A Growing Trade
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
food is moving back into public eye. as is awareness of how it has been produced. get some independence (from short-term grants) and contribute to the economic vitality of their neighbourhood.
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. There has also been a loss of local jobs. More recently. Our food travels long distances down vulnerable and destructive supply chains by. alongside low animal welfare standards. skills and expertise in food production. making our food system a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. and food production shapes where and how we live1. as our food is produced out of sight. 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. so are food growing projects by communities. At the same time as food gardening by individuals and families is on the rise. in recent years. However.
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.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. land and air to our plates. in wealthy countries like the UK.
Communities growing their own
These concerns about the problems caused by how our food is produced might lie behind the resurgence. sea. and often out of the country. This is made possible by cheap fossil fuels. of more people buying more local food and growing some themselves. loss of wildlife and other damage to our environment2. These food growing projects are not only empowering people to take back control over how their food is produced and sold. 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 doing so. the food supply to our urban areas is largely invisible.
Significant investment has come from the Big Lottery. the Capital Growth campaign for 2. such as Brighton. Developing at least some level of trading – in food. Perhaps more important.Weaving the production and distribution of food into the fabric of the urban structure brings food as close to the market place as possible. Other cities are also adopting policies to support more community food growing initiatives. 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.
Funding for community food growing
In recognition of these factors. or sometimes to pay the wages of full or part-time staff to coordinate the project. In the 2011 publication “Who Feeds Bristol?” Bristol City Council learned that they have 2. helping community food enterprises to become more successful and resilient through trading in food4. In London. providing £50 million towards local food initiative through the Local Food Fund. Smaller towns too are also taking action from MoffatCAN in the South of Scotland to Transition Penwith in Cornwall.
Community food growing . to pay for tools and materials.
.000 hectares of land available in the city that would be suitable for urban food growing6. urban food travels the least distance. community food growing projects have been established with small-scale grant funding. if not most. trading can also better embed them in their local communities by providing services that benefit local people and other local businesses. urban food growing projects been funded by a range of organisations. disbursed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts3. requires less energy for refrigeration and is at its peak in terms of freshness. Bristol and Manchester. The Big Lottery also invested in the Making Local Food Work programme.growing up
Many. all trying to create their own thriving local food economies and produce more of their own food. services and/or or training – can help projects continue after their grants come to an end. Produced in harmony with the seasons.
In their 2011 ‘Small is Successful’ report. It aims to encourage. Indeed in some ways. the Ecological Land Co-operative highlighted ten examples of profitable food growers all operating on sites of less than 10 acres7. rather than being well supported by local people and local authorities and landowners. They are often working in spite of local circumstances. There are other challenges too.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. as urban growers are closer to larger numbers of customers. who conducted the research. while for some projects trading will simply not be appropriate. 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. examples of economically successful urban food producers and robust community-led food trading are exciting and very promising. 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. with practical guidance. to decide how they want to operate. this should be easier. 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. of course. In the UK. and being undercut by other competition.
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It is up to individual projects. For others the trading element may not be central but may complement other activities or be used for community outreach or fundraising. but not yet common.
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. or expand their trading activities so that they can generate invaluable income and encourage local entrepreneurs and community-led enterprises. more urban food growing projects to start. such as a lack of skills and knowledge in running a business. For some projects they may become a successful trading enterprise. 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. We spoke to Rebecca Laughton.
Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food
Land has come from public parks. though.“
It is difficult to give general advice around access to land. back gardens.” Seb Mayfield. Some local authorities are also running their own initiatives to allow local people to have access to disused land. 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. that projects are often very imaginative when it comes to finding places to grow. 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. Glasgow City Council’s Stalled Spaces Department deals with such sites in their city.
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. and Capital Growth are initiatives that help community food growing groups get access to land for food production8. allotment land and derelict sites awaiting development. 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. Projects should always seek legal advice. It’s down to the individual projects to make sure that they explore their own land issues. They have already allowed a number of sustainable food-growing non-profit groups to use stalled sites around the city.
Help with negotiating land
The Landshare scheme. and even offer grants and other help for groups to set up their projects9. housing associations. as circumstances are different in every case. 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. Each will come with its own advantages and disadvantages. private businesses. The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. This means.
Organiclea told us that building relations with the community. The case study below shows an example of successfully negotiating land from a local authority to use as a community market garden. there are restrictions on the landowners. such as a 12 month notice period. using their local network and contacts and thinking strategically were key to their success.
Community food growing and the Allotment Act
The National Heart Forum has conducted extensive research into land use for community food growing groups10. However. They are developing plans to combine the glass house with a community energy scheme. National Heart Forum Many landowners may feel uncertain about allocating land temporarily for community food growing because. 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. through their network. 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. if this is regarded as falling under the Allotment Act. if they need to get the site back. They have concluded that: “Generally land that is being used for community food growing activity falls under the Allotment Act. Indeed. 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. it’s community support for the project and you take time to build that up. The lease is more than just a piece of paper. The Organiclea staff are now working to secure the site beyond the 10 year period and are thinking creatively about how this can happen. and the requirements for this means there needs to be a 25 year lease. there are lots of issues around the long-term use of the site and each situation appears unique.
Organiclea and London Borough of Waltham Forest
Organiclea. which was the result of a three year negotiation period with the council and local community.
Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food
.” Clare Joy. Organiclea
Clare told us that there were a number of factors that helped them to secure the site. First. 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. bought their case to the attention of a senior official. 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. When securing land we need to be strategic and think in a multi-stranded way” Clare Joy. 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.Taking on land for commercial purposes
There are examples of community market gardens that have successfully negotiated access to public and private land. Organiclea have a standard lease agreement with the council. Good relations with the head of the council. a workers co-operative and community food enterprise in North East London.
• Mainly used to grow fruit and vegetables (not flowers). which is a significant income for some of the members. Being defined as an allotment is also potentially a problem for the community food growing groups because. the site should not be used for commercial fruit and vegetable production.
It is really shocking to see the amount of produce that is wasted from a conventional allotment site. The Avon Organic Group
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This community group was established in 1984 and includes a wide range of local growers including gardeners. to a maximum of £150. under allotment law. community groups and organic campaigners in Bristol.
The Avon Organic Group.” Shannon Horfield. However.Section 22 (1) of the Allotment Act 192211 specifies allotments are: • Around ¼ acre or less. The value of income from the sale of produce varies between producers. Collectively the group produce an abundance of crops which are for their own consumption. from a minimum of £10.” 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. they also trade their surplus produce that comes from a range of sites. This provides an excellent way for them to raise their profile in the community and generates a useful income for some of the members. So we encourage allotment holders to sell their surplus produce and understand that the produce has a value. • Growing fruit and vegetables for consumption not for sale. allotment holders.
A standard lease can be negotiated with the landowner. This enterprise operates out of a previous disused shop. and also has a small back yard with a polytunnel and conventional growing beds.” The Food Co-ops toolkit.It may be preferable. 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. fruit and fish. “An allotment cannot be used to support a business. Ecoworks in Nottingham and Organiclea’s Cropshare scheme.
Selling produce from allotment land
It is possible. Having good relations with the planning department and within the council has been key for these groups. what they have plenty of is buildings and these can be used imaginatively for growing food. therefore.
The FARM:shop. has hydroponic and aquaponic systems indoors on two other floors to produce quantities of salad. Some new food growing projects are making efficient use of disused building. They are now earning enough of their own income to sustain their rent on the shop. 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. 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. 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. 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.
All the case study projects in this section have had dealings with their local planning department and have needed to get permission. while others are campaigning to incorporate food growing in to new building design and use. 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. and they negotiated free use for one year with the local council while they got established. London
The FARM: shop in Dalston East London is a unique enterprise that combines food growing with a retail space. The FARM:Shop has a rooftop that is used to keep chickens. café and venue. But if an allotment holder can prove they have more than they can use themselves. and sources of more information and support with this process are listed below. This includes The Avon Organic Group in Bristol.
Using buildings for growing and selling food
While towns and cities are usually short of good food growing land. however. 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. it won’t be regarded as illegal to sell the surplus. 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. to sell allotment produce under some circumstances. Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food 9
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operated on a not for profit basis. who then worked with the planning department. 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. but also fits with the supermarket’s ethos of providing a facility for the local community. Having the growing space on the rooftop not only makes a previously disused space productive. The produce is grown in containers on the rooftop and is on sale in the supermarket. 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. such as the polytunnel and fencing. which is an informal agreement. Andrew Thornton. the owner of this Budgens store. A staircase to the roof was built from scaffolding. as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. with any profits going back into the project. 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. so the growing site has a guaranteed market for its produce. Although there were some local objections around safety.
