This week we speak to Rich Osborn, founder and CEO of fresh-range
fresh-range is about connecting local people with local food and producers. We do that by delivering food direct from local farmers, fishermen, makers and bakers, straight to kitchens at home, restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels and pubs. Locally grown food is fresher, meaning better taste, texture and nutritional value.
The number two benefit is that producers have been getting a raw deal from the mass food market, predominantly because of the number of middlemen between farms and customers. Because we deliver direct, our producers are paid the majority of the retail price, which is exceptional; the average amount from a supermarket would be 10%. Buying local also means that, for every pound spent, a much greater percentage stays in the local economy and benefits us all.
Our home delivery works much like an online supermarket: order at the website, choose when you want it, then we get the food from the producers you’ve chosen, consolidate it into one ice-packed, British sheep’s wool-lined box, and deliver to your house. Boxes are returned, cleaned and reused; a sustainable approach to packaging. We want to dispel the myth that good, locally-sourced food is only for the better off – we put a price comparison feature on the website and do price spot-checks every week. I’m proud that you can spend £100 on a week’s shopping with us and be guaranteed it costs less than a supermarket.
In the first year we delivered fresh produce for B&NES schools to make 1.4 million meals, and this year we’ll grow turnover by 89%. Full-on, but the demand’s there. We’ve just been appointed onto the DEFRA taskforce for food procurement – they see this is the right model for the country and want it to go national. We’re going to scale up, build new hubs in new regions. We built proprietary software to get us over the complexity of sourcing from so many different supply chains, and can scale regionally, nationally and, potentially, internationally.