Vegetable box scheme

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A vegetable box Alkalarian Vegetable Box.jpg
A vegetable box

A vegetable box scheme is an operation that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables, often locally grown and organic, either directly to the customer or to a local collection point. Typically the produce is sold as an ongoing weekly subscription and the offering may vary week to week depending on what is in season.

Organic food foods produced without synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers

Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products. Organic foods typically are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.

Seasonal food Produce that is in season

Seasonal produce refers to the times of year when the harvest or the flavour of a given type food is at its peak. This is usually the time when the item is harvested, with some exceptions; an example being sweet potatoes which are best eaten quite a while after harvest. It also appeals to people who prefer a low carbon diet that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food consumption. Macrobiotic diets emphasise eating locally grown foods that are in season.


The first organic box scheme was created by Guy Watson in 1987, [1] who delivered fresh produce locally from Riverford farm. These schemes are usually operated by the grower or a small co-operative. There are approximately 600 such schemes operating in the UK [2] and by early 2007, according to the Soil Association, retail sales via such schemes were in excess of £100 million per annum. [3]


Riverford is an organic farm and UK-wide organic vegetable box delivery company founded by Guy Singh-Watson in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England, but with sister farms in three locations around the country.

The Soil Association is a charity based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1946, its activities include campaign work on issues including opposition to intensive farming, support for local purchasing and public education on nutrition; as well the certification of organic food.

Many schemes are run on a local or regional basis, delivering food direct from the producer to the consumer. Other schemes offer a nationwide delivery, with produce supplied by a network of growers, co-operatives and wholesalers negating the local food affiliation of these schemes. Some British supermarkets have also begun offering vegetable boxes. [2]

Local food movement of people who prefer to eat foods which are grown or farmed relatively close to the places of sale and preparation

Local food is a movement of people who prefer to eat foods which are grown or farmed relatively close to the places of sale and preparation.

Supermarket large form of the traditional grocery store

A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food, beverages and household products, organized into sections and shelves. It is larger and has a wider selection than earlier grocery stores, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.

How a vegetable box scheme works

A box scheme usually works by subscription. A customer signs up to a weekly or fortnightly delivery of fresh vegetables and/or fruit. The contents will vary week to week as selected by the box scheme provider on the basis of seasonality and availability. Some schemes offer the option of purchasing extra goods to be delivered along with the vegetable box, such as dairy produce and meat. [4] [ failed verification ]

In time series data, seasonality is the presence of variations that occur at specific regular intervals less than a year, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Seasonality may be caused by various factors, such as weather, vacation, and holidays and consists of periodic, repetitive, and generally regular and predictable patterns in the levels of a time series.

See also

Community-supported agriculture socioeconomic model of agriculture and food distribution

Community-supported agriculture is a system that connects the producer and consumers within the food system more closely by allowing the consumer to subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm or group of farms. It is an alternative socioeconomic model of agriculture and food distribution that allows the producer and consumer to share the risks of farming. The model is a subcategory of civic agriculture that has an overarching goal of strengthening a sense of community through local markets.

Intensive farming Type of agriculture using high inputs to try to get high outputs

Intensive agriculture, also known as intensive farming, is a type of agriculture, both of crop plants and of animals, with higher levels of input and output per cubic unit of agricultural land area. It is characterized by a low fallow ratio, higher use of inputs such as capital and labour, and higher crop yields per cubic unit land area.

Bulk foods

Bulk foods are food items offered in large quantities, which can be purchased in large, bulk lots or transferred from a bulk container into a smaller container for purchase. Bulk foods may be priced less compared to packaged foods because they're typically packaged in large generic bulk containers and packaging for grocery outlets, which utilizes lesser natural resources. Additionally, less packaging is congruent with the environmental conservation of natural resources and sustainability. One study found a 96% reduction in packaging used for bulk foods compared to packaged foods.

Related Research Articles

Waitrose & Partners chain of British supermarkets

Waitrose & Partners is a chain of British supermarkets, which forms the food retail division of Britain's largest employee-owned retailer, the John Lewis Partnership. Its head office is located in Bracknell, Berkshire, England. Waitrose & Partners has 353 shops across the United Kingdom, including 65 "little Waitrose" convenience shops, and a 5.1% share of the market, making it the eighth-largest retailer of groceries in the UK. They also export products to 52 countries and have locations in the Middle East.

Eliot Coleman is an American farmer, author, agricultural researcher and educator, and proponent of organic farming. His book The New Organic Grower is important reading for organic farmers, especially market gardeners. He served for two years as Executive Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), and was an advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture during its 1979–80 study, Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming, a document that formed the basis for today's legislated National Organic Program (2002) in the U.S.

