional values that are unique to what you do. It really helps. If your produce is good enough buyers will be interested and the ad hoc element might also suit them. you have lost your way. produce can literally be harvested and delivered within the hour locally grown produce can be free from pesticides and herbicides (think about using this term instead of organic. but from this bit of Sheffield.e. The Chutney Project. and also what the transport options are and their costs. which is a rarity “We wanted to really push how local this fruit was: not just from Sheffield. Your sales might just be ad hoc and it’s good to be honest about this. from this street. unusual salad leaves or herbs) unbeatable freshness i.
recruit volunteers.and written material that represent you and gives a professional message to your customers.wordpress.blogger. and let people contact you. Visually how you choose to package. It is increasingly used by many restaurants and shops to heighten their profile and communicate informally with their customers. Creating a Facebook page has many of the same benefits as a blog but means that your page has to follow the generic format of Facebook. 30 A Growing Trade . colours. Setting up a blog A blog is a great alternative to a website and is used by a lot of community projects already. Providing samples Many potential customers might be wary of purchasing community grown produce and they might prefer to stick to more conventional outlets because they feel unsure about the reliability of buying this produce. Branding your project simply means making decions about how to show this.Communicating with your customers How you communicate with your cutomers depends on who they are and what is most appropriate for you both. On the plus side Facebook has many users worldwide and is a great way to tap in to other local networks and make contact. labels. label and promote yourselves are all part of your branding and this influences your customers’ decisions. This lay out might be restrictive. Branding Creating a brand might sound sinister and unnecessary but it how you represent your organisation. Twitter Love it or hate it. it has lots of benefits but it takes a little bit of time to get used to its format. The options below show alternatives to setting up a website which can be costly. images. Below are a number of communications methods and a combination of them is worth considering for your particular circumstances. Having a stall at local events is another really good way to raise your profile and talk to people locally about what you are doing. In general the projects that we spoke to found that the quality of their produce was one of their main selling points. Some good blog websites to get started are www.tumblr.org www. These days you can get a web presence really easily and for free. Community food growing projects have got an amazing story to communicate about how they operate and the produce that they have grown.com/ Creating a Facebook page A Facebook page is another popular way for groups and community organisations to get web presence for free. Providing samples and informaiton about your project to customers is a great way for customers to see the quality of the produce. Leaflets and posters This is a more traditional way to promote what you do but it is still a good way to make your local community aware of what you are doing.com https://www. The World Wide Web Web presence Having a web presence is important and is a great way to tell people about what you are doing. The benefits are that • • • • • They are free and take minutes to set up You can have your own url It is easy to upload photographs and videos You can create a unique lay out You can link to other social media tools such as Twitter. It will mean developing materials such as a logo. so people need to see it and taste it before commiting to buying it.
Finding customers and promoting what you do 31 .
co.uk/ The Social Business They have a free section to help develop a business plan for a social enterprise including marketing. http://thesocialbusiness.twitter.com/FacebookPages Fresh Management Solutions Ltd A business consultancy that has experience in working with social enterprises and community food organisations.Useful information Organisations Business Link Free advice on marketing. sales and business opportunities http://www.makinglocalfoodwork. share information and build relationships http://business.uk/ email@example.com. http://www.uk Twitter for marketing A guide to using Twitter to connect your enterprise to customers.freshmanagementsolutions.co.businesslink.com/ Reports Knead to Know A publication created by The Real Bread Campaign that advises people on baking bread in their local community. finance and business planning. http://www. They provide a wide range of advice on marketing.cfm 32 A Growing Trade .facebook.uk/ Facebook for marketing A guide to setting up and using a Facebook page to give your enterprise a voice http://www.uk/about/ toolbox/Toolbox. The guide has a lot of useful information on marketing and using the press to your advantage.sustainweb.org/realbread/knead_ to_know/ Making Local Food Work Social Business Toolbox to help food-based social business http://www.gov.
Urban Crops .
below are some example of crops that work well in an urban environment. The Sustainable Restaurant Association highlights the growing demand from their restaurants in finding local sources of more exotic crops to improve their environmental credentials. Chillies are always sent out the same day they are picked so. Dorset This home business is run by Michael and Joy Michaud who specialise in producing chilli peppers. .Bearing in mind the points from section 5 about making sure you know your market. There is a growing pressure on restaurants to reduce the food miles on their customers’ plates. Chilli peppers are also an example of a crop that is not commonly produced in the UK. so are easy to deliver. Case study Peppers by Post in West Bexington. As the name of the business suggests the produce is sold by mail order as chillies are sold in small quantities that are light. customers receive their chillies just the day after they were growing on the plant. Being able to buy exotic and rare items from a local community growing space is an excellent way for restaurants to support local food” The Sustainable Restaurant Association. The key factors are that these crops are high yielding. “ 34 A Growing Trade There are opportunities to cultivate these more exotic crops in our towns and cities where there is a market for these items from local ethnic groups. can be produced in a small amount of space and there is a good market for them. and from restaurants serving global dishes such as Mexican. Japanese and Indian food.
particularly if they are difficult to get hold of in the UK. Sessions so far have resulted in delicious and unique pesto and chutney. It is increasingly common to find local honey for sale at local farmers markets and food events but quite rare to find it on sale in a local shop or on the menu in a restaurant. for example. It also means lengthening the season so that you could have local produce for sale for longer. Some community food projects have are even processing and harvesting excess urban fruit from parks. benefit from being grown very close to market. to raise money for their project. London In London the Capital Growth campaign has been organising “Pop up Pickle” events that take place in commercial kitchens. because they are delicate and highly perishable. Processed produce Processing produce is a great way to add value and it is also very helpful when there are gluts of produce around. pickled cucumbers or tomatoes in oil. not only among individuals but also communities. Urban crops 35 . at a market stall or local farmers market. Producing honey involves a small amount of labour relative to the rewards harvested and has high commercial value. There are lots of examples of crops that cannot be bought from regular suppliers so there are opportunities to produce exclusive items. speciality leaves. edible flowers and herbs are successful crops. They ask local people to sign up as members and have a sliding scale of membership rates. oriental greens etc. See the case study on Moffat CAN on page 36. Capital Bee19 in London is training and establishing 50 community bee hives in London as part of the Capital Growth project. This might be a gap in the market for local and sustainably produced honey which community enterprises might exploit. Birmingham Newly launched “Urban Harvest” in Birmingham are a social enterprise that run a membership scheme where local households sign up to have surplus fruit harvested from trees in private gardens. These crops can generate good income and there is a high demand for high quality and really fresh produce. Case study Urban Harvest. Fish Aquaponics is a new food production system in this country (though it is more common elsewhere) and it is now being pioneered by a number of community food growing projects across the UK. Groups come along and learn how to preserve their produce and leave with a product that they are able to sell. as they suit the condition in urban areas and. Niche crops are also a good idea. housing estates and people’s back gardens. Examples of these include: • • • • • • • Mixed salad bags Herbs Heritage varieties Soft fruit Edible flowers Mushrooms Exotic items such as chillies. herbs and niche crops Generally salads.Salads. Case study Pop up pickle. Honey Interest in urban bee keeping is reviving. All members get a share of the processed foods in exchange for their fruit and the membership income supports the project costs of running the scheme.
The fish was complimented on its freshness as it was served on the plate several hours after it had been swimming in the tank. Moffat.Case study MoffatCAN. selling 30 fish to a local hotel to serve as part of a food festival. MoffatCAN is currently market-testing the fish with local customers and has had its first successful customer. MoffatCAN is now looking for more customers and refining the business plan. The fish were harvested. having decided to focus on selling to trade to increase the amount sold and reduce the work involved. Tilapia fish are farmed in a series of fish tanks that also connects to the salad growing containers with a flow of nutrients and cleaning benefits running between them. put into ice and delivered to the hotel on foot. South Scotland MoffatCAN has established an aquaponic and hydraponic growing system which combines fish farming with salad production. 36 A Growing Trade .
