It’s a new week and today there’s little resemblance to the winter wonderlands our organic farms became last week, just the odd muddy, slushy white spots dotted around the fields, and a welcome temperature of 7°C. Our south Devon farm was affected the most, when a combination of the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma left us with over 20cm of snow.
This meant we couldn’t make it to a lot of customers on Friday, and we’ve had a few warranted questions about what will happen to the veg that we were unable to deliver.
The good news is, because we hate food waste at any time of year, we have a good system in place to make sure every last carrot, apple or spud is put to good use by someone or in some way.
Luckily, the total amount of produce unable to be used in boxes has only ended up being about 6%, and we will filter this veg through our usual grade-out system, which includes:
Every week, local charities, including FoodCycle, collect grade-out veg for use in children’s centres, soup kitchens, community centres and refuges.
Our staff canteen and restaurants
A large percentage of our grade-out is used in our staff canteen, farm restaurant, The Riverford Field Kitchen, and at our London pub, The Duke of Cambridge in Islington.
Free veg for staff
Riverford staff eat very well! Not only do we enjoy gorgeous, organic, subsidised meals in the canteen, but we also enjoy grade out fruit and veg. There’s always a flurry of activity when there are strawberries or avocados to be had in the grade-out room!
The Riverford Dairy herd
Cows love our veg too, especially broccoli. With the Riverford Dairy just a stone’s throw away, the cows are very happy to eat the veg that really isn’t good enough for human mouths. We have to be careful mind; beetroot makes their milk pink, and onions and garlic taint the taste.
John Watson is the ultimate food waste hero. A half rotten Crown Prince squash in grade-out? He’ll take it on!