This bit generally has stories about growers – one of our core values as a small family business is transparency of provenance, and especially with our newer grower profiles we’re not only telling the stories of our growers, but trying to make sure we have photos of our growers, a face that will spring to mind when you munch into your apples or make a tasty cauliflower cheese for dinner. However, another benefit of the efficiency and directness of our model of distributing fruit and veg is that it keeps our costs down, and by doing so it means we can keep our margins low, thus giving you great value for money. With such a large range of fruit and veg available it can be quite hard to keep tabs on what any given item is retailing for – the subtle fluctuations in wholesale market prices are often reflected by much greater swings in retail prices – but when I discovered that cauliflowers were retailing for $5.5 at both the major supermarkets this week I made a bit of time to go through and price this week’s standard ($20, $30 and $40) and budget ($25) box at Coles, Woolworths, Hill Street Grocer*, to see how we would stack up. Using the unit prices provided on the websites of all three outlets on equivalent (or as close to as possible – for instance none of the above sell this week’s Pink Fir Apple potato), we found:
- To buy a $20, $25, $30 or $40 box at any of the three retailers above would cost more than buying with Backyard Bounty by at least 10%
- Our standard ($20, $30 and $40) boxes cost around 20% less than the average across the three retailers
- The average price for our budget ($25) box across all three retailers was almost $37!
- Whilst Coles and Woolworths buy more and therefore can access better prices with growers, Hill Street Grocer was significantly cheaper than both of them on all but the budget ($25) box
This week’s box sources a lot of produce from the historic Tasman Peninsula and surrounds – cauliflowers and lettuce from Southern Fields, delicious Jarrahdale pumpkins from The Old Farm at safety cove, and our biggest ever order (I think…) from the lovely George & Hilary at Grown for Taste. We’re also excited that our organic boxes this week feature produce from our newest grower – the nearby Bream Creek Community Market Garden. The (henceforth known as) BCCMG was an offshoot from the Bream Creak Farmers’ Market (one of truest farmers’ markets in the south in our opinion); the land used was donated by the local Bignell family, and the garden is run by Bec and Ellie on a not-for-profit basis, aimed at providing good value fresh produce to the local community, with proceeds going towards the upkeep of the garden. The vegetables grown on the small plot use only organic inputs (aged manure, compost and a whole lot of hand-weeding), and are available for purchase at the market stall, the Dunalley Co-op and the Bream Creek Farmers’ Market. We’re pleased to be able to support small, community-based market gardens like BCCMG and Scrubby Hill; whilst they’re not certified organic, they’re run by people with integrity and they share more in common with the original “organic” distribution concept than many of the larger organic farms that run on adapted versions of the conventional model.
*Price comparisons based on information sourced by the three retailers online-shopping platforms, using the most equivalent item possible. Comparison made on prices listed today (5th May). Due to patchy availability of organic produce listed on each platform, no comparison was attempted for the $35 box.