Land issues for communities in cities growing and selling food
. the project had the support of other council departments. The project needed to get planning permission to put in the infrastructure. granted permission to Food From the Sky for the rooftop to be used in this way.Case study
Food From the Sky. Food From the Sky is a Company Limited by Guarantee. which was granted. and suitable arrangements were made for insurance. and for the safety of people working up there.
hogco-devonrcc. Their current work revolves around bringing more land in to production for community based growing.org/ Home Grown Community Owned Run by the Community Council of Devon providing help with developing community food producing projects http://www. http://www.foodmatters. The Federation offer a range of advice and support.org.org/ email@example.com. 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.K.org. The campaign offers a package of support to new spaces and has expertise in negotiating land from large landowners.uk Meanwhile Project Promotes temporary use of vacant buildings or land for a socially beneficial purpose http://www.uk/
Good Planning for Good Food A report produced by Sustain that looks at how the planning system can support a more sustainable food system.lawworks. http://www. http://www.uk/wps/.org.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.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 Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens This is a network of community led and managed projects..uk Landshare Landshare brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food. They have looked at the Allotment Act and community food growing. animals and plants. http://www.. http://www.org. including on access to land for community groups./ genpub_LocalInformation National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners NSALG is the recognised national representative body for the allotment movement in the U.uk/ info@hogco-devonrcc. http://www.uk/resources/ publications/
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.landshare.org.gov.uk/ email@example.com eb@meanwhilespace. buying.capitalgrowth.net.Useful information
Capital Growth The campaign for 2012 new food growing spaces in London. independent and professional town planning advice and support to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay planning consultants in Greater London.uk/ Local Authority Planning Portal Information about which Local Authority is relevant for planning in your area http://www.planningaidforlondon. health and environmental effects of growing.uk Somerset Community Food Somerset Community Food aims to reconnect people with the social.org.meanwhile.healthyplaces.org.organiclea. involving people. (2007) http://www. http://www.org. http://www.org. http://www.sustainweb.org.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org Planning Aid for London Provides free. preparing and eating local food.org.nsalg.org.net/ info@landshare. including all outer boroughs http://www.somersetcommunityfood.planningportal. connecting those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food. The report includes a section on urban food growing.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 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.
Jobs. apprenticeships and volunteers
This values the time of the people involved and helps to ensure that the project has a long-term future. 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. 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.
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. They have built up relations with a number of good customers and understand the market and the opportunities available. There are many challenges in opting for a larger trading model. 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.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. However in cases where it has worked the project is able to provide paid employment. training and other trading activities. opportunities for other producers and access to good local food for their community. 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.
a local resident and part-time grower. Jobs. just what they naturally did!” Kate De Syllas
This year the project has focused on a more low maintenance approach to growing and on more unusual and profitable crops such as Japanese wine berries and edible flowers. The project was established in Spring 2010 on a 140m2 patch of disused land on a housing estate in Hackney. All the people involved also commit a considerable amount of time on a voluntary basis. community group. it is all very well to have an easy going. 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.Case study
The Wenlock Herb Garden. to manage the site and make deliveries. won’t be unless they put financial sustainability up there with environmental sustainability. If we want to grow food in the city. 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. apprenticeships and volunteers 15
. But I also think that Wenlock will be here in three or four years time and a lot of other growing spaces. 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. 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. cosy attitude to it. although this was never something that was asked of people. 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.” Kate De Syllas
In the first growing season the income generated from salad production paid for Michael Turrisi. We pay £15 per hour for trained growers and also for paid administrative work. London
The Wenlock Herb Garden is a community run market garden based on a housing estate in East London. sadly.
runs a farmers’ market. The Growing Communities model is being tested to see if it can be adopted by other community groups across the UK12. Growing Communities employs over 20 local people part-time.
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. The enterprise has around 1000 customers each week and is an example of an urban food growing project that is a viable enterprise. 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. Julie Brown. London
Growing Communities is a pioneering and successful community-led box scheme in Hackney. and also operates a number of commerical growing sites in East London. 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.Case study
Growing Communities. paid for out of food sales from their box scheme and community trading model. which sells produce from local organic farmers.
Jobs. apprenticeships and volunteers
There are also opportunities to provide training or apprenticeships for people who might go on to get paid employment. At the end of the scheme many of the apprentices go on to manage their own market garden. Some projects run a formal training structure for long-term volunteers. and some projects are building this into their structure as an invaluable part of how the enterprise might run. inevitably. It is also important to remember that using volunteers is not cost-free. Each apprentice commits about two working days a week and goes through a carefully planned training programme that aims for specific results. It is essentially subsidising the costs of production and can be problematic to rely on long-term as. 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. some volunteers will stop volunteering at some stage. Any additional income they earn through direct sales to other buyers is theirs to keep. selling produce and coordinating volunteers. Make sure that volunteers only receive reimbursement for out-ofpocket expenses such as travel. 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.
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. Even among those projects that have created jobs. crop rotation. and also help people with mental illness to regain confidence13.
Apprenticeships: Growing a work force
The majority of people involved in community growing projects are volunteers. if there are a lot of volunteers. Paying volunteers – A note of caution Volunteers can be liable for tax on some kinds of income. co-ordination needs to be paid for. it is important to be aware of the implications of incorporating volunteer labour in to an enterprise model. It is a good idea to have systems in place to be able to be able to manage people that want to be involved. This is particularly important when operating as an enterprise.Case study
Growing Communities. The apprentices cover all aspects of running a market garden including organic horticulture. This may take the form of an apprenticeship scheme. However. and make sure that you collect a copy of the receipt14. London
Each growing season. as their outof-pocket expenses should be covered and.
Many people might not want to commit to an apprenticeship scheme and may just want to volunteer on a one off basis or have less time available but still want to help. The apprentice will grow an agreed amount of produce each week which they can sell to the box scheme. The previous section show that there are paid jobs being created out of community food growing but that examples of this are quite rare. 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. 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. volunteers still remain an important part of their workforce.
as well as book-keeping. clearing large areas of land and harvesting labour-intensive produce such as tomatoes. supportive and productive relationship with volunteers. London
We would be unable to harvest some of our more labour intensive crops without the help of our volunteers. Hawkwood Site. This helps to create a friendly. Jobs include digging beds. safely and well. meeting new people and keeping active. This is physical exercise with a productive purpose. and ensure that the right jobs get done. delivering produce and marketing. particularly if they are older as they find the activity relaxing and a break from the digging” Clare Joy. 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. apprenticeships and volunteers
. rather than pounding a treadmill!
Organiclea. while others may only have occasional time to offer. Co-ordination is essential as there can sometimes be as many as 40 volunteers on
site. Volunteers are rewarded with a free lunch and benefit from learning new skills. and some volunteers will be regulars. They also run Hawkwood volunteer days to maximise the sociability and effectiveness of the work.
org.skillsdevelopment.org/ Volunteering England Works to promote volunteering as a powerful force for change.uk
Employment. 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.gov.org. http://www.Useful information
National Apprenticeship Service (including voluntary sector apprenticeships) Designed to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated.soilassociation.aspx
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.aspx#Question22 Food Co-ops Toolkit Includes information on recruiting and managing volunteers http://www.uk/docs/eia-jsaregulations-2011. service for both employers and learners. both for those who volunteer and for the wider community http://www.volunteering.apprenticeships.uk/Employers/ Other-Questions. Skills and Enterprise Scheme Details of employment initiatives to enable people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance to participate in the Scheme http://www.sustainweb.org.dwp.apprenticeships.uk/ researchprojects/urban_agriculture.uk/ Soil Association: Organic Apprenticeship Scheme Two year work-based placement with an organic farmer or grower http://www.uk email@example.com Financing Apprenticeships National Apprenticeship Service covers the financial aspect of training apprentices depending on their age http://www.
Local investment in your venture
” Elinor McDowall. 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. businesses. Bungay Community Bees16
To thrive and secure their long-term success. food growing projects need to engage the support of local people. 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. smocks and veils. but this is not guaranteed. 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. For them. In addition we had one1 hive. 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. providing mutual benefits and reconnecting people to the land where their food is grown. reports of the monthly summer meetings and a copy of the end of year summary.
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.” Soil Association15. The group is approaching the second year of the five year plan that sets out how the group aims to grow and the income that they need to support this. “Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and the local community. These approaches are highlighted in the case studies below and show the opportunities that can be nurtured.
