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Box Fresh


Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, August 31, 2006

The Times also devoted a two-page spread to the hottest trend in British retailing, as the headline states: "Box-fresh and delivered right to your doorstep".

The article is basically a review of five different services, all of which deliver mixed boxes of organically grown fruits and vegetables to the homes of purchasers, typically on a subscription basis. Most of the services seem to provide a less expensive pre-made box that ranges from about £14 to £20 (or, from $26 to $38) and the option to create a box a la carte by paying more money. Most of the services offer delivery at no charge.

Though the basic point of these boxes is to encourage ecologically diverse farms by buying ecologically diverse selections, they do include out-of-season imports that are organic but not necessarily grown in ecologically diverse farms. You can check out one of the box-fresh companies here.

The article also mentioned that the supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, are planning to launch similar schemes. The Pundit dealt with that issue specifically as a solution to problems facing the organic industry. You can review that article here.

The two prime issues of the box-fresh program seem to be the ease and predictability of the box subscription — knowing your family's produce needs are basically taken care of each week — versus the regularity and difficulty of dealing with items you don't want and didn't order. How many people have any use for a couple pounds of turnips delivered to their door every week?

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