Recently we’ve been out and about visiting some of our member businesses.  A few weeks ago myself and Charlotte recently visited the Devon-based veg box company, Veg-In-A-Box, who have their HQ near Clyst St Mary, once the former home of Clyst Valley Seeds.  Owners, Julie and Bela have been running Veg-In-A-Box for the past six years, and in that time the business has gone from strength to strength.  They have won multiple awards along the way and are up for best online retailer as part of the 2019 Food & Drink Devon Awards.

It all started when Julie started making veg boxes for friends; they became really popular and not long after, Veg-In-A-Box was born.  The business has transformed and evolved from the early days and so have the types of products they provide.  Julie and Bela are both passionate about sustainability and zero-waste.

As well as their the standard veg boxes, they also have Low Carbon and Vegan ranges.  And as autumn is on our doorstep, are introducing their new Autumn Slow Cooker box, and a Batch Cooker box, designed to make it easy for families to meal plan.

They’ve seen a significant saving when moved away from single-use plastics behind the scenes; in fact, all their suppliers now deliver goods to them in non-plastic recyclable, reusable packaging. The volume of waste was costing over £400+ a month for them to dispose of and now there is nearly no plastic! This is money saved!  Their customers also return the boxes that their veg is delivered in, and with each box returned their customers receive a free bunch of bananas as a thank you gift.

It was fascinating learning more about the business and the steps Julie and Bela are taking to make their day to day activity greener too.  We visited during the morning when everything gets packed and loaded onto the vans; it’s an early start for the team who arrive in the wee hours of the morning.

Veg-In-A-Box also works with a number of organic dairies and producers including Oak Park Dairy who provide bottled milk in glass bottles that customers can return. They also provide BioD eco-friendly products so customers can fill up at the van as well as a range of eco-friendly household goods, some of which we took away to sample along with a wealth of delicious veggies! (Thanks Julie!)

I hope they inspire other businesses to look at their environmental impact and take action!