Community Supported Agriculture
The Soil Association is the leading organisation promoting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in this country.Case study
Bungay Community Bee Keepers. During our first year 37 members were recruited. training for two more keepers and two nucleus’ of bees. insurance for two keepers. With subscriptions set at £20 we raised enough money to buy three National Hives with basic equipment. landowners and local institutions. There are a number of community food projects that have secured money and commitment from their local community and customers from the start. Members chose to participate as much or as little as they wished. Bungay
The Bungay Community Bee Keepers raised money to buy bee keeping equipment for their project by asking for donations from the local community who then become members.
The case study on the right shows how this can work on a smaller scale. There are lots of different types of examples of memberships and community ownership schemes. not least because it is easier for people to visit their local food growing space. I am not looking for a return as the investment demonstrates the store’s values” Andrew Thornton. and faster. which has given them greater influence in the supermarket industry. commercial sources is that an initiative is likely to get more money.produce from you.000 to establish “Food From the Sky” and is encouraging other supermarkets and businesses to do the same. some of which have generated hundreds of thousands of pounds. than from approaching people in the community. The money may also come with a package of very useful commercial expertise. Many CSAs link people with larger. Thornton’s Budgens
Perhaps the main advantage of obtaining funding from private. who runs the Thornton’s Budgens franchise supermarket in north London. has invested around £10.
Local investment in your venture
Andrew Thornton. and land as the case study on the left shows.
• • • • •
For Thonton’s Budgens the benefits of having their own roof top community growing space include: A lot of positive PR. 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. rural farms but it can work on a smaller scale and in urban areas.
Food From the Sky and Budgens Supermarket. or invest in your business because they value what you are doing.
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” Eloise Dey. 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. 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. In general the restaurants that we work with have several things in common. They also see it as a positive way to engage and work with local people which is a change from their normal customers.Case study
“Adopt a Plot” London Food Link
London Food Link is a sustainable food network in the capital. Melior Street. 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. 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. It is early days but the match is working well for both parties and they are currently exploring how it can develop. 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. Capital Growth
Local investment in your venture
. They generally do not think they have enough produce to be able to meet a commercial kitchen demand. London Melior Street is a community garden in central London that is managed by St Mungo’s a charity that works with homeless people. St Mungo’s and The Table Café. Melior Street is now working with The Table Café in Southwark. I work with them to understand the value of their produce and that certain buyers can be flexible and accommodating. they all cook seasonal food. 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.
jrf.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ Community Supported Agriculture Partnership between farmers and the local community.com/sacsa11 bhewson@soilassociation. seasonal produce directly from the farmer http://www. providing mutual benefits and reconnecting people to the land where their food is grown.co.org Co-operatives UK Co-operatives UK is a national trade body that campaigns for co-operation and works to develop co-operative enterprises.uk.co. They offer support and advice on community ownership and structures.Useful information
Community Farm – Bristol Community Farm launched a community share offer. the benefits and the factors that support it happening http://www.thecommunityfarm.org.co.uk/publications/communityownership-and-management-assets
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. http://tinyurl. inviting members of the public to invest in the farm http://www.uk
Community Ownership and Management of Assets Report on the scale of activity.makinglocalfoodwork.coop/ Making Local Food Work Enabling communities to get local. http://www.
Finding customers and promoting what you do
Some techniques that projects have used to do so include: Conducting a local survey of potential customers to gauge their interest.
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. 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. back gardens. It can be as simple as chatting to local people. For example. 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. 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. a whole plot of chard rather than a couple of bunches” Oliver Rowe. businesses or a combination. with what customers want to buy. It does not have to be an expensive or difficult process. There may also be opportunities to collaborate with your competition so that you can provide complementary products. private businesses. “ As a buyer I would recommend that it is better to have larger quantities of just a few items e. It’s good to be aware of this so that you can better define what makes you different. restaurants and other outlets to find out what they would like to buy. It’s a good idea to target customers that you realistically think might want to buy produce from you. Land has come from public parks. 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.
This means. Growers wanting to sell more commercially should identify a gap in the market and then think how they can meet this. allotment land and derelict sites awaiting development.g. though. that projects are often very imaginative when it comes to finding places to grow. housing associations. The Wenlock Herb Garden
Growers can sometimes be wary of the concept of ‘market research’. This method works particularly well when working with a restaurant or caterer. This might be local residents.
There are some things people will pay more for and some things they aren’t interested in buying” Kate De Syllas. Finding a customer first and growing to meet that order. It is essential to get a good grip on this early on to maximise what you are able to do. Knowing who your competition is. Chef. but without it you risk having a lot of produce that no-one wants to buy. Organiclea invited a number of local chefs to their Hawkwood growing site so that the chefs could understand where the produce was coming from and talk directly to the growers about their requirements.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.
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. you may be offering unique products not available elsewhere (e.” Tom James. which you can only use if you are certified – see below) there is a very short and clear story about how each product is grown Buyers/ customers can put a name and a face to the grower. to make it look amazing. Your sales might just be ad hoc and it’s good to be honest about this. If your produce is good enough buyers will be interested and the ad hoc element might also suit them. from this street. you have lost your way. unusual salad leaves or herbs) unbeatable freshness i. which is a rarity
“We wanted to really push how local this fruit was: not just from Sheffield.g. Super local. Abundance Sheffield
Finding customers and promoting what you do
. but from this bit of Sheffield. and also what the transport options are and their costs. if you’re going to sell it.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. These are your unique selling points and might includes several of these features:
community grown produce is generally top quality. It really helps.
• • • • • •
Unique selling points
Remember that the day you think that all you are doing is selling salad. 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.e. The Chutney Project.
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.
The World Wide Web Web presence Having a web presence is important and is a great way to tell people about what you are doing. The options below show alternatives to setting up a website which can be costly. Leaflets and posters This is a more traditional way to promote what you do but it is still a good way to make your local community aware of what you are doing.com/ Creating a Facebook page A Facebook page is another popular way for groups and community organisations to get web presence for free.blogger. label and promote yourselves are all part of your branding and this influences your customers’ decisions.
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. Branding Creating a brand might sound sinister and unnecessary but it how you represent your organisation. images.Communicating with your customers
How you communicate with your cutomers depends on who they are and what is most appropriate for you both.
Some good blog websites to get started are www. In general the projects that we spoke to found that the quality of their produce was one of their main selling points. 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. 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.com https://www. On the plus side Facebook has many users worldwide and is a great way to tap in to other local networks and make contact. and let people contact you. It will mean developing materials such as a logo. so people need to see it and taste it before commiting to buying it. labels.wordpress. Setting up a blog A blog is a great alternative to a website and is used by a lot of community projects already.and written material that represent you and gives a professional message to your customers. Community food growing projects have got an amazing story to communicate about how they operate and the produce that they have grown. Providing samples and informaiton about your project to customers is a great way for customers to see the quality of the produce. it has lots of benefits but it takes a little bit of time to get used to its format. recruit volunteers. Below are a number of communications methods and a combination of them is worth considering for your particular circumstances. colours. Branding your project simply means making decions about how to show this. These days you can get a web presence really easily and for free. It is increasingly used by many restaurants and shops to heighten their profile and communicate informally with their customers. Visually how you choose to package.org www. 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.tumblr. This lay out might be restrictive. Twitter Love it or hate it.
Finding customers and promoting what you do
uk Twitter for marketing A guide to using Twitter to connect your enterprise to customers.businesslink. The guide has a lot of useful information on marketing and using the press to your advantage.uk/ rob@socialbusinessconsulting. share information and build relationships http://business.cfm
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. finance and business planning.sustainweb. http://www.twitter.freshmanagementsolutions.uk/about/ toolbox/Toolbox.uk/ The Social Business They have a free section to help develop a business plan for a social enterprise including marketing.gov.co.facebook.uk/ Facebook for marketing A guide to setting up and using a Facebook page to give your enterprise a voice http://www. http://thesocialbusiness.co.co.makinglocalfoodwork. They provide a wide range of advice on marketing.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. http://www.com/FacebookPages Fresh Management Solutions Ltd A business consultancy that has experience in working with social enterprises and community food organisations.Useful information
Business Link Free advice on marketing.com/
Knead to Know A publication created by The Real Bread Campaign that advises people on baking bread in their local community.co.
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. can be produced in a small amount of space and there is a good market for them. Chillies are always sent out the same day they are picked so. below are some example of crops that work well in an urban environment. Dorset
This home business is run by Michael and Joy Michaud who specialise in producing chilli peppers. As the name of the business suggests the produce is sold by mail order as chillies are sold in small quantities that are light.
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.
. customers receive their chillies just the day after they were growing on the plant. The key factors are that these crops are high yielding.Bearing in mind the points from section 5 about making sure you know your market.
