Member Profile - Regather

13th October 2021

Regather is a co-operative organisation and thriving community of local people working to improve food for Sheffield and contribute to a better, sustainable, shared future.

At the heart of this is their fruit & veg box scheme. Sourcing fresh produce directly from local growers and award winning independent businesses across the region, they aim to make it easy to shop local and provide the best quality, value driven products each delivery in their Regather Box. Better still, you can get fresh bread from places like Forge Bakehouse, craft beer from the renowned Abbeydale Brewery, milk from Our Cow Molly, and things like eggs and many more groceries or treats, delivered to your door each week.

It wasn't long before demand for local produce outstripped supply of Sheffield grown produce. As a response, since 2018, the team have been hard at work setting up their very own Organically certified farm. The Regather Farm is a 15-acre site on the edge of Sheffield in the beautiful Moss Valley. It sits at the heart of their mission to improve food, reconnecting with the land, by local people, for local people.  Produce is then supplied to the Regather Box each week. It's this growing community of local people who get the Regather Box that allows them to develop more and more Sheffield made, fresh, seasonal produce that will make a lasting contribution to our local food system.

But why is this important? The world is undergoing unprecedented environmental challenges, with the climate warming at alarming levels and a staggering percentage of species becoming extinct over the last century at ever increasing rates. Regather believes the time for action has already passed so we should all do our bit to catch up and protect our fragile ecosystem. No one can solve these issues alone, but collectively reimagining a better local food system is part of the solution. Whether that's reducing our reliance on large monoculture farms that spray huge quantities of pesticides which negatively impact wildlife and the complex soil ecosystem, or importing less food from around the world that contributes to forest clearance or from corporations with a proven track record for prioritising money above all else. Regather is committed to a value driven approach to growing, buying and supplying food.

Embracing Organic means embracing a method of food production that delivers a wide range of benefits across our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare. A more natural approach, in harmony with our shared environment. Utilising no artificial fertilisers or pesticides that kill off our bugs and bees and wash into watercourses, encouraging healthier soil that stores more carbon, and much higher standards of animal welfare.

Regather is a co-operative, worker led organisation. Everybody is paid the same. All employees have a voice and are encouraged to help run and develop the organisation. By working with other local organisations, they are able to form a community of interconnected people, all working to produce quality food. Research from the New Economics Foundation suggests that for every £10 spent with a box scheme was worth £25 for the local area, compared with just £14 when the same amount was spent in a supermarket. That’s because local people who make the products earn the money from the sales, and spend that money locally again. With money spent at large corporations, the majority disappears far away or overseas, and is lost from the local area.

If we want to see an improvement to our environment, reconnect with food, support local businesses, and eat well while we do it, then why not give them a try.

www.regather.net  

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