Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does this Veg Box Scheme work?
Our veg box scheme simply works by recruiting customers who commit to buy a weekly box of vegetables from our farmers over the year. We ask our customers to set up a Direct Debit and select what size veg box they would like. Each week the produce arrives at our cold store from the farms and we pack everything up ready to bring to the collection points for you to collect. Read more about the steps involved here.
2. What happens if I want to stop receiving a veg box?
You can cancel your GoCardless payment at any time, but please note if you cancel after 12.00 noon on a Tuesday then you will still have the following week’s veg box to pick up from your collection point. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.
3. What if I am unhappy with the veg supplied in the box?
We offer a non-quibble money back guarantee. If, for any reason you are not satisfied with the service we provide or the contents of your veg box please get in touch immediately. Simply visit our online form by logging in, to raise your concerns and claim your money back. It’s important that you can talk to us directly, so if there’s something you’d like to discuss, just specify this on the form and we’ll give you a ring back.
4. You say you are a not-for-profit enterprise, what does that mean?
This means we do not have shareholders who take all the profit, so we are able to re-invest everything we make back into Veg Box people and to support our local farmers. We operate an Open Book policy, so any of our customers can request to see our accounts at any time*. In the first few years we envisage any money made will be used to grow the scheme and provide more pick-up points across Greater Manchester, which means even more convenience for you.
*You must have been a Veg Box People customer for a least six months.
5. How can I get more involved?
There are many ways you can help us out, both with the running of the veg box scheme and helping to build a new food supply system that it is part of. We are always looking for volunteers, so just drop us a line via our online form (by logging in) or check out our partner organisation: www.Kindling.org.uk. We look forward to working with you!
6. Why should I buy from you and not other wholefood shops or box schemes?
Our fundamental goal is to encourage sustainable food systems by making local organic food direct from farmers the norm; we’re not about out-competing other great enterprises. So, we encourage you to make use of all the fantastic organisations working around Manchester to find which one is best for you. For example, 8th Day on Oxford Road is a workers’ cooperative that deserves support and may be more up your street, so the choice is yours. By finding a sustainable supplier that works for you, and talking with your friends about all the great options on offer, we can build a food system that works for everybody.
7. The University of Manchester's Student Union run a veg box scheme, aren't you competing with them?
We hope not, we chat to them regularly to make sure we are not poaching their members. We are aiming to compliment what they are doing and we believe we are attracting a different group of people. If you think it would be more convenient to join their food co-op visit their FaceBook Page by clicking here.
8. I want to support local farmers, but I'm not into organic food. Will you provide non-organic veg?
We will not be supplying non-organic veg. We believe passionately in a strong and diverse UK farming sector, which will ultimately be more resilient and needs to be supported. Although there are reasons why organic farming is ideal for supporting farmers (visit: www. kindling.org.uk for more details), we know that there are a lot of great non-organic farmers who deserve support, too. To find these, we would recommend you visit some farmers markets or head out to a number of farms who have their own farm shops. For example, we would strongly recommend Kenyon Hall Farm Shop near Warrington, which you can check out at kenyonhall.co.uk.
9. How can we be certain the food is organic?
We are certified organic via the Soil Association and are inspected annually to ensure they are complying with the strict criteria set out in their agreement. Our farmers are all also certified organic.
10. Why do you support Food Access projects?
We are part of a growing food sovereignty movement, a movement that passionately believes in food equality. Whilst we are lucky enough to have access to the highest quality food, many Manchester residents suffer from food poverty. Until our food system works for everyone, not just those more fortunate, we want to do everything we can to support greater equity. We have therefore teamed up with FoodCycle Manchester.
11. Some of the vegetables are muddy, why is this?
Some of your veg will come muddy, because we do not have the facilities on our farms to wash them. Even if such facilities were available to us, some people argue that putting the vegetables in contact with water could speed up the decaying process. The experts disagree when giving advice on washing vegetables. Some tell you not to wash before storage and some will tell you to wash off any dirt before even bringing produce into the home.
At the heart of the issue is this: if you bring in dirt on your fresh produce, you may be introducing micro-organisms into your kitchen—while, if you wash your produce before storage, you run the risk of increasing the likelihood that your fresh produce will mould and rot more quickly.
Our advice is to keep dirty veg away from clean veg and always wash both dirty and clean veg before cooking and eating. Read More Here.
12. Does the Veg come in a Box? And can I get mine in a bag?
Despite our name and the accepted term for this kind of scheme our veg actually comes in a bag - not a box! Confusing we know. Your veg will be carefully packed into a reusable carrier bag or you can bring your own.
13. How should I best store my vegetables?
Good question: there is a real art to storing veg well and we have provided a short guide here.
14. Can you deliver veg to my house?
No. We are unable to offer this service and have no plans to do so. There are some great box schemes across Greater Manchester who do, including FoodLife and Limited Resources. Both offer a wide range of fresh produce and groceries and have extensive online shops. Check them out and if you do contact them please be sure to say we pointed you in their direction.