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Why are the prices going up?
This is our first price rise for five years. It will enable us to continue to pay our farmers what they need to farm sustainably and look after their workers, while also enabling Jo, who orders the fruit and veg for your bags, to include more expensive items and make the bags more interesting and varied.
In the past five years, costs have been rising for farmers and growers – and for us – as they do constantly over time. For example, The Real London Living Wage (which we pay as a minimum) has increased by nearly 15% since 2015, and fuel prices have risen by more than 13% in that time. On top of all that, add Brexit uncertainty, a very wet winter and now the Covid pandemic. Our prices are going up by an average of 9.4% in June 2020.
From 1 June, the bags will cost (pensioners' discount price in brackets):
Small veg - red tag (5 items) £8.65 (£6.92)
Small no potatoes - white tag £9.70 (£7.76)
Standard veg - yellow tag (7 items) £13.55 (£10.84)
Standard no potatoes - purple tag £14.15 (£11.32)
Medium veg - blue tag (8 items) £15.85 (£12.86)
Medium no potatoes - orange tag £17.45 (£13.96)
Large veg - brown tag (9 items) £18.45 (£14.76)
Large no potatoes - lime green tag £19.55 (£15.64)
Small fruit (3 items) - no tag £5.20 (£4.16)
Standard fruit - dark green tag (4) £9.55 (£7.64)
Why are some prices going up more than others?
We’ve adjusted the price of each bag individually to ensure we can buy the best variety of produce and create a decent balanced bag throughout the year, while paying our suppliers a fair price and not feeling pressure to compromise on that.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many people: some of you will have been furloughed and others unable to depend on your usual sources of income. We did consider postponing this price rise (which we’ve been planning for months) until later in the year. But our starting point has to be giving a fair income to farmers for the food they grow, then covering our increasing costs.
How do GC’s prices compare with other veg box schemes?
Our prices are fairly comparable with other similar veg schemes. You may find cheaper box schemes out there but, when you buy from us, you are directly supporting local small-scale organic farmers – we can virtually show you which field your veg was grown in and who picked it! (Though that’s a bit of a challenge at this time of year, as we’re in the “hungry gap” and we’re buying more imported produce from wholesalers.)
Some of the larger veg schemes tend to import more out-of-season fruit and veg than we do and source produce from further away (such as Argentina and South Africa). Some are owned by big food conglomerates. Some other schemes don’t always use organic veg, which means the produce is grown using farming methods that are more likely to be contributing to air and water pollution, loss of wildlife and climate change.
This post explains how we choose what goes in the bags.