Peppers by Post in West Bexington. so are easy to deliver. There is a growing pressure on restaurants to reduce the food miles on their customers’ plates. Japanese and Indian food. The Sustainable Restaurant Association highlights the growing demand from their restaurants in finding local sources of more exotic crops to improve their environmental credentials. and from restaurants serving global dishes such as Mexican. Chilli peppers are also an example of a crop that is not commonly produced in the UK.
Groups come along and learn how to preserve their produce and leave with a product that they are able to sell. speciality leaves. This might be a gap in the market for local and sustainably produced honey which community enterprises might exploit.
Interest in urban bee keeping is reviving. not only among individuals but also communities. particularly if they are difficult to get hold of in the UK. as they suit the condition in urban areas and. Examples of these include: • • • • • • • Mixed salad bags Herbs Heritage varieties Soft fruit Edible flowers Mushrooms Exotic items such as chillies. because they are delicate and highly perishable. Producing honey involves a small amount of labour relative to the rewards harvested and has high commercial value. 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. Niche crops are also a good idea. at a market stall or local farmers market. 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.
Urban Harvest. Sessions so far have resulted in delicious and unique pesto and chutney.
Processing produce is a great way to add value and it is also very helpful when there are gluts of produce around. Urban crops 35
. It also means lengthening the season so that you could have local produce for sale for longer. benefit from being grown very close to market. for example.Salads. 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. pickled cucumbers or tomatoes in oil. oriental greens etc. herbs and niche crops
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. They ask local people to sign up as members and have a sliding scale of membership rates. housing estates and people’s back gardens. Some community food projects have are even processing and harvesting excess urban fruit from parks. These crops can generate good income and there is a high demand for high quality and really fresh produce.
Pop up pickle. Capital Bee19 in London is training and establishing 50 community bee hives in London as part of the Capital Growth project. See the case study on Moffat CAN on page 36. edible flowers and herbs are successful crops. There are lots of examples of crops that cannot be bought from regular suppliers so there are opportunities to produce exclusive items. London
In London the Capital Growth campaign has been organising “Pop up Pickle” events that take place in commercial kitchens. to raise money for their project.
Moffat. MoffatCAN is now looking for more customers and refining the business plan. The fish was complimented on its freshness as it was served on the plate several hours after it had been swimming in the tank.
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. 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. selling 30 fish to a local hotel to serve as part of a food festival. South Scotland
MoffatCAN has established an aquaponic and hydraponic growing system which combines fish farming with salad production. The fish were harvested. having decided to focus on selling to trade to increase the amount sold and reduce the work involved. MoffatCAN is currently market-testing the fish with local customers and has had its first successful customer. put into ice and delivered to the hotel on foot.Case study
com/ Wild Forest Foods A small London based company that grows a variety of specialist vegetable and salad crops supplying local restaurants and shops.co. They offer consultancy on a range of issues around food production and retail. http://www.uk/pdfs/ Polytunnel-Factsheet.Useful information
Aquaponics UK This not for profit organisation supports the development of aquaponic systems in the UK.uk
Books and reports
Garden Organic Garden Organic offers specific advice on growing crops using polytunnels http://www.co.co.ruaf.co. aiming to strengthen and develop the movement in the UK http://www. http://www.org.uk/ Organic Growers Alliance This membership based organisation supports organic horticulture throughout the UK. http://www. They have an online forum that can be used to ask specific questions about organic food growing.pdf Growing Communties Food Zones is the manifesto Growing Communities believes we can use to produce food in our cities.org/ email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ 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.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
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.peppersbypost. They have two urban growing sites.thegoldenco-op.org/cityharvest/ email@example.com Crop planning The Soil Association has produced a guide to crop planning and rotation http://www.growingcommunities. http://www. http://www.gardenorganic.org Glebelands Consultancy Glebelands Market Garden is a pioneering urban market garden based in Sale. Manchester. http://www.sustainweb.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.uk/ firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.organicgrowersalliance. http://www.uk City Harvest This website shows the benefits associated with urban agriculture.org.wildforestfoods.org. A great example of a crop that could be produced in our towns and cities.uk/ Peppers by Post A mail order company specialising in chilli peppers. glebelandsmarketgarden.aquaponics.
Routes to market
The case studies below highlight some of the different opportunities for trading. Do not expect people to buy from you just because of who you are.” Kate De Syllas.This section looks at how to bring the produce to where it will be sold or consumed in the most effective and efficient ways. Having one delivery point Being able to deal with gluts. people still expect high standards. The Wenlock Herb Garden 40 A Growing Trade
. Don’t expect that this year’s most fashionable herb will be in demand in the same quantity next year. There are some things they will pay more for and some things they aren’t interested in. as this will be done in their kitchens
“Restaurants like exclusivity. quality and reliability. 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. Growers need to find outlets that are appropriate for them. Arranging orders in advance. Head grower. as chefs can be creative with ingredients Not having to prepare the produce. including washing it.
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. 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. Also. Where possible. as the logistical knots of distributing produce can be a real challenge. so there is a guaranteed market for the produce that is being grown. Other advantages of these direct sales include: • • • • • The option to sell small quantities at a high price. restaurants and retailers follow food fashion. The Wenlock Herb Garden Increasing numbers of community food growing projects are approaching interested restaurants and directly negotiating sales. and this can be problem if you are targeting other restaurants in the same area” Michael Turrisi. Although this is a vital element of how you promote your produce.
Selling directly to restaurants
“Groups need to be aware that chefs want reliability and great quality produce. Groups need to stay ahead of what happens in the food sector as a whole. It is up to each project to decide which customers are right for them.
It is so fresh and unusual in terms of the mixture of leaves. North London
The Castle Climbing Centre in Hackney has three food growing areas. sealable and labelled clear plastic bags. Those that are surplus to the requirements of the Growing Communities box scheme are sold directly to a number of local restaurants. 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. 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. so to be able to purchase salad that is grown three miles away is something they can promote and which their customers appreciate. Ida sells to the Duke of Cambridge organic gastro pub in Islington. This is some of the best salad that I have come across. She picks the produce and packs it into reusable. The second is an area of private micro allotments. led by head chef Sara Berg. For example. who understands their requirements and can grow any particular items that they request. Ida Fabrizio and Sophie Verhagen who manage the site (which is certified organic) grows and sells a mixture of salad and herbs. And the third is a 100m2 urban market garden that is one of Growing Communities’ Patchwork Farms. The kitchen.Case study
The Castle market garden to the Duke of Cambridge organic gastro pub. The Duke of Cambridge
Routes to market
. Head Chef. or celery leaves can be a garnish or unusual addition to a salad. and the produce is washed at the restaurant by the kitchen porters. One is a shared community garden for members of the local community. The restaurant has a local buying policy. and delivers it by bicycle trailer once a week. It’s great to talk to Ida each week about what is going to be coming in” 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. slightly torn rocket can be used for pesto. They are also able to deal directly with Ida. Ida is paid cash on delivery.
They also sell any surplus produce to a local restaurant located a mile down the road.Case study
Salop Drive Market Garden. and can have up to 60 customers during peak season. The site developed from a derelict allotment site over a period of five years and they now sell a weekly veg box.” Tim Botfield. We are now faced with the challenge of how to make this venture sustainable if our funding runs out. and his colleague. We have to subside the cost of the vegetables that we produce as we are in a low income area. Sandwell. 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. “Traceability is a big concern for restaurants. The box scheme charges £4 a week to customers which is a price that they subsidies. Salop Drive Market Garden
Reliability. and they need to be confident that the produce they are buying is from a safe source. Restaurants might be hesitant to buy community grown produce for this reason” Shaun Alpine-Crabtree. which contains mostly their own produce. Traceability and assurance that the produce is safe to eat it also a particular concern when selling to restaurants. a horticultural therapist. 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. 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.
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. West Midlands
Salop Drive Market Garden is a three-acre working market garden run by Tim Botfield. and take orders in the winter on new baby plants that they sell to customers in spring. 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.
Ecoworks HQ community room is used for storage and packing.
