The Regather Box: Ethos

Regather is a worker owned community benefit society, run with co-operative values. We are a thriving community of local people working to improve food for Sheffield and contribute to a better, sustainable, shared future globally.

We source food directly from our Sheffield based, Organically certified Farm, and join forces with other local growers and award winning independent businesses across the region to make it easy to shop local and provide you with the best quality, value driven products each delivery in our Regather Box.

Eimear O'Donovan

Why Choose The Regather Box?

As a welcome member ( or future member 🙂 ) of our community and we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the values and commitments that underpin our box scheme. For us it’s not just about growing and delivering food. What we do and why we do it are an essential part of the project. Below is a brief outline of some of the things we think are important and why together we believe we can make a lasting difference.

Climate Change And The Environment

The world is undergoing unprecedented environmental challenges, with the climate warming at alarming levels and a staggering percentage of species becoming extinct over the last century at ever increasing rates. Regather believes the time for action has already passed so we should all do our bit to catch up and protect our fragile ecosystem. No one can solve these issues alone, but collectively reimagining a better local food system is part of the solution. Whether that's reducing our reliance on large monoculture farms that spray huge quantities of pesticides which negatively impact wildlife and the complex soil ecosystem, or importing less food from around the world that contributes to forest clearance or from corporations with a proven track record for prioritising money above all else. Regather is committed to a value driven approach to growing, buying and supplying food.

Organic Soil Association

Why Organic?

Organic is a method of food production that delivers a wide range of benefits across our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare. A more natural approach, in harmony with our shared environment. That means:

  • No artificial fertilisers or pesticides that kill off our bugs and bees and wash into watercourses
  • Healthier soil that stores more carbon
  • No genetic modification (GM)
  • No artificial colours and preservatives
  • Much higher standards of animal welfare

Both our Farm and Box Scheme are independently regulated and assessed by the Soil Association for Organic best practice. All the fruit and veg in the boxes is certified Organic.

Worker Owned

Regather is worker owned. That means we're free to make sure the business always maintains its focus on our core values and works for staff. We pay all staff the same rate of pay, regardless of their role and reinvest profits back into the business and not to shareholders or overseas.
Regather Trike Delivery Kelham Island

Local and Independent

Research has shown that spending locally keeps more money in the Sheffield economy, creating additional income for local people which is then respent locally, contributing to a multiplier effect that benefits all our cities residents. When money is spent elsewhere it tends to stay elsewhere. Regather prioritises local businesses when purchasing food, making sure that your money is reinvested in local people and local quality products.

Regather Food Delivery Sheffield, Doug Kemp

"When we farm Organically, with respect for nature and in tune with our local environment, it not only feels like the right thing to do, it produces great veg in all their glorious shapes and colours, whilst also providing our best opportunity to lessen the impact food has on our fragile world.

Eating seasonal veg means less food miles, less artificial heating or lighting, and more variety in our diets, with better quality veg that’s fresher, healthier, and tastier - picked at it’s peak ripeness. There is a rich heritage in the UK of produce that spans far beyond supermarket favourites and we are actively bringing that heritage into our future.

In my view eating food with the seasons allows us to connect more with food. And when we connect more with food, we care more about how it’s produced and why that’s important."

Doug Kemp, Farm Manager

Sheffield Community Apple Press

Community Projects

Regather is an active member of the local community and our work enables us to interact with a wide range of Sheffield residents and open up access to food and the land it is grown on, whilst building new ties between local people. Each year we run a community apple harvest, juicing delicious apples that might otherwise go to waste. We successfully crowdfunded and planted over 1000m of native hedgerow on our farm, benefiting local wildlife. We are now partnering with Sheffield University to set up a mini farm at Regather, researching new efficient farming techniques like aquaponics so keep Regather on its toes. That's overlooking our community garden where local residents can come together, grow and learn about veg! We also organise the annual Fok Forest festival, a chance to come together and celebrate Sheffield’s independent culture.

Packaging

Our box produce is plastic free and we reuse and recycle the boxes, making it easier for you to keep your excess waste to a minimum. We work with other local suppliers to encourage them to think about packaging and have successfully brought in traditional solutions like glass bottles for local milk or new biodegradable bags for leafy salad.

No Air Freight & Buying Non-Local

We import some additional variety to our box produce, especially in the winter months, when year round access to things like citrus fruits, peppers and tomatoes have often become seen as essential in modern shopping habits. We always avoid air freight transportation, with air emitting around 50 times as much greenhouse gases as transporting the same amount by sea. Sometimes growing local can also have a bigger impact than importing from France or Spain if it involves growing with artificial light and heat. We always give careful consideration to where our food comes and its associated impacts.
Sheffood

SHEFFOOD

Regather is a proud member of ShefFood - the food partnership for Sheffield. Together we are a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academic and community organisations committed to working together to create a more sustainable food system for Sheffield.

Price Comparison

We continually review our prices to make sure we are offering the best value for money possible. Things like Organic practices and supporting decent jobs and businesses might make produce cost more than some products in the supermarket, but we think it's important to recognise the full, wider cost of food and for us it's worth every penny. Our recent price comparisons show that our boxes are on average slightly cheaper than like for like organic produce from supermarkets.
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Eating In Season Tastes Best And Saves You Money

There is nothing like fresh fruit and vegetables at their seasonal best. For taste, there is no comparison when freshly picked in season and it saves you money as it is picked at the peak of its supply, which costs less to farm and distribute and is better for the environment, reducing the energy wasted in transportation and artificial growing. And we certainly don’t needlessly waste wonky and non uniform veg. We only get in produce that has been ordered that week so there is no wasted excess food behind the scenes, and we help our suppliers plan their demand so they can plan ahead and reduce waste as well.

Our Sector Is Growing. And So Is Our Impact

Local fruit and veg boxes are growing across the UK, with more and more people making the decision to switch to local and enjoy the quality and uniqueness of these independent producers. As more people join, our network, buying power and voice increases, enabling us to be more impactful. And collectively that makes a difference.