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‘We need a food revolution’

Goodery’s Josh Smith shares the joys of the humble veg box scheme
Goodery organic veg box

This article first appeared in our Earth Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 22 April 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Goodery, a local, organic veg box company and market garden in Norwich, Norfolk started in the pandemic and lockdown of 2020, serving frontline workers nutritious, fresh, organic food when the supermarket system couldn’t adapt to the crisis.

We grew from there to supply a range of locally made goods, focusing on providing access to market for local organic growers, delivering to our local postcodes by electric van using as little waste as possible.

Before long we were serving about 300 customers in and around the city each week.

Today Goodery serves Norwich and the surrounding towns and countryside with fresh produce from local, small-scale growers and organic farms, alongside goods from local vineyards, bakeries, fermenters and coffee roasters.

We provide a range of seasonal fruit and veg boxes, as well as a ‘build your own’ service.

A growing community

As a Community Interest Company (CIC), we invest all our profits back into the local food ecosystem, helping to improve the health of our local environment, economy and community.

In 2022, after realising that access to land and capital was a major obstacle for new growers, we started our very own market garden on some unused organic land down the road in Bintree.

This has since grown into a verdant and productive space that has created new opportunities for six growers and trainees.

Best of all, the taste of the produce is unbelievable. With the help of a crowdfunding campaign, we’re transforming the space into a beautiful community garden where people will be able to get close to the soil and learn new skills.

Know your growers

We’re motivated by a belief that caring for the planet is a fundamental part of being human – that we were put here on Earth to garden and to grow life.

The conventional way of growing and buying food is not up to that task. We need a food revolution.

Our veg boxes are full of the best produce that Norfolk and Suffolk have to offer.

We drive to local growers and pick up greens, fruits and treats fresh from the harvest to make up the tastiest packages we can offer.

It’s a joy to see something go from vine to box to door, knowing that money is going into the pockets of growers rather than middle men – and more nutrients and flavour are going to our customers!

The freshness and reduced food miles and packaging mean that we’ve got a resilient food chain that beats the supermarket system every time for taste and eco-friendliness. 

We’ve been able to build a community around good food. Relationships are key in everything we do and buy, and we allow our customers to champion their local growers in a way that is impossible with supermarket shopping, where you can buy a local potato, via a warehouse on the other side of the country, wrapped in unnecessary plastic.

The power of organic

How do we beat the system? By making sure that, wherever you can, you buy local, you buy small-scale and you buy from people you trust – ideally from people you know!

If you’ve never tried organic fruit and veg before, you’re in for an absolute treat. On top of the proven nutritional benefits, the taste is out of this world.

Healthy soil means more flavour, and the best way to protect and improve the soil is to grow organically.

This means no harmful chemicals, not over-exploiting a particular patch of land and working with nature, rather than against it. 

Buying organically also means that even when you’re buying from elsewhere in the world, you can know that the workers are paid fairly, that the environment is cared for and that you’re buying from people who are growing for more than just profit.

Collaboration is key

We’re not alone. Goodery is built on collaboration, sourcing from local makers, working with local growers and – crucially – working with other local, ethical retailers across the country as part of the Landworkers’ Alliance and Better Food Traders.

Better Food Traders has been instrumental in supporting many companies like ours to become established and grow through knowledge sharing, inspiration and support.

The most important part of the puzzle is you. We only make an impact when local people rally round to change systems for the better.

Find your community, change the world – and enjoy the fruit!

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