Urban crops 37 .
http://www.com/ Wild Forest Foods A small London based company that grows a variety of specialist vegetable and salad crops supplying local restaurants and shops. They have two urban growing sites.pdf Growing Communties Food Zones is the manifesto Growing Communities believes we can use to produce food in our cities. A great example of a crop that could be produced in our towns and cities. aiming to strengthen and develop the movement in the UK http://www. http://www.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org City Harvest This website shows the benefits associated with urban agriculture.uk/ Peppers by Post A mail order company specialising in chilli peppers. http://www. They have an online forum that can be used to ask specific questions about organic food growing.co.org Glebelands Consultancy Glebelands Market Garden is a pioneering urban market garden based in Sale.org/cityharvest/ email@example.com/ braskin@soilassociation. http://www.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org/pdfs/ Polytunnel-Factsheet.uk/ Organic Growers Alliance This membership based organisation supports organic horticulture throughout the UK.Useful information Organisations Aquaponics UK This not for profit organisation supports the development of aquaponic systems in the UK.org/ The Golden Company A social enterprise in London that trains young people in bee keeping skills and trades their own honey and other honey and bee products.thegoldenco-op. http://www.biz/ RUAF Foundation The RUAF Foundation is an international network of seven regional resource centres and one global resource centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security.wildforestfoods.org Crop planning The Soil Association has produced a guide to crop planning and rotation http://www.org.org.peppersbypost.sustainweb.co.ruaf. http://www.uk Books and reports Garden Organic Garden Organic offers specific advice on growing crops using polytunnels http://www.soilassociation. They offer consultancy on a range of issues around food production and retail. http://www.organicgrowersalliance.co.growingcommunities.aquaponics. Manchester. glebelandsmarketgarden.gardenorganic. http://www.org/about-us/ food-zone/manifesto/ Growing Green: Organic Techniques for a Sustainable Future by Jenny Hall and Iain Tolhurst A guide for those who want to learn about stock-free organic gardening techniques Polytunnel Handbook by Andy McKee and Mark Gatter A guide to polytunnel use from planning purchase to harvesting the rewards Salad Leaves For All Seasons by Charles Dowding A compendium of practical methods for growing salads throughout the year Valuable Vegetable: Growing For Pleasure and Profit by Mandy Pullen Experience of building a successful smallscale vegetable garden and box scheme 38 A Growing Trade .
Routes to market 7 .
as this will be done in their kitchens “Restaurants like exclusivity. people still expect high standards. Although this is a vital element of how you promote your produce. Where possible. Don’t expect that this year’s most fashionable herb will be in demand in the same quantity next year. Other advantages of these direct sales include: • • • • • The option to sell small quantities at a high price. including washing it. Head grower. a range of outlets and different types of customer might be useful to diversify your trading so you do not rely too heavily on one customer. The right market There is a vast spectrum of potential buyers (from people on a low income to top restaurants) keen to purchase locally grown produce from a community food growing enterprise.” Kate De Syllas.This section looks at how to bring the produce to where it will be sold or consumed in the most effective and efficient ways. Groups need to stay ahead of what happens in the food sector as a whole. Do not expect people to buy from you just because of who you are. restaurants and retailers follow food fashion. There is a high demand from some restaurants for ultralocal produce and unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables that they may not be able to get from any other suppliers. Arranging orders in advance. Having one delivery point Being able to deal with gluts. and this can be problem if you are targeting other restaurants in the same area” Michael Turrisi. Growers need to find outlets that are appropriate for them. as the logistical knots of distributing produce can be a real challenge. It is up to each project to decide which customers are right for them. Also. The Wenlock Herb Garden 40 A Growing Trade . as chefs can be creative with ingredients Not having to prepare the produce. quality and reliability. The Wenlock Herb Garden Increasing numbers of community food growing projects are approaching interested restaurants and directly negotiating sales. There are some things they will pay more for and some things they aren’t interested in. The case studies below highlight some of the different opportunities for trading. so there is a guaranteed market for the produce that is being grown. Selling directly to restaurants “Groups need to be aware that chefs want reliability and great quality produce.
For example. In fact it stimulates the chef into thinking creatively about the best way to serve certain items and creates a demand for new herbs that they have not used before. Ida is paid cash on delivery. Those that are surplus to the requirements of the Growing Communities box scheme are sold directly to a number of local restaurants. or celery leaves can be a garnish or unusual addition to a salad. is happy to receive a diverse and unusual selection of produce in small quantities that they are unable to get from their larger wholesale suppliers. Ida Fabrizio and Sophie Verhagen who manage the site (which is certified organic) grows and sells a mixture of salad and herbs. One is a shared community garden for members of the local community. sealable and labelled clear plastic bags. This is some of the best salad that I have come across. The kitchen has a daily changing menu and skilled chefs can accommodate whatever is available in gluts or if any of the produce is slightly damaged. and delivers it by bicycle trailer once a week. And the third is a 100m2 urban market garden that is one of Growing Communities’ Patchwork Farms. led by head chef Sara Berg. so to be able to purchase salad that is grown three miles away is something they can promote and which their customers appreciate. The Duke of Cambridge “ Routes to market 41 . She picks the produce and packs it into reusable.Case study The Castle market garden to the Duke of Cambridge organic gastro pub. It’s great to talk to Ida each week about what is going to be coming in” Sara Berg. Head Chef. The kitchen. It is so fresh and unusual in terms of the mixture of leaves. who understands their requirements and can grow any particular items that they request. The restaurant has a local buying policy. The second is an area of private micro allotments. slightly torn rocket can be used for pesto. Ida sells to the Duke of Cambridge organic gastro pub in Islington. North London The Castle Climbing Centre in Hackney has three food growing areas. They are also able to deal directly with Ida. and the produce is washed at the restaurant by the kitchen porters.
The box scheme charges £4 a week to customers which is a price that they subsidies. They also sell any surplus produce to a local restaurant located a mile down the road. Sandwell. We have to subside the cost of the vegetables that we produce as we are in a low income area. Their PCT funding is drawing to an end next year which means they are going to be assessing their pricing to try and make the box scheme self sustaining. Traceability and assurance that the produce is safe to eat it also a particular concern when selling to restaurants.Case study Salop Drive Market Garden. and his colleague. Restaurants might be hesitant to buy community grown produce for this reason” Shaun Alpine-Crabtree. The site developed from a derelict allotment site over a period of five years and they now sell a weekly veg box. Salop Drive Market Garden Reliability. which contains mostly their own produce. The garden was originally developed by a charity that works with disabled people to provide therapeutic activities and developed into receiving funding from the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) to provide services for local vulnerable people. The Table Café This adds weight to the argument for choosing certification (see section 8) as it shows that produce is grown to a certain standard and gives confidence to the buyer. “Traceability is a big concern for restaurants.” Tim Botfield. and they need to be confident that the produce they are buying is from a safe source. West Midlands Salop Drive Market Garden is a three-acre working market garden run by Tim Botfield. and take orders in the winter on new baby plants that they sell to customers in spring. and can have up to 60 customers during peak season. We are now faced with the challenge of how to make this venture sustainable if our funding runs out. “ 42 A Growing Trade . high standards and professionalism is important with all customers but is absolutely vital to ensuring a long-term and successful relationship with caterers and those working in the restaurant industry. a horticultural therapist.
which is impressive given their site is just 400 m2.g. Customers receive a weekly newsletter which gives information on where produce has come from. a parttime member of staff. swede) or was not being grown on Ecoworks land due to the length of growing time or rotation. making it an excellent outlet for other local growers. Each collection point is carefully chosen based on location and accessibility. and are colour coded to help staff and volunteers determine the different sizes easily. Ecoworks veg boxes (actually provided in bags) are delivered weekly to one of eight collection points across the city. market gardens and allotment holders. they have established a growing agreement with one local biodynamic farm to grow a range of produce which was difficult to find locally (e. Ecoworks use re-usable tote bags to deliver produce. Ecoworks HQ community room is used for storage and packing. as well as Ecoworks and local community activities and events. Routes to market 43 . The box scheme comprises 80 to 90% of their own produce during high season and they also purchase produce from other local growers. garlic. and recipes to help customers make best use of the seasonal produce. Nottingham Ecoworks employs Nicola Hinton.Case study Ecoworks. Ecoworks currently provides fruit and vegetables to 60 to 80 customers each week. Bags are packed on Thursday and delivered Friday morning. Box numbers are provided at the start of the week and produce is agreed for delivery on Thursday. In addition. These bags are individually labelled with the customer’s name and collection point. to coordinate their local veg box scheme.
