We source our stock from numerous suppliers to enable us to bring you the best range of products available. However, we will always favour those products that are:
- Locally produced
So, why buy local?
Well there are numerous economic, environmental and social reasons why we always prefer to stock local products. Primarily, it helps to support food producers in the local region, keeping the money that we spend within the community, thus sustaining local businesses and creating jobs. Local produce has traveled less distance to reach us, which helps to reduce the substantial environmental pollution generated by the transportation of food. Locally produced food can also be fresher and more nutritious, as the time taken to store, and transport it is minimised. Also, we feel that it's just nice to know where our food has come from. We know our suppliers and their practices and trust the quality and consistency of their produce. It gives us a greater connection to the source of the goods that we offer to you.
Why eat seasonal produce?
The contents of the organic fruit and veg boxes will always tend to follow seasonal availability. This has a number of benefits. Primarily, it allows you to enjoy produce when its at its peak. In addition, we're back to the food miles argument, where to consume a punnet of strawberries in December, these will have been shipped half way round the world to get to reach the supermarket shelves. It's environmentally beneficial to eat food that's produced closer to home. Also, we at Wild Star remember the days when we used to look forwards to the summer English strawberry crop, late spring asparagus and satsumas at Christmas - call us nostalgic but we still enjoy having seasonal treats to look forwards to and to savour!
What's the definition of organic produce and is it really any better for us?
The term organic is defined by law and producers and manufacturers have to be registered with one of the approved certification bodies. Any food labeled organic must meet a strict set of standards.
Each certification body in the UK is given a UK code. The certification bodies and UK codes for the produce in Wild Star boxes are listed below:
- Soil Association Certification (SA) - UK5
- Organic Farmers and Growers Ltd (OF&G) -UK2
- The organic Food Federation (OFF) - UK4
- Demeter (BDAA) - UK6
- Organic Trust Ltd - UK9
- CMi VCertification - UK10
Although we will always favour UK produce and select UK produced goods where there is a choice, inevitably, outside of the Food Miles box, produce does have to be sourced from outside of the UK. Within the European Union, each EU member state has its own national organic certifying authority which applies equivalent standards and procedures to those in the UK. Food imported from outside of Europe into the EU is subject to similar rigorous checks and standards. All of our imports are purchased via experienced organic wholesale specialists based in the UK.
To find out more about organic production and organic certification, we recommend taking a look at the soil association website: www.soilassociation.org
Organic agriculture is based on farming principles that ensure a safe, sustainable farming system, producing excellent crops and livestock without damaging the environment. It avoids the use of pesticides and artificial chemical fertalisers on the land, relying instead on developing healthy, fertile soils and growing a mixture of crops.
There's still a lot of debate and conflicting evidence regarding if organic food is actually any healthier than non-organic food. Over 400 chemical pesticides are routinely used in non-organic farming and their residues are traceable in the food sold to us. So called 'acceptable levels' are calculated for each of these chemicals but long-term effects of these compounds are still relatively unknown.
Research has also shown that higher levels of some nutrients are present in organic foods. These include vitamin C, minerals such as calcium and magnesium and iron along with cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Our view is if we can offer you organic we will and in some cases, particularly with dried fruit and grains etc. it's not even any more expensive, so there's no reason for us not to!
Some notes on our organic fruit and veg boxes
We make collections from our suppliers twice a week to ensure that you receive the freshest possible selection in your box. We recommend that you keep your fruit and veg in a cool place, preferably in the fridge, as this will improve the shelf life of the produce. Organic fruit and veg sometimes gets a bit of a bad press for going off more quickly then non-organic produce but remember that it does not contain any artificial preservatives and has not been irradiated. We endeavour to bring you the freshest goods possible so that box contents can be enjoyed at their peak condition and contain the highest level of nutrients.
The contents of our organic fruit and veg boxes are set each week and we don’t encourage people to swap items. Our selections offer the best quality and value organic produce and provide you the opportunity to eat seasonally. Variety is the spice of life (or so they say), so we encourage you to embrace the opportunity to try new things and only request a swap if you really, really don't like a particular item. Remember, we're always on hand to help with recipes and cooking ideas if you receive something in your box that you're not quite sure what best to do with.