Routes to market
. a parttime member of staff. Customers receive a weekly newsletter which gives information on where produce has come from.g. swede) or was not being grown on Ecoworks land due to the length of growing time or rotation. which is impressive given their site is just 400 m2. These bags are individually labelled with the customer’s name and collection point. The box scheme comprises 80 to 90% of their own produce during high season and they also purchase produce from other local growers. making it an excellent outlet for other local growers. as well as Ecoworks and local community activities and events. Each collection point is carefully chosen based on location and accessibility. Bags are packed on Thursday and delivered Friday morning.Case study
Ecoworks. Ecoworks currently provides fruit and vegetables to 60 to 80 customers each week. Ecoworks use re-usable tote bags to deliver produce. and recipes to help customers make best use of the seasonal produce. garlic. to coordinate their local veg box scheme. market gardens and allotment holders. Ecoworks veg boxes (actually provided in bags) are delivered weekly to one of eight collection points across the city. and are colour coded to help staff and volunteers determine the different sizes easily. Box numbers are provided at the start of the week and produce is agreed for delivery on Thursday. Nottingham
Ecoworks employs Nicola Hinton. In addition. they have established a growing agreement with one local biodynamic farm to grow a range of produce which was difficult to find locally (e.
The group has a regular market stall at Bristol Farmers market where they combine the sale of their surplus produce. They have since adjusted their prices to return better value for the care and effort that goes into the growing. with the producer getting 80% of the selling price.
The Avon Organic Group. The produce is priced in line with the other stall holders at the farmers’ market. Initially. which comprises a number of local allotment holders and local growers in Bristol.Distributing through a box scheme
The scale of box schemes varies from projects having around just 10 regular customers to others such as Growing Communities who have nearly 1000 customers. Any additional money goes towards funding the group’s other activities such as events. The group also pays £100 per year membership to the National Market Traders Federation. The producers are asked to prepare their produce for sale before they come. the group reported that their producers had a tendency to undersell their produce. which allows them to sell goods to the public as a market trader. 44 A Growing Trade
. At the end of the market the money is totted up. so all produce arrives already weighed. Bristol
Shannon Horfield coordinates selling surplus produce for the members of the Avon Organic Group. meaning that they were not covering their costs of attending. Members of the group bring their produce to the market stall and fill in a form about what they have brought. The 20% kept by Avon Organic Group covers the £30 stall rental and goes towards their public liability insurance. The produce is then inspected to make sure that all the produce is of a high enough standard to sell.
Selling from a market stall
Selling directly from a market stall has a number of advantages.
Routes to market
. though. Initially with our projects we focused on facilitating the children to be able to grow their own produce and outdoor learning. as it is a simple way to test the market for your produce. is the community outreach opportunities from being at a local market. Being visible makes it easier to engage people and tell them about what you are doing. Little Growers. Little Growers is currently working closely with four local schools to establish local market stalls in partnership with the Co-operative supermarket. 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. The day was a huge success.
Little Growers. The children took the lead in selling. The main benefit. and you can run a stall as and when you have produce to sell. Surrey
Little Growers is a horticultural education charity that works with schools across the UK to support food growing initiatives.” Heather Pearl.
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Country Markets Ltd Membership-based co-operative social enterprise http://www.uk/ The Sustainable Restaurant Association Not-for-profit organisation helping restaurants become global leaders in sustainability http://www.sustainweb.lfm.thesra.org.co.country-markets.org/londonfoodlink/ ethical_eats/ Farmers’ Markets List of British farmers’ markets inspected & certified by National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association http://www.farmersmarkets.uk/ Ethical Eats Network of restaurants and catering businesses in London that care about sustainability http://www.net London Farmers’ Markets Offering fresh local food to Londoners every week 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
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What should you do with the money you make?
• • •
Cash on Delivery This is the most simple and suitable for dealing with small sales and for managing your income. Banks require coins to be bagged up by their types with the amount specified on the bag.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. The Co-op. an ethical bank.
It is important to decide how you want to take payment from your customers and set up appropriate systems to manage the income. Never make payments directly from cash received. has a special “Community Direct plus” account which offers benefits to community groups and social enterprises that choose to bank with them24. Ideally. Some options are outlined below. This fits with their payment methods for their other suppliers and the records that they need. Pay your takings in to your bank account. 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. leaving them with one month’s unpaid invoice. so that they appear on your financial records and bank statements for that date. A standard invoice should include: 52 A Growing Trade
. no cash payments should ever be made apart from through petty cash. The advice below is taken from “Knead to Know” a guide to creating and selling real bread in your community25. • • 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. It is relatively easy to set up a bank account as an unincorporated community group (see section 10 for different kinds of enterprise). and also ensures that you are paid promptly. One of the projects that we interviewed told us that they lost income due to one of their regular customers going bankrupt. Cash handling procedures Cash handling procedures apply when taking money at a market stall or when receiving cash on delivery. 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.
They may need to have a record of what they have bought for their own accounts.000. The standard amount of time for payment is 30 days.www. ice cream. These should include: • • Your organisation name. 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. a box scheme that has regular orders.g. online payment. It also means that you are offering a fair price and not undercutting your competitors. by cheque. as well as assessing the costs of production.sustainweb. (due for publication 2012 . for example. confectionary. However. Projects often work out their pricing by doing research on what is being charged at farmers markets and in supermarkets.• • • • • •
An invoice number Your organisation name. or cash.
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. Recommended Reading A Healthy Profit: a simple guide to pricing the food you make and grow. alcohol. soft drinks and mineral water26. Delivery notes and receipts Some customers might require a delivery note or receipt when they receive their goods. address and contact information The details of your customer
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. you need to register and pay VAT if you are a business that supplies taxable goods and has a turnover of over £73. For one off payments or small amounts using internet banking and having customers transfer money to your account is probably the easiest thing. savoury snacks.
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. crisps. You do not need to pay VAT on food items with the exception of hot food or food for catering.org)
What should you do with the money you make?
. These can be a feature of your webpage. and transporting your produce.
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. Even if your income is below the threshold for tax you may still need to declare your income. You can use your profit and loss account to do this. for paying bills. 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. or it might be a buffer for when there is less money coming in. grants and other income • money out. buying equipment. It will also help you make decisions about your pricing model and understand the flow of money in your organisation. This is key to working out your viability and planning for the future of your project. equipment. At the basic level this is: • money in. These include: • • • Paying tax on your earned income Re-investing in your enterprise (people. 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. etc) Starting a reserve fund from your profits to use in future. There are exemptions but it is important to talk to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to find out what applies to you. 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.Money: the who. (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.
Paying tax When trading regularly you have to pay tax on your profits.
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. from customer sales. etc. This money might be used in the future to expand what you do.
What should you do with the money you make?
http://www.co.gov.hmrc.uk/ct/getting-started/newcompany/who-is-liable.businesslink.CFSweb/Page/ Business-CommunityBanking?WT. Especially useful is the publication “Balancing the books for Food Co-ops” http://www.hmrc.co.uk/about/ toolbox/Toolbox.uk/ct/clubs-charitiesagents/clubs.htm http://www.hmrc.uk Co-op Bank An ethical bank that offers special services for community groups and social enterprises.htm Paying tax for community groups and co-ops http://www.gov. with lots of details on starting a business and the records that you need to keep.cfm
Knead to Know A publication created by The Real Bread Campaign that advises people on baking bread in their local community. http://www. The guide has a lot of useful information on cash handling procedures.uk/index.org/realbread/knead_ to_know/
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.gov. http://www.svl=copy HMRC Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs exist to make sure that the correct tax is paid.htm Making Local Food Work The enterprise support strand offers free advice and a range of downloadable information on starting a business.sustainweb. HMRC has a number of useful and clear document which outline tax issues for new companies.makinglocalfoodwork.Useful information
Business Link Business Link is government’s online information for businesses.gov.uk/servlet/ Satellite/1196151412581.co-operativebank. http://www.
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. Capital Growth
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.co. March 2011. we set up as a loose group of people who had met through other things and wanted to get the project up and running. Can be downloaded for free here http://www. When funding became available and a bank account had to be organised we wrote a basic community group constitution.makinglocalfoodwork. The basics are outlined in the recommended reading below but as elsewhere in this report.” Kate De Syllas The Wenlock Herb Garden 58 A Growing Trade
. We have had discussions about Community Interest Company and co-op status.“ “
“Starting a community food enterprise can seem really complicated and daunting. but realistic. Specialist Community Enterprise Support. 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. Recommended reading Business Planning Unwrapped: A guide to preparing and writing a business plan. 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. The options need to be researched and be ambitious. There is no set template and your founding document can be flexible and evolve as your organisation does.uk/
“Initially. we recommend you get professional advice. Making Local Food Work.
so that if something goes wrong liability lies personally with the members of the group It also means that. even if it is below a taxable amount. in the long-term. Groups should contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for more information.g. http://www. Trading might be something that a group is interested in exploring but it might be a small amount and irregular e.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. and more business activities increases the risks of operating. Becoming incorporated means registering with a regulator and complying with all the associated administration.
