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