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Frequently Asked Questions

For Better Food Traders

Your membership application will take less than 20 minutes if you know your fruit and veg sales data.  Once this is completed and successfully submitted, you'll be invited to our membership forum.  We'll send you more information about becoming accredited at this point.  To complete the accreditation application you’ll need accurate figures for fruit and veg purchases from suppliers and written documentation of your mission to support agroecological/organic farmers and growers through your buying policy.  

The first 50 members are free - so sign up soon! In exchange we will ask you to submit your trading data and update some figures annually. Individual business data will not be made available to the network or anyone outside of the network without your permission. The networking platform is a platform of peers. This means the more you put in the more you get out. We recommend that each organisation commits 30 mins a week time to the shared workspace.
You will join a forum where people are running food organisations like yours. A place where people are asking the questions you may have asked, exchanging ideas and sharing solutions that match your organisation’s needs. This information hub stops you from reinventing the wheel and gives you access to tried and tested solutions. You will be offered training and advice as well as the opportunity to meet other Better Food Traders at events.Your organisation will be advertised on a website designed to drive customers to your business as well as being promoted at events that champion Better Food Traders.You will become part of something bigger: a movement of small businesses and organisations striving to create a real, greener alternative to the food system. Evidence of our collective impact will be used to drive change with policy makers and funders - and you will be able to use it to motivate yourself and your workforce.

You will hear from us within a fortnight of applying for membership, and if your application is successful, we'll welcome you to our online network forum at this stage.  The next step, of accreditation, is awarded by a panel who meet at least 3 times during the year. 

For Customers

Search here for your nearest Better Food Trader.
We launched in 2020 and are building up a network of brilliant Better Food Traders. There won’t be coverage everywhere at first but here’s what you can do now  Check the Soil Association for a list of local veg schemes, markets, farmers, shops: https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/buy-organic/  Nominate a veg scheme, shop, market near you that could be a Better Food Trader by contacting us: hello@betterfoodtraders.org  Set up something yourself? If you are city-based see https://kingscross.impacthub.net/ftc-start-up/.  Send us a message hello@betterfoodtraders.org and we’ll let you know when there’s a Better Food Trader in your area.
They could be.  Share this link to our website: https://betterfoodtraders.org/  Tell us about them hello@betterfoodtraders.org
Better Food Traders are governed by principles that ensure the food we trade is farmed sustainably, the way we trade is fair to farmers and transparent to our customers, and that we build community whilst creating change in the wider food system.  Better Food Traders create jobs and increase skills in their local communities, reconnecting people with farming and involving them in the production, trading and celebration of food.  We make it easier and more affordable for people to choose and use fresh, seasonal and local food and work to raise awareness and understanding of how food choices made by individuals, households and organisations can create a sustainable food system.
Each local trader is different dependant on their location but this calendar from Sutton Community Farm gives you an idea of what items to expect at different times of the year.
Better Food Traders deliver fresh, seasonal food to your community each week. The food you receive from a Better Food Trader will be sourced from farms as close to you as possible, taking into account carbon footprint, direct relationship with farmers (reduces waste), and what grows best where. Please see this diagram of the Food Zones, which explains our understanding of where to source produce for the most sustainable food system.

Ways Better Food Traders do business differently include:

If they are a veg scheme, they'll have flexible collections - customers collect weekly from pick-up points in local businesses and
venues such as pubs, libraries, cafes, health food shops and community centres. [We like click and collect!]

Supporting the micro-economy - BFTs employ local people, keeping money within the local
economy and providing living wage jobs. They are often social enterprises so any profits go to furthering the goals of sustainable localized food such as creating urban farms.

Reducing food waste at both ends of the supply chain - Working directly with small-scale farms means only exactly what is needed is harvested for that week. Surplus or
uncollected veg, as well as donations of veg, are given to local homeless shelters, food banks and migrant centres. For example Local Greens, with the support of their customers, in South London worked with local organisations to provide over 200 families with food parcels for Christmas (2019).

Working with urban growers - Urban and peri-urban growers can struggle to find a market for their produce but Better Food Traders can provide a guaranteed income and are best placed to deal with the smaller quantities that they have to offer. See how this works at https://www.growingcommunities.org/food-growing

Sustainable, organic produce like the fruit and veg sold by Better Food Traders, tends to cost a little more than conventional produce, but it represents much better value*. ‘Cheap’ food means that the ‘cost’ is passed further along the supply-chain through damage to the environment, by paying growers and farm-workers unfairly or by big corporations unscrupulously exploiting tax loopholes.*Read Julie Brown, director of Growing Communities, on the real value of Better Food Traders

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.