which allows them to sell goods to the public as a market trader. Bristol Shannon Horfield coordinates selling surplus produce for the members of the Avon Organic Group. meaning that they were not covering their costs of attending. which comprises a number of local allotment holders and local growers in Bristol. with the producer getting 80% of the selling price. The producers are asked to prepare their produce for sale before they come. Initially. the group reported that their producers had a tendency to undersell their produce. 44 A Growing Trade . Case study The Avon Organic Group. They have since adjusted their prices to return better value for the care and effort that goes into the growing. At the end of the market the money is totted up. The 20% kept by Avon Organic Group covers the £30 stall rental and goes towards their public liability insurance. The produce is priced in line with the other stall holders at the farmers’ market. so all produce arrives already weighed. The group also pays £100 per year membership to the National Market Traders Federation. The group has a regular market stall at Bristol Farmers market where they combine the sale of their surplus produce. The produce is then inspected to make sure that all the produce is of a high enough standard to sell. Members of the group bring their produce to the market stall and fill in a form about what they have brought.Distributing through a box scheme The scale of box schemes varies from projects having around just 10 regular customers to others such as Growing Communities who have nearly 1000 customers. Any additional money goes towards funding the group’s other activities such as events.
and you can run a stall as and when you have produce to sell. Little Growers is currently working closely with four local schools to establish local market stalls in partnership with the Co-operative supermarket. Little Growers. The main benefit.” Heather Pearl. Surrey Little Growers is a horticultural education charity that works with schools across the UK to support food growing initiatives.Selling from a market stall Selling directly from a market stall has a number of advantages. pricing and weighing all produce and raised over £300 to sustain their gardening projects for the coming year. The day was a huge success. “ Routes to market 45 . Initially with our projects we focused on facilitating the children to be able to grow their own produce and outdoor learning. Case study Little Growers. However since the start of year we have been working with our four local projects to take this a step further and encourage them to harvest their produce and sell it at their own collaborative market stall in partnership with their local co-op supermarket. as it is a simple way to test the market for your produce. though. is the community outreach opportunities from being at a local market. The children took the lead in selling. Being visible makes it easier to engage people and tell them about what you are doing.
uk/ The Sustainable Restaurant Association Not-for-profit organisation helping restaurants become global leaders in sustainability http://www.sustainweb.Useful information Organisations Country Markets Ltd Membership-based co-operative social enterprise http://www.uk/ Ethical Eats Network of restaurants and catering businesses in London that care about sustainability http://www.lfm.farmersmarkets.org/londonfoodlink/ ethical_eats/ Farmers’ Markets List of British farmers’ markets inspected & certified by National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association http://www.net London Farmers’ Markets Offering fresh local food to Londoners every week http://www.thesra.org.org/ 46 A Growing Trade .country-markets.co.
Preparing produce to sell .
There are fewer requirements for selling fresh fruit and vegetables than there are for selling processed foods such as preserves and animal products. However, there are legal requirements that have to be complied with when selling any food so it is a good idea to contact your local trading standards office and environmental health office for advice and information. This section is a guide to some of the main issues you might want to discuss with them.
People are often concerned that food produced in towns and cities may be polluted or contaminated by toxins in the air and soil. This point is particularly important when growing food to sell as some customers might be worried about their food not being safe. However, there is little evidence to show that air pollution affects urban grown produce any more than produce grown in the countryside. In any case, any dirt on the surface of produce can simply be washed off. The chemical pesticides that are used on non-organic produce can sometimes leave residues inside the produce that cannot be washed off. On soil, it is recommended that a soil test is carried out to check for any toxic contaminants. In the unlikely event of problems being found, these can be resolved through creative solutions such as growing in containers and raised beds using purchased top soil or compost. Some urban food growing sites are even growing food using these techniques on areas of concrete.
Country Markets Ltd, who are part of the Making Local Food Work programme advise their stall holders to include the following information when they are selling fruit and vegetables. • Name of item • Date harvested • Name and address of producer • Instructions for care/ storage e.g. if the items need to be washed or refrigerated. • Price20
Many urban food growing sites produce food in line with organic gardening principles. When produce is for personal consumption or swapped with others, such principles can be taken on trust. But when growing produce to sell, any claim that food is organic must be proven through certification, which has its own costs and considerations. Organic certification guarantees that a product has been produced to a certain standard and confirms this to buyers as well as adding value to the crops. 48 A Growing Trade
Projects that have chosen to get certified through the Soil Association organic certification scheme often feel it is necessary to legitimise and add value to their product, and they also want to support the organic standard. However, others – particularly those operating at micro-scale - find the process too expensive and not suited to how urban food growing projects operate. Some projects choose to use other recognised accreditation schemes such as the Wholesome Food Association, or the Climate Friendly Food approach, which is under development21. IIt is strongly felt that there is a need for a certification process suited to community gardens and how they operate. This will make it easier for growers to trade their produce as it give confidence to buyers that what they are purchasing is of a high quality and comes from a safe source. It is important to not make any organic claims unless the produce is approved by the Soil Association or other organic certifying authorities. An alternative, suggested in The Country Markets Ltd handbook for their producers, is that produce can be labelled as “no chemicals used”.22
be exchanged after a delivery is made to cut down on packaging. Many veg box schemes prefer to use bags rather than boxes (either recycled plastic carrier bags or cotton shopping bags). There are more requirements governing the packaging of processed produce, such as jams and chutneys. First, the kitchen that is used to prepare these needs to be registered with the local authority as a commercial kitchen. More information is also required in terms of the labelling and the jars that are used. It is best to contact your local environmental health team in your local authority for more information.
Weights and measures
Trading standards laws set requirements on how our food is sold and this includes how it is weighed and measured. There are specific requirements for potatoes, soft fruit, and bunched vegetables (see Appendix 1 report for information on how produce should be sold).
Permits and licensing to sell food from a market stall
Anyone wishing to sell items from a market stall in the street must first obtain a Street Trading Consent from the local council which will cost a certain amount per year. If you are planning on running a market stall on private land you need consent from the owner 23
Packaging is particularly important with delicate and highly perishable items like herbs and salads. Generally it is good practice to not wash these items before they are packaged as this prolongs their shelf life and stops them from prematurely spoiling. Washing the produce is also regarded as processing, so you would need to have suitable facilities to do this that may be inspected by your local Environmental Health Officer. It is also worth thinking about containers to store highly perishable items after they are harvested. Reusable crates can
Public liability insurance
If you are selling produce regularly from a market stall you might want to think about getting public liability insurance. This covers you against any injuries or damage claims that might arise with any of your customers visiting the stall, for example if something fell on a customer. Membership of the National Market Traders Federation covers your public liability insurance and has other benefits.
Preparing produce to sell
Country markets handbook Country Markets Ltd produce a handbook full of useful guidance for producers selling produce at their markets. A lot of the material is for home producers and small businesses. www.country-markets.co.uk Environmental Health Contact your local authority for your local environmental health office. This is essential when selling food. www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/ Localcouncils/index.htm National Market Traders Federation Representing interests of market traders the NMTF has an annual membership that covers public liability insurance. www.nmtf.co.uk Organic certification The Soil Association is the largest organic certification body in the UK. www.soilassociation.org Other certification schemes Wholesome Food Association www.wholesome-food.org Climate Friendly Food www.climatefriendlyfood.org.uk
Food Co-ops Toolkit Guide to providing high quality produce at an affordable price www.sustainweb.org/ foodcoopstoolkit/produce The guide also has information on food hygiene www.sustainweb.org/foodcoopstoolkit/ foodhygiene And on how to register your ‘food premises’ used for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food www.sustainweb.org/ foodcoopstoolkit/registering Plus how to apply for a licence for a stall or outdoor market www.sustainweb.org/ foodcoopstoolkit/street_trading_licences Pricing A Healthy Profit: a simple guide to pricing the food you make and grow. (due for publication 2012 - www.sustainweb.org) Safe soil Growing Food: How safe is your land? How to assess and deal with potential land contamination. Guidance for communities and individuals involved in food growing. Compiled by the North West Food & Health Task Force www.sustainweb.org/resources/files/reports/ Growing_Food_how_safe_is_your_land.pdf Trading standards A national institute that enforce consumer related legislation. www.tradingstandards.gov. uk/advice/advice-business-food.cfm
A Growing Trade
What should you do with the money you make?
