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Local Greens Annual Report

Jean, Managing Director of Local Greens, has compiled an annual report on the state of the business and its community impact.

At Local Greens, we talk about being a community-led box scheme. That community is comprised of many people: our customers, farmers, staff, collection points and other local groups. As part of our values, we support small scale farming with low environmental impact; we put our community before profit by being a company limited by guarantee that invests in our staff and our farmers, and sells to you at a fair price. There are no outside investors looking for a cut.

In terms of numbers, 2019 was a wonderful year for growth. Our subscriptions began at 415 customers and expanded to 518, with a corresponding turnover of £225,000. We supplied you with over 52,000 kg of veg and 4,000 kg of fruit. 100% of this was UK-grown and 75% was grown within 100 miles of South East London. This represents £98,000 paid directly to farmers, at prices they set and allows them to make a decent living. Our staff at the arch are paid the London Living Wage. Annual salaries for our packing staff and drivers was £26k in total; admin and marketing £21k; our director £11k. After deducting all other direct costs and overheads, a small profit of £1,600 was made for the year. All staff work part time, between eight and 15 hours per week.

Local Greens reaches across 24 collection points in 10 post codes in Lambeth and Southwark. We greatly appreciate the support of our community of collection points. They all give space on their premises for containers and bags, and some provide staff to manage collections. All do this free of charge. We appreciate your support and respect for all our collection points.

Generosity is at the core of our loyal customer base. Thanks to you, nearly £3,000 worth of veg and fruit bags was donated throughout 2019. Because of this, Brixton and Norwood Food Banks were able to offer users fresh fruit and veg as part of their food parcels. This is a rarity at food banks and has a significant, positive impact on the people who rely on these services. We also donate surplus vegetables to Brixton Soup Kitchen to support that organisation. Your donations also benefit farmers, who can rely on steady orders and income over holiday periods.

Lastly, our arch received a beautiful makeover in June courtesy of local artist Gianinna Delpino. She transformed the dreary old metal doors into a vibrant scene depicting colourful mixes of fruit and veg. It brightens up many rainy days during a pack. Please have a look and admire her talent should you find yourself walking down Croxted Road in Herne Hill. Delpino’s work was possible through funding from Cleaner Greener Safer and Southwark Council.

Thank you all for joining in and providing us with a community to belong to.