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Important news regarding fresh-range 25/09/2020, Info

Later this year, we will be going through a metamorphosis that will mean we close our fresh-range online store and focus solely on our technology and management service provision to third party clients. This will mean that later this year, it will, sadly, no longer be able to order via fresh-range.com.

We are immensely proud of what fresh-range has achieved. One of our key manifestos, when the company was founded in 2013, was our ambition to develop food security for generations to come. We have taken that objective seriously. Since launch, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed ‘fresher food, sourced with care’ from hundreds of producers, many of whom were able to access new customers, in new markets, for the first time. Our technology and our team have enabled producers to supply customers in three different ways – online grocery home delivery, private sector catering and public sector catering.

Our pioneering work in the public sector has received particular attention. Parliament launched an inquiry into the state of UK public sector food procurement earlier this year and the government has committed to making dynamic food procurement approaches for public sector departments a priority. This is in response to the learnings derived from fresh-range’s pilot initiative, in conjunction with Bath and North East Somerset Council, that enabled schools to use our technology and logistics capabilities to change the way they could access food for the better.

Since then, Crown Commercial Service (the government’s procurement arm and the UK’s biggest procurer) has worked together with DEFRA (the government’s food and farming department) to establish a vision for The Future Food Framework. This framework has set an ambitious target to divert 33% of the £1.2Billion spent on food and drink in the UK to fresh local produce from sustainable SME producers by 2023. In order to facilitate this aim, a technology and management agent is required.

If we were successful in our bid to be appointed the technology and management agent, there is a potential opportunity for us to play a leading role in how food is procured right across the UK in schools, hospitals, care homes, prisons and by the military. This would mean that a significant proportion of the most vulnerable people in the UK, such as children or people in health and social care settings, have access to more fresh, healthy, sustainable produce.

The size and nature of this opportunity is significant not only for us as a company but also for wider society. It could put a terrific responsibility into our hands to demonstrate how short supply chains can feed a large population more healthily and sustainably. It could help develop regional food security right across the UK and demonstrate how supply chain transparency is a prerequisite to transforming the food we eat for the better. And this could then be reapplied globally - revolutionising food systems around the world for the betterment of both people and planet. In the last 40 years, our food system has had devastating impacts on health and biodiversity. It is estimated to represent up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, it is crucial that innovations such as these are made a priority.

Delivering a system such as this will be highly complex and demanding for us. This is why our priorities have to change - in order to ensure success. We have therefore chosen to focus 100% of our resources on the project and will cease our current food operations later this year.

We regret the disappointment or inconvenience this will cause. We will forever be grateful to our customers for their patronage and encouragement. Our customers, employees and producers have enabled us, from the ground up, to learn how to make short supply chains work efficiently, demonstrating what is possible.

In October, we are launching a one-off sale for the final weeks of our operations as a thank you. Plus, we are looking at how we can help you to continue to buy sustainable produce online via short supply chains ongoing. If you have packaging to return, please send it to us via our collect + service or via your fresh-range driver NOW. Once fresh-range is closed, we won’t be recollecting used packaging.

As ever, please do get in touch if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.

With thanks and kind regards,

Rich