If you need to keep any cash to use then make sure you have somewhere secure to hold it such as a lockable cash box or safe. Banks require coins to be bagged up by their types with the amount specified on the bag. The Co-op. • • • Cash on Delivery This is the most simple and suitable for dealing with small sales and for managing your income. Invoicing (See Appendix 2 for a template invoice) If you are going to be regularly supplying a larger business then they might require an invoice. Never make payments directly from cash received. A standard invoice should include: 52 A Growing Trade . Cash handling procedures Cash handling procedures apply when taking money at a market stall or when receiving cash on delivery. so that they appear on your financial records and bank statements for that date. One of the projects that we interviewed told us that they lost income due to one of their regular customers going bankrupt. Some options are outlined below. has a special “Community Direct plus” account which offers benefits to community groups and social enterprises that choose to bank with them24. Taking money It is important to decide how you want to take payment from your customers and set up appropriate systems to manage the income. and also ensures that you are paid promptly. Pay your takings in to your bank account. It is relatively easy to set up a bank account as an unincorporated community group (see section 10 for different kinds of enterprise). Ideally. an ethical bank. no cash payments should ever be made apart from through petty cash. This fits with their payment methods for their other suppliers and the records that they need.Having a bank account As a community or voluntary group it is important to have a bank account to keep your money safe and to provide a legitimate record of your income and expenditure. • • Count up the cash (make sure that you are in a secure space) that is taken and check that it is the right amount and then record this. The advice below is taken from “Knead to Know” a guide to creating and selling real bread in your community25. leaving them with one month’s unpaid invoice.
For one off payments or small amounts using internet banking and having customers transfer money to your account is probably the easiest thing. This is probably only appropriate if you have a good website and a large number of customers. you need to register and pay VAT if you are a business that supplies taxable goods and has a turnover of over £73. soft drinks and mineral water26. Delivery notes and receipts Some customers might require a delivery note or receipt when they receive their goods. by cheque. They may need to have a record of what they have bought for their own accounts. The standard amount of time for payment is 30 days.• • • • • • An invoice number Your organisation name. Projects often work out their pricing by doing research on what is being charged at farmers markets and in supermarkets.sustainweb. These should include: • • Your organisation name. crisps.org) What should you do with the money you make? 53 . for example. Online payments There are services such as Paypal or Google Checkout that can be set up to allow you to take and monitor credit card payment. alcohol.g. You do not need to pay VAT on food items with the exception of hot food or food for catering.www. Recommended Reading A Healthy Profit: a simple guide to pricing the food you make and grow. as well as assessing the costs of production. These can be a feature of your webpage. a box scheme that has regular orders. confectionary. savoury snacks. (due for publication 2012 . online payment.000. address and contact information The name and address of your customer The details and quantity of items you have sold Total amount owing Your terms of payment and how you would like to be paid e. address and contact information The details of your customer Pricing A well thought through pricing structure is important to make sure that you are not operating at a loss and are aware of “hidden costs” such as volunteers’ travel expenses. However. ice cream. or cash. It also means that you are offering a fair price and not undercutting your competitors. and transporting your produce. • • The quantity and description of what items you have sold Total amount VAT Community food growing projects do not need to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) or include it in their pricing.
how and what What happens to the income that your organisation earns depends on: • • • what kind of organisation you are (see section 10) the decisions that you have made about income from sales what other income you might have No matter what amount of money you earn. Starting a reserve fund When trading regularly it is a good idea to allocate a percentage of your income in to a future reserve fund. This is key to working out your viability and planning for the future of your project. (see Appendix 3 for a profits and loss template) A simple spreadsheet that sets out your profits and losses will be able to record this and help you monitor your money. You can use your profit and loss account to do this. grants and other income • money out. equipment. there are a number of things that you are required to do and a number of things you might want to do with your earned income. 54 A Growing Trade .Money: the who. These include: • • • Paying tax on your earned income Re-investing in your enterprise (people. There are exemptions but it is important to talk to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to find out what applies to you. etc) Starting a reserve fund from your profits to use in future. or it might be a buffer for when there is less money coming in. for paying bills. Re-investing in your enterprise To be able to re-invest in your enterprise you will need to be keeping records of your income and expenditure and understand your organisation’s finances. It will also help you make decisions about your pricing model and understand the flow of money in your organisation. buying equipment. etc. At the basic level this is: • money in. Paying tax When trading regularly you have to pay tax on your profits. from customer sales. This money might be used in the future to expand what you do. Even if your income is below the threshold for tax you may still need to declare your income.
What should you do with the money you make? 55 .
hmrc.Useful information Organisations Business Link Business Link is government’s online information for businesses.htm Paying tax for community groups and co-ops http://www.gov. http://www.hmrc.makinglocalfoodwork.uk/ct/getting-started/newcompany/who-is-liable.uk/about/ toolbox/Toolbox. http://www.uk Co-op Bank An ethical bank that offers special services for community groups and social enterprises.svl=copy HMRC Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs exist to make sure that the correct tax is paid.gov.uk/index.sustainweb.gov.co-operativebank. HMRC has a number of useful and clear document which outline tax issues for new companies. http://www.org/realbread/knead_ to_know/ 56 A Growing Trade .co.cfm Reports Knead to Know A publication created by The Real Bread Campaign that advises people on baking bread in their local community.businesslink.gov. http://www.CFSweb/Page/ Business-CommunityBanking?WT.htm http://www. Especially useful is the publication “Balancing the books for Food Co-ops” http://www.hmrc.co.htm Making Local Food Work The enterprise support strand offers free advice and a range of downloadable information on starting a business.uk/ct/clubs-charitiesagents/clubs. The guide has a lot of useful information on cash handling procedures.uk/servlet/ Satellite/1196151412581. with lots of details on starting a business and the records that you need to keep.
What kind of enterprise? .
Recommended reading Business Planning Unwrapped: A guide to preparing and writing a business plan. we recommend you get professional advice. The options need to be researched and be ambitious. Specialist Community Enterprise Support. Capital Growth Business planning No matter what size of trading or income generating activities that your project undertakes it is a good idea to be clear on what you want to do and why. There is no set template and your founding document can be flexible and evolve as your organisation does.” Kate De Syllas The Wenlock Herb Garden 58 A Growing Trade . The basics are outlined in the recommended reading below but as elsewhere in this report. but have decided to remain as we are until we feel the business side of the project becomes large enough to warrant a change in structure. but realistic.uk/ Unincorporated associations “Initially. we set up as a loose group of people who had met through other things and wanted to get the project up and running.“ “ “Starting a community food enterprise can seem really complicated and daunting. This is essentially your “business plan” and will outline who you are and what happens to any income you might make and give details of your financial planning and projections. Making Local Food Work. When funding became available and a bank account had to be organised we wrote a basic community group constitution.co. But the decision and process around how your enterprise will work only has to happen once so you want to make sure that you get it right and get professional advice” Mark Simmonds Co-operatives UK “The projects that have been well structured and organised from the start are most effective” Seb Mayfield. Can be downloaded for free here http://www.makinglocalfoodwork. We have had discussions about Community Interest Company and co-op status. March 2011.
