One of the things that attracted me about moving to Devon was fabulous fresh produce that would be available. Relocating our business from London was a big gamble but being able to serve our food from local producers was a really big deal for us and so we set about looking for suppliers as soon as we arrived.
One of the first people we met was Julie Corcutt, MD at Veg in A Box, a multi-award winning vegetable box scheme which began life in the bedroom of the cottage she shared with her partner Bela. It grew so rapidly in the past two and a half years since I’ve known them both, they’ve had to move premises and recruit more staff as demand grew and grew. They are passionate, hard working and they’ve been great supporters of our little restaurant La Petite Bouchée Veg In A Box have also been very busy this year turning their attention to the increasing problem of Climate Change. Here’s what they’ve been up to.
One of the things that sets Veg In A Box head and shoulders above its competitors is the versatility of their boxes. Sometimes there appears to be a new one each day. They reflect the seasons, lifestyle choices, big dates on the calendar including Easter, Christmas, Halloween. Basically there’s a box to suit everyone.
Julie and Bela like most responsible business owners care passionately about the environment and as many councils in Devon declare a climate change state of emergency They have been proactive in doing their bit for climate change by launching their Low Carbon Footprint range of boxes 90% of which is sourced from Farms within a 25 mile radius of their their HQ just outside Exeter. They deliberately choose small holders and farms who grow vegetables just for them and often go an pick the fruit and vegetables for each of the boxes themselves early in the morning.
What can you typically expect from a Low Carbon Footprint Box?
We had the medium Low Carbon Footprint Box and we are stunned by the variety, quality and size of the box it’s contents included:
Potatoes, Jacket Pots or New Potatoes, Bunched Carrots, Spring Cabbage, Cauliflower, Runner Beans
French Beans, Courgettes, Mushrooms, Rainbow Chard, Spinach, Red and White Onions, Local Apples (8), Pears,Plums, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackcurrants, Little Gem Lettuces, Cherry Vine Tomatoes, Cucumber,Celery, Radishes, Beetroot.
That’s enough for us two for at least two weeks. The full range is on their WEBSITE You can find out all about deliveries to your area and what’s in every box each week.
I recently caught up with Julie and had a chat with her about how Veg In A Box are doing everything to help reduce climate change:
How important is helping the environment to Veg In A Box ?
It’s very important. We are constantly trying to improve on how source or produce, both in terms of location, methods so that we can provide all of our customers with the very best low carbon produce as well as key information on how it is grown. Watch this space, we’re going to be rolling out more new things this year.
Where do you source your produce?
We source our produce within a 25 mile radius of Veg In A Box, We use Thornes Farm, Rod and Ben’s at Bickham Farm, Kenniford. Downes farm in Winkleigh. We’re also about to start a farming project with two ladies who own Bowden Farm in Buckfastleigh. We like to keep in touch with all our farmers and growers so that we can understand the latest trends, successes and challenges. We work very closely with all of them. We are about to become members of the Land Workers Alliance so we can really learn more and ensure everything at Veg In A Box is current.
How are you reducing plastic in your boxes?
We’ve been trying to reduce plastic for years now. We have sourced better quality stronger, biodegradable bags and where possible use only paper bags and cartons. We’re always on the lookout for better, plastic-free ways to show off the wonderful produce in each box.
Tell us about your involvement with Proud To Be Green?
We’re really very proud to be involved with Proud to be Green. It’s a fantastic campaign that any organisation can join if they are committed like us to reducing environmental impact, so reducing waste, getting rid of plastic. It’s important that all business’ do their bit, people really recognise companies now who are trying to make a difference. It’s easy to become a member check out the website HERE
How do you design your low carbon footprint boxes?
Mother Nature designs the boxes, together with our friends, the four seasons. We showcase the best from each season. We have no control over what is in the boxes it what ever grows during that particular season. That’s the beauty of this job, there is something different growing each week, month, day. We just pick the best of what is available to us.