Some of our case studies want to operate as a business with social aims. There are costs involved in the different options available. An elected management committee will generally oversee and make decisions on behalf of its members. Unincorporated associations enjoy greater freedom than a company. This becomes important when the amount of money you are dealing with becomes higher.uk. The key thing to note is that unincorporated associations have no identity separate to the members. 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. They also offer free advice to help organisations get the governing structure that is right for them. Unincorporated associations are still liable for tax on their income and may need to declare. which can make its own rules about how the group will be run. just selling gluts. which can make them more suitable for community food growing groups that are selling small quantities of produce from time to time. Incorporation protects the people involved by creating an identity separate to the members.coop/simplylegal
What kind of enterprise?
. it can be very difficult to expand the enterprise and do things like: • • • • • take on employees raise finance. and there is information and advice available to help you reach the right decision. Legally this is an unincorporated group. apply for grants or open bank accounts issue shares enter into large contracts take on a lease or buy freehold property27.
org.companieshouse.htm Social Enterprise London Social Enterprise London is a world-leading provider of training.co-operative.gov. hmrc.coop/enterprisehub
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.gov.coop/simplyseries Companies House Companies House registers companies.Useful information
Business Link Business Link is government’s online resource for businesses.uk/ct/getting-started/new-company/ who-is-liable.gov.uk Enterprise Clubs A government run scheme to help become self-employed or start a business http://www. http://www.uk The Co-operative Enterprise Hub Free information on running a co-operative enterprise.gov. networking and consultancy for social enterprise. uk.co.makinglocalfoodwork. research. http://www.uk/#item-whats-new Specialist Enterprise Support Expert and free help. http://www. Recommended is “Who is liable for corporation tax” http://www. It has lots of information on starting a business and the records that you need to keep.direct.sel.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.businesslink. They produce a range of free to download guides suitable for new and existing cooperative and community enterprises: www.uk/index. http://www. through business advice.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. mentoring or a subsidised visit to another community food enterprise http://www. develop and unite co-operative enterprises.
Directory of case studies
Upper School. Selling their produce provides an excellent way for them to raise their profile in the community. How it is sold: At the Bristol Farmers Market. 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. 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.org. preserves and plants. They operate a café and box scheme. The project aims for the box scheme to be self sustaining from its own income by 2014. selling surplus produce at least once a month throughout the growing season. courses and training.org. poly tunnel and 500m2 mixed fruit orchard. Collectively the group produces an abundance of crops which are mainly for their own consumption. and has continued to support the market. Labour: The group has 40 volunteers.avonorganicgroup.
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.5 acre site. They have a 400m2 market garden. allotment holders and organic campaigners in Bristol. The project runs activities for people that are socially disadvantaged including food growing. The group had a stall at the very first Bristol Farmers’ Market in 1998.org.uk Ecoworks is a not-for-profit community organisation based on the Hungerhill Garden Allotment Site in St Ann’s.uk/ This community group was established in 1984 and includes local gardeners. What is produced: A selection of vegetables. Former St Ann’s Well Junior School. They have just acquired an additional 12. Brewsters Road. Nottingham. The project is supported by NHS Nottingham and has received funding from the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund and The Tudor Trust.Avon Organic Group
Bristol www. fruits. Nottingham.ecoworks. both of which use their own produce. NG3 3AG www.
direct sales from the garden to local restaurants. 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.
community. edible flowers. and 10 regular volunteers.org. E83AZ http://farmlondon. chillies and squash. The aim is to create a space that is used by the local Directory of case studies 63
. Labour: One full-time member of staff. What is produced: Mixed leaves. mushrooms. How it is sold: Through their own shop and café
Food From the Sky
Thornton’s Budgens. potatoes.com/index. What is produced: Salad. from income generated from sales of produce in the store. beans and peas. London N8 8DU http://foodfromthesky.html someone@somethingandson. The project has been developed by Andrew Thornton owner of the Budgens store’s franchise working with the local community. to train people in growing food and also to create produce that can be sold through the supermarket.weebly. herbs. and to plan for the future
20 Dalston Lane. peas. running courses and donations.uk/ Food from the Sky is a food-growing garden established on the roof of a Budgens supermarket in Crouch End. running events. Crouch End. The aim is for this role to be self-sustaining over a period of about two years. Food From the Sky is co-ordinated by an enthusiastic and creative part-time project officer Azul-Valerie Thome.com FARM:shop Dalston is a unique project that converted a disused shop in to a space that grows food. one parttime grower and 5-10 volunteers each week. Type of organisation: Company Limited by Guarantee Income: They are funded by the Local Food Fund and The Tudor Trust. running their own training and providing event catering. 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. Labour: One full time project leader (going part-time). How it is sold: The produce is picked weekly and delivered just 50 metres away to the shop floor. What is produced: Salads. They generate some income through their veg box. All produce is grown to organic standard but not certified. where it has its own display area and promotion. giving talks and hiring out the venue. North London. 21-23 The Broadway. Type of organisation: Company Limited by Guarantee Income: The sales from their produce. has a chicken coop on the roof top and a poly tunnel in the back garden. The shop has both aquaponic and hydraponic systems installed. They now generate their own income from the café.Labour (number of paid staff and volunteers involved): 9 staff and 6 regular volunteers each week. They also aim to work with supermarkets and other food retailers to spread the model. courgettes. The project launched in March 2011 and is now self-sustaining from its own income. herbs and a selection of fruit and vegetables. herbs. London. African Tilpia fish. one part-time member of staff. 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. runs events and has a café and retail space where the produce is sold. tomatoes. eggs.
N16 7NX http://www. Moffat. 115 Hawkwood Crescent. leafy vegetables and soft fruits.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. farmers market and through sales of produce to local restaurants and caterers. Income: From their own box scheme. Current outlets for Organiclea’s produce are through their own box scheme which has around 70 customers each week. through their own box scheme and other local box schemes. In addition to the Hawkwood site they also coordinate activities through the Hornbeam Centre in Walthamstow.org.org info@moffatcan. Labour: Approximately 35 volunteers each week and five parttime members of staff Type of organisation: Workers co-operative Income: Sale of produce. The community Market Garden and Aquaponics Greenhouse are intended as demonstration projects but are also commercial. and in the height of the growing season the weekly amount created can total over 50 kilos. The combination of land and glass house means they are able to produce a wide range of crops all year round. The produce has a guaranteed market as it is bought by the box scheme. working with housing associations to provide services for their residents. The box scheme buys in produce from local farmers each week.
Income: From the sale of vegetables What is produced: Various traditional vegetables and salads. and Organiclea implements careful planning. How it is sold: The majority of the produce is sold through the box scheme and a small urban farm shop. herbs. The sites specialise in growing salad.
Old Church Depot. running training What they produce: Mixed vegetables for Organiclea’s own box scheme. Land at Hawkwood is split in to a number of areas which grow different types of crops. Type of organisation: They are a not for profit Company Limited by Guarantee. and are bringing local buyers to view their site and discuss their order. running a stall at a weekly farmers’ market in Hackney.000 boxes each week.uk/ info@organiclea. Organiclea is a workers’ co-operative that works with a wide range of members of the local community. Chingford. salads. which is a local food hub where they run a box scheme and part-time café. but also grows a percentage of produce on a number of their own local growing sites as part of a “Patchwork Farm” in Hackney. 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. DG10 9HB http://www. E4 7UH http://www.org/ email@example.com Growing Communities is a successful social enterprise in Hackney that operates an organic fruit and vegetable box scheme that packs over 1.Growing Communities
61 Leswin Road. box scheme. What is produced: Salad. plants and organic compost. market stall and on site. fruit from the orchard. plus African Tilapia fish.org Moffat CAN runs an allotment site and community market garden and also has the first Aquaponics Greenhouse in Scotland. 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. Annanside.org. How it is sold: Produce is sold to three local restaurants and occasional walk in customers
The Hawkwood Plant Nursery. Growing Communities also runs an apprenticeship scheme to help local people learn growing skills. They are now testing direct sales to restaurants and caterers. aiming to grow food to trade and make the site economically viable.moffatcan. fruit juices and preserves How it is sold: Direct sale to restaurants. The sites are all smaller than an acre but coordinate their growing plans and combine their produce weekly to sell to the box scheme. and operate a ‘pay as you grow’ trading system. Some is also cooked and served through their own cafe . and any surplus produce is sold on to local restaurants. diverse crops and ecological growing methods. Labour: Two paid gardeners and four regular volunteers Type of organisation: Charity & Community Owned Company 64 A Growing Trade
.organiclea. Labour: They employ 20 part-time staff and have had over 100 volunteers on their site over the past year. London.