There are costs involved in the different options available.coop/simplylegal What kind of enterprise? 59 . even if it is below a taxable amount. Groups should contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for more information. The key thing to note is that unincorporated associations have no identity separate to the members.uk. Popular legal forms used by other community enterprises include: • • • Community Interest Companies Company Limited by Guarantee Industrial and provident society (IPS) Recommended Reading Co-operatives UK have produced a free and very useful publication “Simply Legal” which gives information about legal forms and organisational types for community enterprises. Unincorporated associations enjoy greater freedom than a company. which can make its own rules about how the group will be run. Trading might be something that a group is interested in exploring but it might be a small amount and irregular e. Incorporation Some of our case studies want to operate as a business with social aims. This becomes important when the amount of money you are dealing with becomes higher. and there is information and advice available to help you reach the right decision. which can make them more suitable for community food growing groups that are selling small quantities of produce from time to time. and more business activities increases the risks of operating. it can be very difficult to expand the enterprise and do things like: • • • • • take on employees raise finance. They also offer free advice to help organisations get the governing structure that is right for them. just selling gluts. apply for grants or open bank accounts issue shares enter into large contracts take on a lease or buy freehold property27. Unincorporated associations are still liable for tax on their income and may need to declare. in the long-term. http://www. An elected management committee will generally oversee and make decisions on behalf of its members. so that if something goes wrong liability lies personally with the members of the group It also means that.A community food growing group is likely to be a group of like minded people coming together for an activity that they enjoy and believe is important. Incorporation protects the people involved by creating an identity separate to the members. Legally this is an unincorporated group.g. Becoming incorporated means registering with a regulator and complying with all the associated administration.
Recommended is “Who is liable for corporation tax” http://www. hmrc. It has lots of information on starting a business and the records that you need to keep. uk.Useful information Organisations Business Link Business Link is government’s online resource for businesses.gov.uk/index. http://www.direct.shtml HM Revenue and Customs There is a lot of information on their website and available over the phone on tax issues and starting a business.uk/en/Employment/ Jobseekers/programmesandservices/ DG_198877 Co-operatives Uk Co-operatives UK is the national trade body that campaign for co-operation and works to promote.sel.gov.uk Enterprise Clubs A government run scheme to help become self-employed or start a business http://www.makinglocalfoodwork.htm Social Enterprise London Social Enterprise London is a world-leading provider of training. http://www.co.uk/#item-whats-new Specialist Enterprise Support Expert and free help. http://www.businesslink. research. through business advice.coop/simplyseries Companies House Companies House registers companies. http://www. develop and unite co-operative enterprises.uk/ct/getting-started/new-company/ who-is-liable.org.gov.co-operative. networking and consultancy for social enterprise.companieshouse.uk The Co-operative Enterprise Hub Free information on running a co-operative enterprise. They produce a range of free to download guides suitable for new and existing cooperative and community enterprises: www.coop/enterprisehub 60 A Growing Trade .gov. mentoring or a subsidised visit to another community food enterprise http://www.
Directory of case studies .
courses and training. Ecoworks Upper School.avonorganicgroup.Avon Organic Group Bristol www.uk Ecoworks is a not-for-profit community organisation based on the Hungerhill Garden Allotment Site in St Ann’s. allotment holders and organic campaigners in Bristol. What is produced: A selection of vegetables. generates a useful income for some of the members (up to £150 weekly) and also raises income to contribute towards administration and the public liability insurance for the market stall.uk/ This community group was established in 1984 and includes local gardeners. They have a 400m2 market garden. Type of organisation: They are a community group with a constitution and membership Income: They generate income through selling their combined surplus produce and also from membership fees. They have just acquired an additional 12. The group had a stall at the very first Bristol Farmers’ Market in 1998. both of which use their own produce. NG3 3AG www. The project runs activities for people that are socially disadvantaged including food growing. selling surplus produce at least once a month throughout the growing season. The project is supported by NHS Nottingham and has received funding from the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund and The Tudor Trust. They operate a café and box scheme. fruits. Selling their produce provides an excellent way for them to raise their profile in the community.ecoworks. Nottingham. 62 A Growing Trade .org.5 acre site.org.uk info@ecoworks. Collectively the group produces an abundance of crops which are mainly for their own consumption.org. The project aims for the box scheme to be self sustaining from its own income by 2014. and has continued to support the market. Former St Ann’s Well Junior School. preserves and plants. How it is sold: At the Bristol Farmers Market. poly tunnel and 500m2 mixed fruit orchard. Brewsters Road. Nottingham. Labour: The group has 40 volunteers.
one parttime grower and 5-10 volunteers each week. London. and 10 regular volunteers. courgettes.com/index. potatoes. Labour: One full time project leader (going part-time). All produce is specially coded to so that the income from sales is collected in a separate account to enable the project to monitor produce and sales. edible flowers. E83AZ http://farmlondon. How it is sold: The produce is picked weekly and delivered just 50 metres away to the shop floor. The shop has both aquaponic and hydraponic systems installed. running courses and donations. to train people in growing food and also to create produce that can be sold through the supermarket. peas.com FARM:shop Dalston is a unique project that converted a disused shop in to a space that grows food. herbs and a selection of fruit and vegetables. from income generated from sales of produce in the store. chillies and squash. mushrooms. All produce is grown to organic standard but not certified. African Tilpia fish. Crouch End. Food From the Sky is co-ordinated by an enthusiastic and creative part-time project officer Azul-Valerie Thome. What is produced: Salad. What is produced: Mixed leaves. 21-23 The Broadway. herbs.html someone@somethingandson. running their own training and providing event catering. The aim is for this role to be self-sustaining over a period of about two years. one part-time member of staff. The aim is to create a space that is used by the local Directory of case studies 63 .org. The project launched in March 2011 and is now self-sustaining from its own income. What is produced: Salads. London N8 8DU http://foodfromthesky. North London. giving talks and hiring out the venue. tomatoes. How it is sold: Through their own shop and café Food From the Sky Thornton’s Budgens. They also aim to work with supermarkets and other food retailers to spread the model. Type of organisation: They are in the process of setting up a Community Interest Company Income: Initially they received sponsorship and a grant from council. eggs. has a chicken coop on the roof top and a poly tunnel in the back garden. direct sales from the garden to local restaurants. Type of organisation: Company Limited by Guarantee Income: They are funded by the Local Food Fund and The Tudor Trust. herbs.Labour (number of paid staff and volunteers involved): 9 staff and 6 regular volunteers each week.weebly. running events. They generate some income through their veg box. How it is sold: Through their own box scheme which has 60-80 customers each week and sales to their own café and other local cafés and restaurants. The project has been developed by Andrew Thornton owner of the Budgens store’s franchise working with the local community. and to plan for the future FARM:shop 20 Dalston Lane.uk/ Food from the Sky is a food-growing garden established on the roof of a Budgens supermarket in Crouch End. runs events and has a café and retail space where the produce is sold. community. Type of organisation: Company Limited by Guarantee Income: The sales from their produce. Labour: One full-time member of staff. They now generate their own income from the café. where it has its own display area and promotion. beans and peas.
