Meal-kit delivery business UCOOK was launched just five short years ago with a clear mission to support local, small-scale food producers. With the onset of lockdown, the relationship with this artisanal supply chain has been brought to the fore as small businesses battle to make ends meet. It’s this challenge that has given rise to UCOOK’s most recent offering, the UCOOK Market Box.
UCOOK CEO David Torr says that the company feels a responsibility to assist in providing a lifeline for small farms and businesses to ensure their survival. “The Market Box has created a way for many of these small businesses and farmers to sell produce that would ultimately have gone to waste. We have purposefully maintained a very low margin on the box which allows UCOOK to pay the smaller suppliers what they are due. In addition, we’re sourcing products from many small outlets meaning that the box has the capacity to support multiple suppliers of the same product.”
The UCOOK Market Box was developed in partnership with the Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Cape Town and brings the freshest seasonal ingredients and artisanal food products directly to the homes of Cape customers. The contents of the box changes weekly to embrace seasonality and reduce wastage, but always includes a curated selection of organically grown fruits and vegetables, pasture-reared meats, line-caught fish, GMO-free pastured eggs, fresh dairy, artisanal bread and other local ingredients.
Market Box procurement manager Ryan Ausker adds that “This project aims to showcase the incredible work farmers and food producers do in our communities. By supporting regenerative farming practices we can revolutionise our local food system and have a meaningful impact on people’s livelihoods”.
Customers have a choice of a Large or Medium Market Box, or speciality Vegetarian and Plant Based Box offerings. Prices start at R850 and each Box is designed to supply a family with up to 4 days’ worth of fresh market produce. Customers also have the option to add on a specially curated selection of artisanal food products to their Boxes.
To support this initiative, visit https://farmersmarket.ucook.