The project aims to provide an environment that will benefit a range of vulnerable or socially disadvantaged people.cultivatelondon. Lewes Road.org. It is a community garden growing and selling vegetables. They sell produce in a number of outlets in Sheffield to contribute towards the costs of staff time and materials for the site. Fork and Dig it Stanmer Organics. Fir Tree Community Growers Fir Tree Farm. 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. on unused
. 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. Suffolk www. Glebelands Market Gardens Sale. Revenue from the sale of the crops will be spent on greening other areas of the estate. W13 9YU http://www. 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. Type of organisation: Unincorporated community group Income: Sales of produce What they produce: Salad.co. Plymouth PL3 4DD http://www.com/profile/WenlockHerbGarden wenlockherbgarden@gmail. a Plymouth charity. restaurants and shops. Sheffield S2 3DT http://www. Stanmer Park.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. Heeley City Farm Richards Road. Gleeblands are also one of the founding members of Manchester Veg People a growers and buyers co-operative. They sell most of there produce through local outlets such as Unicorn Grocery.com A commercial community garden situated on a housing esate in Hackney. Bowmans Close.glebelandscitygrowers. Pimbo Road. herbs and flowers.co.org.org. The aim is to grow herbs on a commercial basis to sell to local restaurants and become a self-sustaining growing project. Manchester http://www. Bungay.org.uk An organic gardening project in Plymouth run by the Routeways Centre Ltd.climatefriendlyfood.sustainablebungay. Merseyside WA11 8RG http://www.uk/ digginit@routeways. based across multiple sites in West London. They sell produce to a number of local restaurants and also from their own on site farm shop. London. Brighton.uk This project trains unemployed and vulnerable people in Merseyside. West Sussex BN1 9PZ http://www. Hackney. Cultivate London 8 Dean Court.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org. Brighton.The Wenlock Herb Garden
The Wenlock Estate.co. St Helens.org This innovative urban farm.uk Glebelands is a pioneering urban market garden situated on the outskirts of Manchester. London http://projectdirt. helping them to become better integrated in the community and bringing communities together.co. West Ealing.uk/fir_tree_farm email@example.com. Directory of case studies 65
Other interviewed projects and examples of community trading
Bungay Community Bee Keepers Sustainable Bungay.heeleyfarm. fruit. Stoke.uk/ enquiries@forkanddigit. and 5-6 regular volunteers.forkanddigit.org. They have a two acre organic certified market garden where they sell the crops that they produce.uk A voluntary organic community gardening group based in Stanmer Park. Kings Moss. produces a range of herbs and vegetables for sale to London households.uk info@heeleyfarm. Labour: Three part-time member of staff (their time being paid out of food sales). Diggin it 45 Penlee Way.uk Based in Sheffield.uk/ contacts@glebelandscitygrowers.
Running a market stall to sell produce has been a successful part of the project. upgraded the previously derelict open space on Melior Street. Salop Drive Ideal for All. The Urban Wine Company Tooting.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. The Table Café in Southwark. a potting shed. Mungo’s and their ‘Putting Down Roots’ programme.co. London E2 OAX http://www. 100 Oldbury Road. Over 1. They are currently selling their community grown produce to a local restaurant.co. in partnership with Southwark Council.co. Bethnal Green.hcfa.
Rocky Park Urban Growers Ellesworth Street.5 tonnes of grapes were collected at the 2009 harvest which made an astounding 1000 bottles of professionally produced wine.php?id=1 Veronica_Barry@sandwell. Urban Harvest Birmingham 4 Herbert Road. It is run by residents of the estate and volunteers. The project aims to educate children about where their food comes from and combines food growing with the curriculum. SE1 3QP http://www.uk Nourish CIC is a social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities with disadvantaged adults.Hounslow Community Farming Association Faggs Road.urbanharvestbham.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. Independent Living Centre.org A new social enterprise in Birmingham that harvests unwanted urban fruit and sells it as juices and preserves. Brighton BN1 9SE http://www.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. Smethwick. West Midlands B66 1JE http://www. The plans include a community herb and vegetable garden. London http://www.sandwellfoodnetwork.littlegrowers. Nourish Community CIC Stanmer Offices.nourishcic. They run their own box scheme which distributes their own produce.uk http://www.org. Lewes Road.co.facebook. Little Growers CIC Surrey heather@littlegrowers. They sell their own produce to low income residents from their site. to include a pocket plaza park and a community growing space. At the moment they have 35 raised beds and an orchard.gov.mungos.uk/index. Handsworth.com/pages/Rocky-Park-Urban-Growers/ firstname.lastname@example.org/pdr Team London Bridge. Stanmer Park. http://www.org/
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. Rocky Park is a community growing garden set up by the residents in 2009. B21 9AE http://www. reclaimed timber planters and plenty of communal areas to sit and enjoy the green oasis.org/viewProject. Feltham. They have their own farm where they produce crops that are cooked up and sold in their café in the city centre. Middlesex TW14 0LZ http://www.uk Part of the Teesdale & Hollybush Estate. They sell their own crops at a market stall and also make chutneys and processed goods to sell. Birmingham.html email@example.com/ Little Growers is a Community Interest Company that establishes food growing projects in primary schools.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ eleanor@urbanharvestbham. London. Melior Street Community Garden Southwark. The garden is maintained by St.
Funding and local food organisations
gov.org/ Food Vision Guidelines to secure external funding available from a variety of different sources http://www. http://www.unltd.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.uk/prog_reaching_communities UnLtd UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs with a complete package of funding and support http://www.Funding organisations
Capital Growth Partnership initiative aiming to create 2012 new community food growing spaces across London by the end of 2012.org.ecologicalland. http://www.sustainweb. http://www.uk/
Other Useful Organisations: National
Business Link A government run service that offers free business support and advice to new projects.businesslink.org New Enterprise Allowance Financial help and advice with starting your own business http://www.uk/bdotg/action/home Ecological Land Cooperative Creators of the “Small is Successful: Creating Sustainable Livelihoods on Ten Acres or Less” http://www. The campaign offers regular small grants.foodvision. biglotteryfund.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. www.capitalgrowth.org.gov.gov.coop/ Local Action on Food A national network co-ordinated by Sustain: the alliance for
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uk/ GRO-FUN Works to increase the amount of organic food growing and growers in local. Incudes specific help for: Community Supported Agriculture Country Markets Ltd Food Co-ops and Buying Groups Food Distribution and Supply Social enterprises http://www.bristollocalfood. traceable origins.localactiononfood.uk Grow Sheffield Urban community food growing project including Abundance to harvest the seasonal glut of local fruit like apples.uk Harvest Project Exeter-wide project that promotes community food growing.co.org/londonfoodlink/ethical_eats/ Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) GCDA offers specialist social enterprise support for national and regional models. http://www.soilassociation.htm email@example.com. http://www.greenwich-cda.org.kindling. local food with clear. http://www.org. London Food Link runs a number of projects to support sustainable food in London including the Capital Growth campaign and Ethical Eats.org.sustainweb. urban neighbourhoods in Bristol http://www.uk/HarvestHarvest Kindling Trust Works towards an ecologically sustainable society. pear and plums. http://www. by establishing a practical working example in the North West of England.org.uk
Ethical Eats A network of restaurants and caterers that are interested in buying local and sustainable food.uk/ London Food Link A network of organisations and individuals who are working to make London’s food system more sustainable. http://www.org. accessible and affordable to local communities.freshideas.sel.co.uk/home.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. http://www.
Funding and local food organisations
.uk/ Fresh Ideas Network (South East England) Offers support to community food projects which aim to make healthy/local food more easily available.org/ Making Local Food Work Reconnecting people and land through local food by increasing access to fresh.com/ Harvest Brighton and Hove This project is a partnership which co-ordinates a city wide.org.eci.harvest-bh. They offer specialist help and training around social enterprise.grofun.sustainweb.org/
integrated approach to producing more food in the City.org.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.better food and farming that brings together a diverse range of local food projects that are working towards a more sustainable UK food system.org/londonfoodlink/ Social Enterprise London Social Enterprise London offers support and advice for new and existing social enterprises in the capital.uk Nourish Scotland’s Sustainable Local Food Network http://www. http://www.org. http://www.org. http://www.growsheffield. healthy. http://www. http://www.makinglocalfoodwork.
