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Sustainable, local food deliveries

  • by JW

“There is a need for stronger and shorter food supply chains focussed on the nutritional qualities of food and quality assurance schemes should be deepened…”

Consumer interest in doorstep milk delivery and traditional glass bottles has soared on the back of the plastics debate.


Earlier this month, the Guardian reported on a leading food home delivery service trying to keep the use of plastic down:

The UK’s biggest doorstep milk delivery service, Milk & More, is aiming to use 500,000 fewer bottles a year by tweaking its systems so that each one can be reused 15% more, as glass prices soar. 

Patrick Müller, the chief executive, said customer numbers were holding steady at about 350,000, although that is down on the height of the coronavirus pandemic when figures hit more than 400,000 as households sought home deliveries in an effort to avoid crowded shops. While some shoppers have gone back to the supermarkets, Müller said new customers were being attracted by a desire for more sustainable ways of buying goods, including using less plastic.

Milk & More to increase reuse of bottles by 15% as glass prices soar | Food & drink industry | The Guardian

Here’s a report from during lockdown:

Milk & More sign-ups rocket in 2020 | News | The Grocer

But this is definitely part of a larger trend – as people look to using less plastic and more local.

This piece is from 2018 – looking at growing interest in traditional glass bottles:

Consumer interest in doorstep milk delivery and traditional glass bottles has soared on the back of the plastics debate

Müller gearing up to relaunch Milk & More delivery service | News | The Grocer

This is also from 2018 – looking at changing diets and expectations as well as the promise of West Country farmers:

Agricultural practice and policy should take account of new trends in the way people cook and eat, according to a new report being launched by Professor Michael Winter OBE, from the University of Exeter… There is a need for stronger and shorter food supply chains focussed on the nutritional qualities of food, he said, and quality assurance schemes should be deepened to include nutritional quality at the core.

Why this Exeter University professor is urging farmers to adapt to shopper’s changing eating habits – Devon Live

And this piece from earlier this year from Good Housekeeping is very much about the availability and delivery of local, nutritional food – focussing on veg boxes:

You might have thought the milkman went the same way as the dinosaurs, but Milk & More has breathed new life into the old-fashioned doorstep drop. Now, as well as milk, you can also receive a weekly, seasonal veg box. It arrives thoughtfully packaged with shredded paper to protect the contents, which makes getting your goodies feel like a lucky dip!

Best fruit and veg delivery boxes for 2022

As also recommended here, just last week:

Guide to Britain’s best veg boxes |

One of the dairy farmers they showcase is from Dorset: 

We at Milk & More are truly proud of our dedicated farmers who work tirelessly to ensure that not only do you get the best products, but that they are produced fairly, and sustainably. They genuinely love what they do and it shows. Find out more about one of our farmers John, who’s family have been farming in Purbeck, Dorset on a 2000 acre farm for over half a century. (See photo)

Bradle Farm | Milk & More

And they are certainly keen on keeping down the plastic and supporting local small-scale producers:

Refillable packaging is a brilliant way to cut down on plastic waste, and it’s not just our iconic milk bottles that make use of the ‘Return, Reuse, Repeat’ cycle.

Plastic Free Milk Delivery | Zero Waste | Milk & More

Zero-waste glass bottled milk and championing smaller British Artisan suppliers we trust to provide the very best products in a sustainable way, delivered to your doorstep by our milkmen and milkwomen.

(20+) Milk & More | Facebook

Although there are of course other local suppliers:

Seasonal organic fruit & veg box – medium / Riverford

Mixed Fruit & Veg Box | Eversfield Organic | UK Delivery

Not forgetting the excellent In My Backyard:

In My Back Yard – East Devon Local Food Producers Co-operative

In My Back Yard: new East Devon food network expands – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And the fabulous Fresh and Green in Ottery:

(20+) Fresh and Green Vegetables | Facebook

Vegetables in January » Gardening – Marshwood Vale Magazine

A broad view from a small East Devon farm – Vision Group for Sidmouth