Current outlets for Organiclea’s produce are through their own box scheme which has around 70 customers each week. Income: From their own box scheme. but also grows a percentage of produce on a number of their own local growing sites as part of a “Patchwork Farm” in Hackney. leafy vegetables and soft fruits. The produce has a guaranteed market as it is bought by the box scheme. Chingford. and are bringing local buyers to view their site and discuss their order. herbs.N16 7NX http://www. In addition to the Hawkwood site they also coordinate activities through the Hornbeam Centre in Walthamstow.moffatcan. They are now testing direct sales to restaurants and caterers. Annanside.org. through their own box scheme and other local box schemes. There are also plans for the Patchwork Farm to have its own stall at the successful farmers’ market also run by Growing Communities in Hackney – the only all-organic farmers’ market in the UK. working with housing associations to provide services for their residents. Growing Communities also runs an apprenticeship scheme to help local people learn growing skills. aiming to grow food to trade and make the site economically viable.org/ growcomm@growingcommunities. Moffat CAN Old Church Depot. Moffat. plus African Tilapia fish. E4 7UH http://www. and Organiclea implements careful planning. and operate a ‘pay as you grow’ trading system. running training What they produce: Mixed vegetables for Organiclea’s own box scheme. Labour: They employ 20 part-time staff and have had over 100 volunteers on their site over the past year. Type of organisation: They are a not for profit Company Limited by Guarantee. London. plants and organic compost.org Growing Communities is a successful social enterprise in Hackney that operates an organic fruit and vegetable box scheme that packs over 1. fruit juices and preserves How it is sold: Direct sale to restaurants. and any surplus produce is sold on to local restaurants. The combination of land and glass house means they are able to produce a wide range of crops all year round.uk/ email@example.com The 12 acre Hawkwood site was established as a community garden in 2009 by Organiclea to produce food to distribute locally and to teach local people how to grow food. which is a local food hub where they run a box scheme and part-time café. farmers market and through sales of produce to local restaurants and caterers. Labour: Two paid gardeners and four regular volunteers Type of organisation: Charity & Community Owned Company 64 A Growing Trade . Land at Hawkwood is split in to a number of areas which grow different types of crops. The sites are all smaller than an acre but coordinate their growing plans and combine their produce weekly to sell to the box scheme.org Moffat CAN runs an allotment site and community market garden and also has the first Aquaponics Greenhouse in Scotland. Income: From the sale of vegetables What is produced: Various traditional vegetables and salads. Some is also cooked and served through their own cafe . The box scheme buys in produce from local farmers each week. DG10 9HB http://www. box scheme.org.organiclea. 115 Hawkwood Crescent. market stall and on site. salads.org info@moffatcan. and in the height of the growing season the weekly amount created can total over 50 kilos. How it is sold: The majority of the produce is sold through the box scheme and a small urban farm shop. The sites specialise in growing salad. fruit from the orchard. Organiclea is a workers’ co-operative that works with a wide range of members of the local community.000 boxes each week. The community Market Garden and Aquaponics Greenhouse are intended as demonstration projects but are also commercial. What is produced: Salad. Labour: Approximately 35 volunteers each week and five parttime members of staff Type of organisation: Workers co-operative Income: Sale of produce. and sales at a number of weekly market stalls including their own “Crop Share “ market stall which is an outlet for other local allotment holders to sell their produce. running a stall at a weekly farmers’ market in Hackney.Growing Communities 61 Leswin Road.growingcommunities. How it is sold: Produce is sold to three local restaurants and occasional walk in customers Organiclea The Hawkwood Plant Nursery. diverse crops and ecological growing methods.
Merseyside WA11 8RG http://www.uk A voluntary organic community gardening group based in Stanmer Park.co. Stoke. London. They sell produce to a number of local restaurants and also from their own on site farm shop.uk Based in Sheffield. The aim is to grow herbs on a commercial basis to sell to local restaurants and become a self-sustaining growing project. herbs and soft fruit How it is sold: Direct sale to restaurants and ad hoc to residents on the estate allotment land that has been made available by Plymouth City Council. Directory of case studies 65 Other interviewed projects and examples of community trading Bungay Community Bee Keepers Sustainable Bungay. Lewes Road.uk This project trains unemployed and vulnerable people in Merseyside. a Plymouth charity. Manchester http://www. They have a two acre organic certified market garden where they sell the crops that they produce. Fork and Dig it Stanmer Organics.The Wenlock Herb Garden The Wenlock Estate.glebelandscitygrowers.uk info@heeleyfarm. Heeley City Farm Richards Road. helping them to become better integrated in the community and bringing communities together. restaurants and shops. Cultivate London 8 Dean Court. Brighton.org. Bungay. Plymouth PL3 4DD http://www. Fir Tree Community Growers Fir Tree Farm. Bowmans Close.heeleyfarm. Kings Moss.sustainablebungay.com/bungay-community-bees-2/ The Bungay Community Bee Keepers are part of sustainable Bungay are a community and they have developed a membership system to raise funds to purchase equipment and train local people as bee keepers.cultivatelondon.org.uk Glebelands is a pioneering urban market garden situated on the outskirts of Manchester. W13 9YU http://www. fruit. produces a range of herbs and vegetables for sale to London households.com/profile/WenlockHerbGarden firstname.lastname@example.org A commercial community garden situated on a housing esate in Hackney. Type of organisation: Unincorporated community group Income: Sales of produce What they produce: Salad. Hackney. Brighton. based across multiple sites in West London. Stanmer Park.org.org. Labour: Three part-time member of staff (their time being paid out of food sales). It is a community garden growing and selling vegetables.co. Pimbo Road.uk An organic gardening project in Plymouth run by the Routeways Centre Ltd. Sheffield S2 3DT http://www. London http://projectdirt.org This innovative urban farm.digginit.org/ email@example.com. Revenue from the sale of the crops will be spent on greening other areas of the estate. Diggin it 45 Penlee Way. They also operate their own organic market garden producing around 10 tonnes of organic vegetables which are sold to lowincome groups locally or through an organic shop in Liverpool.uk/ contacts@glebelandscitygrowers. herbs and flowers. West Sussex BN1 9PZ http://www. They sell most of there produce through local outlets such as Unicorn Grocery.org. on unused . Glebelands Market Gardens Sale. Suffolk www.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org/fir_tree_farm email@example.com/ digginit@routeways. this city farm offers food growing training to a wide range of people in the community and they grow a wide range of produce at Wortley Hall Organic Garden. They sell produce in a number of outlets in Sheffield to contribute towards the costs of staff time and materials for the site. West Ealing.climatefriendlyfood.co. and 5-6 regular volunteers. Gleeblands are also one of the founding members of Manchester Veg People a growers and buyers co-operative. The project aims to provide an environment that will benefit a range of vulnerable or socially disadvantaged people. St Helens.
London E2 OAX http://www. Smethwick. Handsworth. West Midlands B66 1JE http://www. Independent Living Centre. a potting shed. Salop Drive Ideal for All.uk Salop Drive Market Garden is a unique three acre working market garden which developed from a derelict allotment site over a period of five years and represents the hard work and vision of disabled and local people.urbanwineco. Birmingham. Little Growers CIC Surrey heather@littlegrowers. The Urban Wine Company Tooting. Middlesex TW14 0LZ http://www. Lewes Road. Feltham.uk Nourish CIC is a social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities with disadvantaged adults. They sell their own produce to low income residents from their site.uk Part of the Teesdale & Hollybush Estate. At the moment they have 35 raised beds and an orchard. Melior Street Community Garden Southwark. It is run by residents of the estate and volunteers. http://www.org/pdr Team London Bridge.org/viewProject.hcfa.com/pages/Rocky-Park-Urban-Growers/ firstname.lastname@example.org. London http://www.co. They run their own box scheme which distributes their own produce. reclaimed timber planters and plenty of communal areas to sit and enjoy the green oasis. B21 9AE http://www. They are currently selling their community grown produce to a local restaurant. 100 Oldbury Road.org A new social enterprise in Birmingham that harvests unwanted urban fruit and sells it as juices and preserves.co.org/ eleanor@urbanharvestbham. SE1 3QP http://www.Hounslow Community Farming Association Faggs Road.org/ 66 A Growing Trade .com/ info@urbanwineco. They have their own farm where they produce crops that are cooked up and sold in their café in the city centre.littlegrowers. in partnership with Southwark Council. Bethnal Green. Running a market stall to sell produce has been a successful part of the project.co. The project aims to educate children about where their food comes from and combines food growing with the curriculum.gov. Stanmer Park.sandwellfoodnetwork.urbanharvestbham. Brighton BN1 9SE http://www.urbanharvestbham.nourishcic. The Table Café in Southwark. Nourish Community CIC Stanmer Offices.org.mungos. London.php?id=1 Veronica_Barry@sandwell.com A membership scheme in South-East London that harvests surplus grapes from people’s gardens and allotments and makes wine that is shared between the members and sold.uk http://www. Rocky Park Urban Growers Ellesworth Street.uk/ The Hounslow Community Farming Association aims to provide vocational employment opportunities in horticulture / farming for individuals in Hounslow whilst at the same time improving the quality of the urban environment.co. to include a pocket plaza park and a community growing space.html info@nourishcic. Rocky Park is a community growing garden set up by the residents in 2009. upgraded the previously derelict open space on Melior Street.uk/index. Mungo’s and their ‘Putting Down Roots’ programme.com/ Little Growers is a Community Interest Company that establishes food growing projects in primary schools.5 tonnes of grapes were collected at the 2009 harvest which made an astounding 1000 bottles of professionally produced wine. They sell their own crops at a market stall and also make chutneys and processed goods to sell. Over 1. The plans include a community herb and vegetable garden. Urban Harvest Birmingham 4 Herbert Road. The garden is maintained by St.