Urban agriculture The practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around urban areas

Urban agriculture,urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around urban areas. Urban agriculture can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, urban beekeeping, and horticulture. These activities occur in peri-urban areas as well, and peri-urban agriculture may have different characteristics.

Odwalla Inc. is an American food product company that sells fruit juices, smoothies and food bars. It was founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 1980 and since 1995 is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California. Odwalla's products includes juices, smoothies, soy milk, bottled water, organic beverages, and several types of energy bars, known as "food bars".

Food Conspiracy is a term applied to a movement begun in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968 in which households pooled their resources to buy food in bulk from farmers and small wholesalers and distribute it cheaply. The name came to describe a loose network of autonomous collectives which shared common values and, in many cases, suppliers. Many participants were seeking an alternative to supermarkets and became involved to obtain direct control of the quality and type of food they were sourcing, with a strong focus on wholefoods and organic produce.

SmartFresh is a brand of a synthetic produce quality enhancer containing 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). It is marketed by AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., a publicly held (NASDAQ:AGFS) U.S. company with global operations. SmartFresh technology halts the fruits and vegetables' natural ripening process to prolong freshness.

Unicorn Grocery

Unicorn Grocery is a co-operative grocery store located in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England. As a workers co-op, it is controlled democratically by its member/owners, who run the business with a flat management structure and with an equal rate of pay. Ethics form the foundations of the business, and Unicorn's Principles of Purpose are the framework within which the business operates.

Known as “The Garden of Wales”, Carmarthenshire is a county of rich, fertile farmland and productive seas and estuaries, that give the county a range of foods that motivate many home cooks and restaurateurs. There is a local tradition in brewing, milling, gathering shellfish from the coasts and in meat production. Carmarthenshire has been described by The Daily Telegraph as a “worthwhile destination for foodies” with the county having a “modest matter of fact excellence”. Carmarthenshire has ambitions to become the premier food-producing county of Wales, based on its strong reputation for first class products. and Carmarthenshire County Council produces its own on-line and hard-copy recipe book called ‘Taste from Carmarthenshire’, for those interested in learning more about the county’s cuisine.

Assured Food Standards is an organisation that promotes and regulates food quality in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It licenses the Red Tractor quality mark, a product certification programme that comprises a number of farm assurance schemes for food products, animal feed and fertilizer.

Guy Singh-Watson is a British farmer and founder and creator of Riverford, an organic farm and UK-wide organic vegetable box delivery company.

The cuisine of Christmas Island can best be described as an eclectic combination of traditional Australian cuisine and Asian cuisine, particularly meals from Malaysia and Indonesia.

This is a list of organic food topics. Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods of organic farming – that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.

The Duchy Home Farm is an organic farm operated by the Duchy of Cornwall. The farm is part of the gardens of Highgrove House, the country home of Charles, Prince of Wales. The produce is used as ingredients in Duchy Originals products, sold in vegetable boxes, and wholesaled to supermarkets and restaurants. Prince Charles is credited with using "pioneering agriculture techniques" to produce this organic food.

Subscription boxes are a recurring delivery of niche products as part of a marketing strategy and a method of product distribution. Subscription boxes are used by subscription-based ecommerce businesses, referred to as "subcom" for short, which follow a subscription business model. They target a wide range of customers and cater to a variety of specific needs and interests. It is estimated that there are 400 to 600 different kinds of subscription boxes in the United States alone and more overseas. Subscriptions vary in both cost and frequency, making them more accessible to a greater range of customers with different socioeconomic backgrounds. Subscription boxes tend to range from $10 to $100.

Robinson Fresh

Robinson Fresh, a business brand of C.H. Robinson, is a global produce company, marketer and distributor of fresh produce in both conventional and organic varieties.

Food delivery

Retail food delivery is a courier service in which a restaurant, store, or independent food delivery company delivers food to a customer. An order is typically made either through a restaurant or grocer's website or phone, or through a food ordering company. The delivered items can include entrees, sides, drinks, desserts, or grocery items and are typically delivered in boxes or bags. The delivery person will normally drive a car, but in bigger cities where homes and restaurants are closer together, they may use bikes or motorized scooters.


  1. "Why organic?". Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  2. 1 2 "Boxes of delight". BBC Green. Archived from the original on June 14, 2013. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  3. "How to set up a vegetable box scheme". The Soil Association. 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  4. Wyke, Nick (March 3, 2008). "Top 35 organic box schemes in the UK". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-08-11.