Fresh produce collective flourishing in Walthamstow (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Fresh produce collective flourishing in Walthamstow
A scheme offering the people opportunity to order fresh, local produce online and collect it from their local pub has attracted 276 members just weeks of being launched in Walthamstow.
FarmDrop claims to be the first service in the UK allowing people to order produce online straight from farmers in the surrounding area.
The produce is then delivered to a meeting point in the area where customers can collect their orders.
One of the largest FarmDrops in the country is in Walthamstow, with members collecting their weekly orders from The Chequers pub in High Street.
For producers to join the Walthamstow group they have to be within a 100 mile radius of London.
The closest producer in the group is Wildes Cheese, based in Tottenham.
Customers of FarmDrop can become a ‘Keeper’ for their area, which means they manage orders and collections.
Walthamstow Keeper Sian Simon said, as a mother of two, feeding her children fresh produce was a big reason for getting involved.
She said: “I love the ethos of FarmDrop. Knowing that I am feeding my children food that has literally been driven down the road to me and I’ve taken it home is pretty special.”
“I think it’s taking us back to the way we should shop – knowing exactly where our food comes from and who has grown it.”
‘Keepers’ get 10% of the money made from orders, with 80% going to the producers themselves and the remaining 10% to FarmDrop.
Producers for FarmDrop Walthamstow supply customers with goods including fruit and veg, cheeses and organic meats.
Miss Simon admitted she was surprised by the response in Walthamstow.
“I posted about FarmDrop on Facebook and within 24 hours there was over 100 people talking about it,” she added.
Founded by Ben Pugh, the scheme attempts to make traditional farmers’ markets more suitable for the digital age.
He said: “If people increasingly want to shop for food on-line, then why not make it possible for them to click-and-collect directly from local food producers?”
“Growers only pull the carrots out of the soil once someone's bought them. That means no waste for the farmers and unrivalled freshness for the consumer.”
To join Walthamstow FarmDrop visit www.farmdrop.co.uk