Funding and local food organisations .
capitalgrowth.gov. www.uk/ Other Useful Organisations: National Business Link A government run service that offers free business support and advice to new projects.businesslink. http://www.coop/ Local Action on Food A national network co-ordinated by Sustain: the alliance for 68 A Growing Trade . The campaign offers regular small grants. biglotteryfund.gov.unltd.Funding organisations Capital Growth Partnership initiative aiming to create 2012 new community food growing spaces across London by the end of 2012.gov. http://www.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/ programmesandservices/DG_198864 Reaching Communities Reaching Communities is a Big Lottery fund for projects that help people and communities most in need.foodvision.direct.ecologicalland.org New Enterprise Allowance Financial help and advice with starting your own business http://www.sustainweb.org.org/ Food Vision Guidelines to secure external funding available from a variety of different sources http://www. http://www.uk/pages/funding Local Action on Food/ London Food Link Both of these networks provide a monthly funding round-up as part of their network memberships.uk/prog_reaching_communities UnLtd UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs with a complete package of funding and support http://www.uk/bdotg/action/home Ecological Land Cooperative Creators of the “Small is Successful: Creating Sustainable Livelihoods on Ten Acres or Less” http://www.org.
accessible and affordable to local communities. http://www.uk Soil Association The largest organic certification body which also offers a wide range of advice on issues relating to organic food growing and community supported agriculture.uk Nourish Scotland’s Sustainable Local Food Network http://www. healthy.makinglocalfoodwork.sustainweb.htm info@grofun. http://www.kindling.org. http://www.freshideas.soilassociation. London Food Link runs a number of projects to support sustainable food in London including the Capital Growth campaign and Ethical Eats.harvest-bh. http://www. http://www.org.uk Harvest Project Exeter-wide project that promotes community food growing.uk/ GRO-FUN Works to increase the amount of organic food growing and growers in local.org.uk Grow Sheffield Urban community food growing project including Abundance to harvest the seasonal glut of local fruit like apples.sustainweb. http://www. http://www.uk/ London Food Link A network of organisations and individuals who are working to make London’s food system more sustainable. urban neighbourhoods in Bristol http://www.co. They offer specialist help and training around social enterprise. http://www.uk/ Regional support and local networks Bristol Local Food Network Directory of where you can eat or buy local food in Bristol and a guide to Getting Going Growing your own local produce http://www.nourishscotland.greenwich-cda.growsheffield.org.org.org/ integrated approach to producing more food in the City.grofun.uk London Ethical Eats A network of restaurants and caterers that are interested in buying local and sustainable food.org/londonfoodlink/ethical_eats/ Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) GCDA offers specialist social enterprise support for national and regional models.bristollocalfood. traceable origins.sel.localactiononfood.uk/home.org/londonfoodlink/ Social Enterprise London Social Enterprise London offers support and advice for new and existing social enterprises in the capital.org.eci. pear and plums.com/ Harvest Brighton and Hove This project is a partnership which co-ordinates a city wide.org. http://www. local food with clear.org/ Making Local Food Work Reconnecting people and land through local food by increasing access to fresh.org. Funding and local food organisations 69 .uk/HarvestHarvest Kindling Trust Works towards an ecologically sustainable society. http://www. by establishing a practical working example in the North West of England.co. http://www.org. Incudes specific help for: Community Supported Agriculture Country Markets Ltd Food Co-ops and Buying Groups Food Distribution and Supply Social enterprises http://www.uk/ Fresh Ideas Network (South East England) Offers support to community food projects which aim to make healthy/local food more easily available.better food and farming that brings together a diverse range of local food projects that are working towards a more sustainable UK food system.
70 A Growing Trade .
chillies Examples of vegetables sold by the bunch Asparagus. Celery. 2.e. These are known as ‘countable produce’. Corn-on-the-cob. 7. these must be sold by net weight (i. Gross weight: The weight of the goods plus the weight of the wrapper. Endives. then the container should be marked with the number of potatoes it contains and a statement that each potato weighs not less than 175g. The container must be marked with the net weight. 5kg. 15kg. Turnips.5kg. 750g. Weight of wrappers is strictly controlled. Pre-packed potatoes can only be sold in the following amounts: 500g. 10kg. Selling by bunch or number Some vegetables can be sold by the bunch and certain fruits and vegetables can be sold by number.e. Or. Examples of countable produce Apples. Pumpkins. 25kg. Soft fruits and mushrooms Soft fruits and mushrooms can be sold by either net or gross weight. Tomatoes. 12. 1.Appendix 1 A guide to selling fruit and vegetables • • • Net weight: The weight of the goods without the wrapper. Cauliflower. the weight of the produce itself). Mint. Watercress. Cucumber. Fennel. If sold by gross weight the wrapper must be within certain weight limits (check with your local Trading Standards department) and it is probably better to pack only by net weight (i. Beetroots. Potatoes Loose potatoes may be sold either by net or gross weight. The container must be marked with either the net weight or the number of items. How can other fruit and vegetables be sold? • • • Loose fruit and vegetables may be sold by either net or gross weight. the weight must be made known before customers buy. Mustard. Garlic. if each potato weighs over 75g (such as big baking potatoes). Chives. If you sell fruit and vegetables pre-packed. Soft fruits can also be sold by the punnet. Salad. 20kg. Radishes. lettuce.5kg.5kg. In either case. Beetroots. Garlic. Marrows. An exception to this is if the packet is transparent and there are not more than eight items of ‘Countable Produce’ in it. which the customer can clearly see and count for themselves. the weight of the produce itself). Kohlrabi. Appendix 1 71 . You can pack them by number only if they appear in the list of ‘Countable Produce’. 2kg. and you can sell any weight of them. Cabbage.5kg. Onions (not spring). Plums. Pears. Carrots. cress. Parsley. 1kg.
online payment. 72 A Growing Trade .g. by cheque.Appendix 2 Template invoice Your Organisation name here Your Address Here Logo Here Your Phone Your Email Customer Information: Billing Address (If different): Company: Name: Address: Delivery Address: Company: Name: Address: Invoice Date: INVOICE Invoice Number: Order Information: Qty Product Description Amount Each Amount Subtotal: Delivery cost (if applicable): Grand Total: Notes: Terms and methods of payment: e. cash. The standard amount of time for payment is 30 days.
Appendix 3 A Basic Costing Spreadsheet . Jan Income Income from sales of produce Grants Donations Income from training Income from events Expenditure Salaries Employee and volunteer benefits Employee time spent on grant applications Rent Rates Phone Electricity Gas Water Seeds and plants Compost Tools Packaging Fuel Vehicle Maintenance Insurance (motor and buildings) Marketing Events Membership fees to other organisations Overheads: office costs. enable new development) Total cost Net profit (Total sales less total cost of sales) Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Appendix 3 73 . price promotions. bank charges. discounts. accountancy. This spreadsheet records the total amount of income for that project each month. the total income minus the costs of operating. stationary Advocacy work (helping other organisations do what you do) Wastage Pest and disease management Bad debts Depreciation of equipment Depreciation of vehicle Contribution to reserves( to fund new purchases of equipment. cover exceptional items.e. the costs that the project has incurred for that month and the net profit i. new marketing campaigns.a profit and loss account This template shows the type of information that a community garden might want to record on a typical profit and loss account.
