We’re pleased to let you know we’re supporting a local farmer to convert 14 aces of land to organic so that they can supply us with tonnes of fresh local produce. We’re delighted to let you know about this new partnership between Locavore and Caldwell’s Vegetables from Turnberry which will see loads of local carrots and courgettes brought from the Ayrshire farm to our shop and vegbox customers from this summer onward.
We’ve been working on this partnership over the last few months after Reuben (Locavore’s Managing Director) met Gordon Caldwell at the Nourish Conference in Edinburgh last Autumn. Gordon has grown a wide range of vegetables at Turnberry for 12 years and over the last few years has become more and more interested in putting into place agro-ecological practices on his farm to make it better for wildlife and the environment.
A large part of the market for Caldwell’s Vegetables has been restaurants and hospitality which has meant the farm was badly impacted by lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time our demand for local organic produce has rapidly increased which made it the perfect moment for Gordon to put part of the farm into organic conversion so that he could begin to supply us.
This year we’ll be buying local carrots and courgettes from Caldwell’s through the summer and autumn, paying Caldwell’s Vegetables a set price that we have agreed in advance. This lets us both plan to grow together by providing a clear market and price for the grower.
Organic accreditation rules mean that produce grown on land in its first year of organic conversion can not be called organic or marketed as such, even though it is grown following all the regulations. We felt this was a barrier and that Caldwell’s Vegetables needed a market from the outset to commit to conversion so we have worked with The Soil Association to find a route through this. As such it means we won’t be marketing our veg boxes as organic while we are buying first year conversion produce from Caldwell’s this year. It goes without saying that all other produce in our veg boxes will remain fully organic certified.
We’re really pleased and proud that our growing vegbox scheme and shop is allowing us to provide the support needed to enable another Scottish farmer to convert land to organic. This is exactly the type of thing we want to be able to help with and it marks another step toward our vision of building stronger, shorter supply chains which are better for the environment and the local economy.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to all our customers who continue to support us to achieve our vision, and look forward to working closer with Caldwell’s Vegetables in the coming months and years.