Selling organic gardening and allotment produce (not animal products)
OR-CO.UK approval is appropriate for gardeners, allotment holders. small-holders or managers of nature reserves who manage their land to our standards and produce food for sale. It is not intended for farmers with full-sized farms or processors who make food products from ingredients they have not grown themselves (in both cases they should get full organic certification).
Organic gardening is very popular: Amazon list over 30 books featuring "Organic Gardening" in the title: see a list of those we recommend.
Garden Organic is an environmental charity that promotes organic gardening. Its large commercial gardens are organic registered but those of its thousands of ordinary members are not: it would be totally uneconomic to do so. But genuinely organic gardeners can use the OR-CO.UK logo to help them sell surplus produce.
There are many ways to selling your surplus garden or allotment produce, for example:
- Table and honesty box at your garden gate. This will usually be fine in rural areas with low crime rates and provided there is somewhere for potential customers to park and examine your produce.
- Display produce (or poster) at garden gate and invite customers to knock at your door: this avoids honesty box worries but does mean you ned to be home most of the time.
- Farmers' Markets Usually it is uneconomic for a small producer to pay for the rental of a table: so try to do a deal with someone who has a table and is willing to sell your stuff on commission. Most farmers Markets happen only one a month: so you will need to sell at several markets if they are your only outlet. Market Stalls (often run by a local food group) are weekly and likely to be willing to sell your local produce.
- Local shops, farm shops or nature reserve visitor centres may well be willing willing to sell on commission. RSPB and National Trust visitor centres have impossible bureaucracies and are not likely to be helpful.
- Box schemes are almost all organic box schemes and cannot sell un-registered produce. If your area has a “local-food” box scheme you are in luck.
- Pick-your own: only really practical for small-holders or owners of an orchard.
IMPORTANT: before you start selling, read the section on LABELLING