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Growing Communities


Growing Communities is a community-led organization based in Hackney, North London, which is trying to provide a real alternative to the current damaging food system. They do this by creating a fair and sustainable food system that supports small scale organic (family) farms.


Growing Communities functions as intermediary between farmers, growers and consumers. In this way they create a regular guaranteed income for farmers who receive a fair price for their products. To get the food from farmer to consumer, Growing Communities is using the so called ‘box-scheme’. Through this box-scheme small scale farmers and growers deliver about a thousand food boxes a week with fresh fruit and vegetables. These boxes are collected and delivered at neighborhood cafés and shops where consumers can collect and pay them.


In order to stimulate communities to grow their own food Growing Communities runs a special ‘Start-up Program’. This program helps groups across the UK to set up community-led box schemes. The Start-up Program consists of workshops, community meetings, but also offers practical support when it comes to setting up new food projects; including the possibility to provide interest-free loans. Profits go straight back into furthering the aims of the organization.

Currently Growing Communities is also running twelve growing sites where people from within the community can learn how to grow food on a commercial scale. Another initiative set up by Growing Communities is the ‘Stoke Newington Farmers Market’, a fully organic food market where local farmers sell their products to the public.


By doing all this, Growing Communities is providing a viable alternative for industrial farming. They promote a direct connection between consumers, farmers and the food we eat. This connection is realized without the intervention of middlemen or supermarkets. The result is a strong, local food system in which people directly support their community and in return the consumer gets access to healthy organic food that is not prefabricated or packed in environmentally damaging packaging.


Growing Communities is a not-for-profit company (social enterprise), profits go straight back into furthering the aims of the organization, with a constitution and a voluntary board. Box scheme members can stand for and elect the board at an annual general meeting.


People who are interested in setting up their own local food system can visit the start-up website


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Type of initiative Knowledge/advice organization, Information/network organization
Field of work Agriculture, Manufacturing
Date of commencement 1997
Founder(s) a group of friends
Legal form not-for-profit company
Continent Europe
Country UK
City London
One or several keywords that describe your initiative organic food, community growing, food system, organic farming, Farmers Market, food projects.
Publications News items, newsletter, videos
More information

Contact person(s)

Julie Brown


Contact information

Name Growing Communities
Address The Old Fire Station, 61 Leswin Road
Zip/postal code N16 7NX
Place London
State/province London
Country UK
Phone +44 (0)20 7502 7588



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