Our sourcing policy
Crop Drop operates the following Sourcing Policy to ensure we're making the most sustainable ethical choices when we're buying and selling produce. We follow Growing Communities Food Zones framework which explains our shared vision for a better food and farming system where food is traded fairly, using the least energy, fossil fuels and resources as possible.
So our “weekly shop” follows these set of rules:
- We only sell organic produce – mainly Soil Association certified, but we also buy from small urban growers who are growing organically and working towards certification
- No air-freighted or hothouse produce (heated greehouses that use fossil fuels)
- We source produce that is grown as locally as possible
In practice what this means is we operate a hierarchy of purchasing:
- Our first priority is to obtain produce from our London growers when available and suitable for the bags. Ideally this would constitute 20% of our produce (but we struggle to reach this target as there currently aren't enough urban and peri-urban growers)
- Our second priority is to buy direct from local and regional farmers for produce that can be grown in the UK. We aim for this to make up 35% of our produce.
- When there's not enough available from our direct suppliers we buy UK-grown produce from larger farms via our wholesaler. We aim for this to be 20% of our produce.
- Then we source produce from Europe, either when UK crops are in short supply (e.g. during the spring, onions, apples and carrots) or for produce that cannot be grown in the UK at all, we sourced them from as close to the UK as possible (eg: oranges, kiwis, avocados from Italy and Spain rather than Southg Africa and South America). We aim for this to be 20% of our produce.
- Buy no produce from outside Europe except bananas – we consider these to be a staple item (it's one of the most popular items bought in supermarkets) that is extremely difficult to source within Europe. We therefore buy these from outside Europe from a certified Organic and Fairtrade source who transport the produce by ship rather than air. We aim for this to be no more than 5% of the produce we source.
This framework helps us towards our ultimate goal of supporting the development of a healthy, fair and resilient food system that will feed us long into the future.