Skip to content

About Us

Better Food Traders makes it easier for people to buy food that is good for people and the planet. We do this by accrediting and supporting food enterprises committed to ensuring the food they sell is produced and distributed sustainably, to paying prices that are fair to farmers, and to supporting their local community.

We are a UK-wide network that supports food traders who share these values. We amplify the voices of this nationwide movement and campaign for change. We educate the public about the impacts of their food choices and why they should buy locally-grown, planet-friendly produce. Change tastes good – join us!

The Current Problem

Food producers and suppliers are not paid a fair price for their produce.
The current UK food system is responsible for at least 20% of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

We are causing irreparable harm to our soil, biodiversity and water courses.

IMpact of our Members 2023

Over £17,000,000 sales of fruit and veg from UK agroecological and organic farmers

295 climate- and nature-friendly farms supported

150+ Better Food Traders and their 50,000+ weekly customers working together to change the food system

Meet The Team
About Us 1
Julia Kirby-Smith
Project Leader
About Us 2
Kate Ford
Improper Agency Team
About Us 3
Sarah Williams
Project Management Team
About Us 4
Nicki East
Network Manager
About Us 5
Matt Moore
Improper Agency Team
About Us 6
Nicola Green
Network Administrator
About Us 7
Hattie Hammans
Data Project Lead
About Us 8
Julie Brown
Project Management Team
About Us 9
Lois Gallimore
SW Regional Coordinator
About Us 10

How the Better Food Traders came to be

In 1993, Julie Brown and a group of friends set up what was London’s first Community Supported Agriculture scheme. 30 households signed up to buying produce from a long-time organic farm in Buckinghamshire. The box scheme had been launched, but it wasn’t until 3 years later, that the name ‘Growing Communities’ was adopted.

“These were the early days of box schemes,” says Julie, “and it really felt very subversive to be unloading vegetables fresh from the farm at 6am right under the nose of the local Sainsbury’s!”

The Start-up Programme

By 2011 the box scheme (based in Hackney, London) was thriving. Growing Communities had expanded to include a number of urban growing sites, growing salad in the city and training the growers of the future, as well as the first all-organic farmers’ market. At that point, Julie came up with the idea of the Start-up Programme.

About Us 11
About Us 12

Birth of the Better Food Traders

The Start-up Programme helped set up community-led box schemes nationwide. At the same time, there was a significant expansion of local enterprises such as market stalls, shops and other box schemes supporting farmers to grow climate-friendly food. However, these small enterprises were often struggling and isolated. The need for a network became apparent.

“We want to extend our network of community box schemes to include all retail enterprises committed to an alternative ethically-driven food system. We want to support that network and at the same time provide guarantees to customers looking to shop in a different way” – Julie Brown

Better Food Traders and beyond

In January 2020 the Better Food Traders network launched. Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and partnering with Sustain, the Better Food Traders network aims to harness and focus the collective power of all of those ethical enterprises committed to climate-friendly growing and eating.

About Us 13

Change Tastes Good

By swapping your supermarket shop for a Better Food Trader you are doing the planet a massive favour.

Sign Up. Pick Up. Eat Up.