How does the fruit and veg get to you (part 1)
Ordering vegetables and fruit for your bags is one of our favourite tasks at Local Greens. Talking to our farmers and suppliers to find out what’s available, what’s at its best and what we can look forward to over the coming weeks, is very exciting. However, managing supply & demand, preference & seasonality, price & variety does require a fair amount of juggling. One thing is certain - no two weeks are ever the same!
As we start packing this week’s veg & fruit bags, we start the process of ordering for next week. Around midweek, we’ll usually receive a prediction of the vegetables that will (most likely) be available. We’ll discuss this directly with the Better Food Shed and farmers, often while they are walking their fields to assess! Many questions follow… Are the parsnips at its best? How is the weather over the next few days likely to affect the peppers? Will it be necessary for the chard to be in plastic bags or will it be robust enough to be bunched? Are there enough sweet corn available to go in all our bags? If not, will we have enough for all our Green bag customers? What size are the courgettes or have they now grown into marrows? How would the broccoli keep and is there a risk it might go yellow in the hot weather by the time our customers collect? Is there a risk that the pak choi might not be a decent size by next week? If so, what is Plan B? How were the tomatoes grown (not in heated greenhouses!)? What is the price of the bunched carrots as opposed to loose and is it likely decrease over the next few weeks?
We work together with other box schemes, to ensure everyone gets their fair share of limited produce. Also, to ensure we have the economies of scale, so we might order collectively through the Better Food Shed to make up a pallet. We aim to ensure balanced support of all the farms that rely on us and try to order what they grow and that they grow what we order. Of course price is another major consideration and needs to be fair for both our farmers/suppliers and our customers.
Once we sit down to do the actual order, all these factors will be taken into consideration, with the primary objective to supply the freshest veg, with the lowest carbon footprint, using minimal plastic and providing a great variety of local seasonal and veg and fruit to our customers.