Unincorporated associationshttp://www.uk/ 2. http://www.org/foodcoopstoolkit/street_trading_licences/ 24.co. “Knead to Know” date and weblink.uk/ 5. l3=1077475650&r.skillsdevelopment.Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. The Soil Association http://www. Healthy places: Encouraging spaces for community growing (2011) The National Heart Forum.uk/pdf/Roots%20to%20work%20 report. http://www.coop/projects-small-successful 8.org.org/ 6.org/ .hmrc.sustainweb. http://www.org/londonfoodlink/ethical_eats/ 19.Set up a Social Enterprise. The Country Markets Handbook (2006). How Bungay Community Bees Work.growingcommunities.country-markets.co-operativebank. http://www.bristol.makinglocalfoodwork. http://www. http://www. The Capital Growth Campaign.co. Making Local Food Work Programme.sustainablebungay.net/. Free banking for community and voluntary organisations. The Local Food Fund.org/bees/ 20. http://www.uk 15.References 1. Ethical Eats.landshare. The Co-op. Street trading licenses. http://www.Country Markets Ltd.uk/page/food-bristol 7. City and Guild centre for skills and development.capitalgrowth. Hungry City (June 2008).gov.capitalgrowth. Legislation http://www. Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. Sustainable Bungay. http://www. Capital Growth Campaign.uk/ukpga/ Geo5/12-13/51/section/22?view=extent 12.gov.com/2009/10/how-bungaycommunity-bees-works/ 17. Glasgow Green space.html 23.farmgarden. Wholesome Food Association. Allotment Act 1922. http://www. Community Direct Plus.uk/vat/forms-rates/rates/goods-services. co.l1=1073858805&r. Chatto & Windus. This information is taken from Business Link.co.org/Takeaction/Getinvolvedlocally/ Communitysupportedagriculture/tabid/201/Default.soilassociation.capitalgrowth. Climate Friendly Food. http:// www.uk/en/Business/Environment/Clyde_ KelvinGreenspace/Stalled+Spaces++++Temporary+Landscapes.hungrycitybook. http://www.svl=copy 25. http://www. Volunteers and the Law (2005) Mark Restall.uk/become-a-producer-c17.climatefriendlyfood.org. Community Supported Agriculture.sustainweb. Volunteering England.org.businesslink. Cash Handling Procedures. Capital Bee.uk/bdotg/action/ detail?itemId=1077475675&r.uk/key-issues/encouraging-spaces-forcommunity-food-growing/encouraging-community-growing-space/ 11. Roots to Work: Developing employability through community foodgrowing and other urban agriculture projects (2011).gov.uk/become-a-producer-c17. Glasgow City Council.capitalgrowth. Stalled Spaces: Temporary Landscapes.org/ 4.org/sustainablefood/ 3.legislation. HMRC.gov. http://www.org/ 18. http://www.pdf 14. Small is Successful (2011) The Ecological Land Cooperative http:// ecologicalland.uk/ 9.htm 10. http://www. http://www.aspx 16.healthyplaces.uk/servlet/Satellite/1196151412581.localfoodgrants. Food Co-ops Toolkit (2009). The Country Markets Handbook (2006).gov. http://www.CFSweb/Page/BusinessCommunityBanking?WT.volunteering. Landshare. http://www.org.org/.l2=1085161962&r.sustainweb. http://www. http://www. http://www.country-markets. Who Feeds Bristol (2011) Bristol City Council.s=sc&type=RESOURCES 74 A Growing Trade .uk/ 22.org. http://www. pg 85 26. http://www. Capital Growth. Carolyn Steel. Different Goods and Services and their VAT rate.glasgow. Sustainable Food.wholesome-food.co.org/start-ups/ 13. http://www. Growing Communities start up programme.htm 27.html 21.
London Section 11 Pg 61 A tour of the Ecoworks growing site. Manchester Thanks A Growing Trade was written and researched by Polly Higginson who co-ordinates Sustain’s Local Action on Food network. North London Section 1 Pg 1 Moss Brook Growers.Photo credits Thanks to the Capital Growth campaign for their fantastic images of community gardens in London. Glebelands Market Garden. Manchester Pg 2 Growing Communities micro site. Photographs: All images have been donated by the projects involved and credited where necessary. Scotland Section 12 Pg 67 Chard cultivation. North London Pg 37 Catching Tilpia. with special thanks to. Growing Communities. North London Pg 40 Carrots for sale at Doddington Den. London Section 5 Pg 25 Capital Growth volunteers at The London Green Fair. Nat Mady London Section 6 Pg 33 Chili Harvest for Growing Communities. Surrey Section 8 Pg 47 Locally grown community produce for sale at Unicorn grocery store in Manchester Section 9 Pg 55 Community Garden shot. apprentice Ximena Ransom. London Pg 29 Polytunnel salad harvest for Cultivate London. London Pg 8 Allotment gardens. Organiclea. London Pg 6 Community food growing in the city. Wolff Olins Brand Consultants. London Section 2 Pg 5 Gardens on rooftops. Photo credits 75 . The FARM shop Dalston. North London Section 4 Pg 21 Hackney chilli sauce at Feast on the Bridge. London Pg 31 Selling community produce for Capital Growth. London Pg 17 The Castle Climbing centre. the roof garden above the DRCA. All case studies images have been kindly donated by the projects interviewed. Capital Growth. Paola Guzman. Little Growers. Ida Fabrizio. London Pg 22 Selling Capital Growth community produce in Covent Garden. Johanna Wallther. Eco Works. Scotland Section 7 Pg 39 Crop share scheme. Capital Growth. images are as follows Notes Pg ii Salad harvest. Leah Macpherson. London Section 3 Pg 13 Volunteers at the Alara community garden. Roof top chicken farming. Nottingham Section 10 Pg Capital Growth volunteers in Regents Park. London Pg 14 Volunteers at work in Regents Park. Nottingham Pg 62 Learning about Aquaponics. City Harvest Festival 2007 Pg 46 Produce sold by school children. East London Pg 10. Ida Fabrizio and Sophie Verhagen at the Castle Climbing Centre. London Pg 4 Growing communities urban farmers. Otherwise. London Pg 44 Sorting community produce. Adam Creedale Alex Payne Any Scaife Andrew Thornton Azul-Valerie Thome Chris Hearld Chris Young Clare Joy Colin Mitchell Darrel Maryon Dasha French Elinor McDowall Eloise Dey Emma Brophy Heather Pearl Helen Woodcock Ida Fabrizio Jeanette Longfield Joel Brook Kate De Syllas Kath Dalmeny Katrina Tait Leah Macpherson Leon Ballin Mark Simmonds Maresa Bossano Maurice McCartney Michael Turrisi Nicola Hinton Rebecca Laughton Richard Snow Rob Alderson Sara Berg Sara Davies Sara Winnington Seb Mayfield Shannon Smith Shaun Alpine-Crabtree Tim Botfield Ximena Ransom Dig Food Urban Agriculture Blog Freelance photographer Thornton’s of Budgens Food from the Sky Wild Forest Foods The Real Bread Campaign Organiclea The National Heart Forum Heely City farm What will the harvest be? Bungay Community Bee Keepers Capital Growth Volunteer Little Growers The Kindling Trust Growing Communities Sustain Earth Ark The Wenlock Herb Garden Sustain Moffat CAN Cultivate London Grow Sheffield Co-operatives UK Food Co-ops Campaign Fresh Management Solutions The Wenlock Herb Garden Eco works The Ecological Land Co-operative Making Local Food Work Moss Brook Growers The Duke of Cambridge Growing Communities Fork and Dig it Capital Growth Avon Organic Group The Table Cafe Salop Drive Market Garden Growing Communities Design and lay out: Becky Joynt. London Pg 24 Community produce from Melior Street delivered to The Table Café in Southwark. Moffat CAN. MoffatCAN. London Pg 34 Salad harvest. Capital Growth.
org Sustain is a Registered Charity No.localactiononfood. Join the network now and find out what we are up to at www. 1018643 .org Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming 94 White Lion Street London N1 9PF Tel: 020 7837 1228 Email: email@example.com Web: www.sustainweb.Local Action on Food is a national network of people and projects from across the UK that are working towards creating a strong and healthy sustainable food system.
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