Canned Fruit Going Pear-Shaped: Box Divvy Encourages Shepparton Growers to Prioritise Fresh Produce

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Amid mounting concerns about the quality and sourcing of canned fruit products, Box Divvy, a leading advocate for fresh produce distribution, is urging Shepparton farmers to prioritise fresh, locally grown produce for consumers. This call comes in response to reports of Woolworths’ growing reliance on imported fruit, underscoring the need to support local growers and foster a sustainable food ecosystem.

Partnering with Box Divvy offers numerous benefits for Shepparton farmers, including increased market visibility, fair compensation, and support for sustainable farming practices. The platform’s commitment to transparency ensures growers receive equitable compensation, with up to 60 cents of every dollar spent going directly to farmers—a notable contrast to industry norms. Furthermore, consumers benefit from substantial savings, with produce being up to 30% cheaper than supermarkets.

Anton van den Berg, co-founder of Box Divvy, highlights the potential benefits for both farmers and consumers. “It’s more than just backing Australian farmers; it’s about advocating for a fundamental shift towards prioritising fresh, locally sourced produce over canned alternatives. At Box Divvy, our focus is on providing consumers with the freshest, most wholesome produce available,” van den Berg explains.

“The canning process compromises both the flavour and nutritional integrity of fruit. By embracing the opportunity to supply fresh produce through Box Divvy, Shepparton farmers can help safeguard the quality of their harvests and contribute to the vitality of their communities.”

Since Woolworths announced its strategy of using imports to cut the cost of canned fruit, Australia’s largest cannery, SPC, based in Shepparton, Victoria, has decided to cut its intake of peaches and pears by over 40% due to increased competition from cheaper imports and cost-of-living pressures.

“Consumers are opting for less expensive products from countries like South Africa and China, leading SPC to reduce orders. As a result, growers face tough decisions regarding their crops. Clearly, they cannot compete with cheap imports, and it is the farmers who are paying the price,” says van den Berg.

“With over 12,000 members and 250 food Hubs already operational across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, and expanding to Victoria shortly, Box Divvy provides Shepparton farmers with a direct avenue to connect with consumers and participate in a community-driven, farm-to-table movement,” van den Berg explains. “Through our food Hubs, farmers can diversify their revenue streams and forge meaningful connections with their local communities.”

As Box Divvy continues to expand its reach, Shepparton farmers are encouraged to join in reshaping the future of food.

“Working together, we can create a food system that’s both sustainable and rewarding for all involved. Fresh is best on every level,” concludes van den Berg.

Box Divvy currently operates in NSW and ACT with the view to expand into VIC shortly.

About Box Divvy

Box Divvy is an innovative platform that connects communities with farmers and food producers to provide market-fresh, locally and Australian-grown, seasonal fruit, vegetables and groceries helping you cook and eat better for less.

Box Divvy is a viable alternative to supermarkets, focusing on fresh food and reducing our dependence on ultra processed, discretionary foods. It currently operates over 250 Food Hubs with some 12,000 members across NSW and the ACT. Most Hubs are at capacity, so there are always opportunities to set up and run your own Hub. If someone has 4-5 hours a week to spare, they can manage a Food Hub from home and earn income doing so. This side-gig presents an ideal way for individuals to incorporate a micro business into their lifestyle. While larger hubs may require a greater time commitment, the benefits are also greater. By launching a Food Hub, individuals play a vital role in fostering community and providing a valuable service where members can save money while supporting local farmers.

Come and “unsupermarket” with Box Divvy.

Visit www.boxdivvy.com  to learn more.

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