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Radishes.5kg. the weight of the produce itself). 12. Cucumber. Pears. 2kg. Pre-packed potatoes can only be sold in the following amounts: 500g. Beetroots. Onions (not spring). How can other fruit and vegetables be sold? • • • Loose fruit and vegetables may be sold by either net or gross weight. Examples of countable produce Apples. these must be sold by net weight (i. 15kg. Soft fruits and mushrooms Soft fruits and mushrooms can be sold by either net or gross weight. 20kg. and you can sell any weight of them. Weight of wrappers is strictly controlled. 2.5kg.5kg. Mint. Garlic. Endives. Turnips. 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 are known as ‘countable produce’. Chives. Mustard. 5kg.e.e. the weight must be made known before customers buy. The container must be marked with either the net weight or the number of items. the weight of the produce itself).
Selling by bunch or number Some vegetables can be sold by the bunch and certain fruits and vegetables can be sold by number. Corn-on-the-cob. 750g.
. Cauliflower. cress. then the container should be marked with the number of potatoes it contains and a statement that each potato weighs not less than 175g. Celery. Fennel. Parsley. if each potato weighs over 75g (such as big baking potatoes). If you sell fruit and vegetables pre-packed. Cabbage. Gross weight: The weight of the goods plus the weight of the wrapper. Pumpkins. An exception to this is if the packet is transparent and there are not more than eight items of ‘Countable Produce’ in it. Or. Beetroots. Carrots.
Potatoes Loose potatoes may be sold either by net or gross weight. 1kg. 1. Marrows. Soft fruits can also be sold by the punnet.5kg. Salad. Kohlrabi. 7. 10kg. Tomatoes. Garlic. lettuce. chillies Examples of vegetables sold by the bunch Asparagus. You can pack them by number only if they appear in the list of ‘Countable Produce’. Watercress. Plums. 25kg. In either case. which the customer can clearly see and count for themselves.Appendix 1
A guide to selling fruit and vegetables
• • • Net weight: The weight of the goods without the wrapper. The container must be marked with the net weight.
The standard amount of time for payment is 30 days.g. online payment. cash. by cheque.Appendix 2
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:
Terms and methods of payment: e.
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cover exceptional items. price promotions. 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
.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. new marketing campaigns. the total income minus the costs of operating. This spreadsheet records the total amount of income for that project each month.
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.e. the costs that the project has incurred for that month and the net profit i.Appendix 3
A Basic Costing Spreadsheet . accountancy. 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. discounts.
net/. The Country Markets Handbook (2006). Volunteers and the Law (2005) Mark Restall.wholesome-food. The Country Markets Handbook (2006). The Capital Growth Campaign. Small is Successful (2011) The Ecological Land Cooperative http:// ecologicalland.gov.healthyplaces. http://www. Landshare. http://www.org.Country Markets Ltd.localfoodgrants. http://www. Legislation http://www.landshare. Allotment Act 1922.co.volunteering.org/sustainablefood/ 3. Wholesome Food Association. HMRC. http://www. Ethical Eats.hungrycitybook.gov.soilassociation.org/foodcoopstoolkit/street_trading_licences/ 24.uk/pdf/Roots%20to%20work%20 report.capitalgrowth.uk/ 22.uk/ 9. The Co-op.uk/servlet/Satellite/1196151412581.uk/ 2. Hungry City (June 2008).org/.co-operativebank. http://www.coop/projects-small-successful 8. Unincorporated associationshttp://www.businesslink.org/ 6. http://www. Who Feeds Bristol (2011) Bristol City Council. Chatto & Windus.uk/vat/forms-rates/rates/goods-services. Climate Friendly Food.org/ 18. Roots to Work: Developing employability through community foodgrowing and other urban agriculture projects (2011).uk/become-a-producer-c17.gov. Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. http://www. pg 85 26.country-markets.html 21.gov.farmgarden.uk/bdotg/action/ detail?itemId=1077475675&r. http:// www.org. http://www.uk/become-a-producer-c17.org.uk/ukpga/ Geo5/12-13/51/section/22?view=extent 12.uk/key-issues/encouraging-spaces-forcommunity-food-growing/encouraging-community-growing-space/ 11. Street trading licenses.svl=copy 25. Sustainable Food.sustainweb. This information is taken from Business Link.org/ .org/start-ups/ 13.co. Free banking for community and voluntary organisations. Capital Growth. http://www.bristol. http://www.pdf 14.climatefriendlyfood. http://www. Making Local Food Work Programme. http://www. Growing Communities start up programme. City and Guild centre for skills and development.org/Takeaction/Getinvolvedlocally/ Communitysupportedagriculture/tabid/201/Default.skillsdevelopment.capitalgrowth.html 23.uk 15.htm 27.glasgow. Glasgow City Council.capitalgrowth.org/ 4. http://www. Glasgow Green space.co. http://www.s=sc&type=RESOURCES
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.com/2009/10/how-bungaycommunity-bees-works/ 17. co.capitalgrowth.org/bees/ 20.l1=1073858805&r. http://www. Sustainable Bungay.growingcommunities.org/londonfoodlink/ethical_eats/ 19.gov. The Soil Association http://www. http://www. Cash Handling Procedures.legislation.uk/ 5.org. l3=1077475650&r.sustainweb. Stalled Spaces: Temporary Landscapes.Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. Community Supported Agriculture. http://www.country-markets. Capital Growth Campaign.Set up a Social Enterprise. The Local Food Fund. http://www.References
1.sustainweb.CFSweb/Page/BusinessCommunityBanking?WT. Carolyn Steel. http://www. http://www.sustainablebungay. Community Direct Plus. “Knead to Know” date and weblink.uk/en/Business/Environment/Clyde_ KelvinGreenspace/Stalled+Spaces++++Temporary+Landscapes.uk/page/food-bristol 7. http://www.co.htm 10.hmrc. http://www. How Bungay Community Bees Work.org. http://www. Healthy places: Encouraging spaces for community growing (2011) The National Heart Forum.aspx 16. Volunteering England.makinglocalfoodwork. Different Goods and Services and their VAT rate. http://www.l2=1085161962&r. Food Co-ops Toolkit (2009). Capital Bee.
A Growing Trade was written and researched by Polly Higginson who co-ordinates Sustain’s Local Action on Food network. Capital Growth. Roof top chicken farming. 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. Scotland Section 12 Pg 67 Chard cultivation. London Section 5 Pg 25 Capital Growth volunteers at The London Green Fair. London Pg 24 Community produce from Melior Street delivered to The Table Café in Southwark. images are as follows Notes Pg ii Salad harvest. Ida Fabrizio. North London Pg 37 Catching Tilpia. Nottingham Pg 62 Learning about Aquaponics. London Pg 6 Community food growing in the city. London Pg 8 Allotment gardens.
. London Pg 31 Selling community produce for Capital Growth. East London Pg 10. Ida Fabrizio and Sophie Verhagen at the Castle Climbing Centre. Organiclea. Nat Mady London Section 6 Pg 33 Chili Harvest for Growing Communities. Scotland Section 7 Pg 39 Crop share scheme. London Pg 17 The Castle Climbing centre. London Pg 4 Growing communities urban farmers. London Section 3 Pg 13 Volunteers at the Alara community garden. Little Growers. London Pg 22 Selling Capital Growth community produce in Covent Garden. Leah Macpherson. Paola Guzman. MoffatCAN. North London Section 1 Pg 1 Moss Brook Growers. London Section 11 Pg 61 A tour of the Ecoworks growing site. Capital Growth. Wolff Olins Brand Consultants. Surrey Section 8 Pg 47 Locally grown community produce for sale at Unicorn grocery store in Manchester Section 9 Pg 55 Community Garden shot. Moffat CAN. Capital Growth. London Pg 14 Volunteers at work in Regents Park. London Pg 44 Sorting community produce. City Harvest Festival 2007 Pg 46 Produce sold by school children.Photo credits
Thanks to the Capital Growth campaign for their fantastic images of community gardens in London. Eco Works. Johanna Wallther. London Pg 34 Salad harvest. Otherwise. Nottingham Section 10 Pg Capital Growth volunteers in Regents Park. North London Section 4 Pg 21 Hackney chilli sauce at Feast on the Bridge. Glebelands Market Garden. with special thanks to. The FARM shop Dalston. All case studies images have been kindly donated by the projects interviewed. Manchester Pg 2 Growing Communities micro site. London Pg 29 Polytunnel salad harvest for Cultivate London. the roof garden above the DRCA. apprentice Ximena Ransom. Photographs: All images have been donated by the projects involved and credited where necessary. London Section 2 Pg 5 Gardens on rooftops. North London Pg 40 Carrots for sale at Doddington Den. Growing Communities.
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Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming 94 White Lion Street London N1 9PF Tel: 020 7837 1228 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the network now and find out what we are up to at www.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. 1018643
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