Core Sourcing Policies

Prioritise local

We source within 150 miles wherever possible because food produced closer to home tends to be fresher, more seasonal, and less carbon intensive. 

Some fresh produce cannot be sourced locally (despite our best efforts), for example citrus fruits. However, we want you to be able to do an entire grocery shop at Farmdrop which is why we supplement our local selection with carefully chosen products from elsewhere. 

An expansive but local-first range of produce is a win-win for everyone. You get to eat great quality produce from local and independent producers, while they get to sell to a much wider market, which in turn supports a more sustainable food system.

Bread Bread Bakery Brixton

Bread Bread Bakery

Brixton

Put animals first

Products containing meat and eggs will use free range ones, and our fresh meat and eggs are produced with the highest possible animal welfare standards, with Pasture for Life certification preferred. 

All our beef, lamb, poultry and pork is 100% free range, with all animals allowed to express their natural instincts in a harmonious environment. The majority are fed on grass and pasture for their whole life because meat fed a natural diet is leaner and contains higher levels of good fats and vitamins.

Purton Organics Swindon

Purton Organics

Swindon

Don't trash our planet

Our farmers follow sustainable and environmentally sound farming techniques and land stewardship that preserve natural resources and help to enrich the soils for healthier animals and crops. Organic or practising organic are preferred and imported produce will be transported using the most sustainable means available and will never be air freighted. 

Sole of Discretion Lyme Bay

Sole of Discretion

Lyme Bay

Look after producers

We always pay our producers a fair price. Because we pay farmers properly, they're not forced to use industrial or intensive methods, and they can go on making food in a way that's good for the animals, good for the environment, and good for our health. 

Story Organics Somerset

Story Organics

Somerset


Sourcing by Category

Fruit & Veg

We are dedicated to supporting producers whose farming systems and practises focus on sustainability and quality. Increasingly, science is telling us that the organic principles developed in the 1900s, pioneered in the 60s, and now generating an increasingly mainstream following, are principles we need to support and use as a guide for our sourcing policy. We therefore prioritise UK grown organic produce. Around 65% of the fresh fruit & veg products in our shop are certified organic, and around 70%  are sourced from the UK. By comparison, just 23% of fresh fruit and veg sold throughout the UK is grown in Britain.    

There are circumstances where we are satisfied that organic certification may not be either necessary or possible. We are constantly learning and assessing this list, but we currently also permit in specific scenarios products that can be classified as follows:  Practising organic and working towards Organic Certification, LEAF Marque Certified, Sustainably Foraged, or grown in controlled environments (such as hydroponic) which are pesticide free.

All products sourced from outside of the UK are certified organic, and have been transported using the most environmentally-friendly means available. Zero air-freighting.   

We are proud of the fruit & veg we offer, but recognise there is more we can do to ensure their quality, freshness and environmental impact is industry leading. As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, we have a clear plan to improve and support growers. These include:

  1. Adding more market garden independent farms to our producer family with a diverse range of seasonal produce. 
  2. Creating cooperatives of regional independent growers around the UK whose combined volume can meet customer demand. 
  3. Working collaboratively with growers around the UK to coordinate crop rotation plans.
  4. Providing full provenance on every item we sell, even if it comes through a wholesaler.

Meat

All meat (beef, sheep, goats and poultry) producers  must meet the following criteria:

  • Pasture raised - raised 100% on rotating pasture. From early spring to late autumn (minimum 120 days) cows will be out grazing traditional pastures. During the cold and wet winter months some farmers will bring their cows in, this is normal and is done to protect the land.
  • Certified organic or farming to organic principles.
  • We look for producers that go above and beyond when it comes to ecological sustainability. We aim to support farms that encourage ecological regeneration, biodiversity, and use renewable energy.
  • No routine use of antibiotics - they must not be used as a preventative measure and instead should only be used to treat animals if they do get ill.
  • No hormones.
  • Local - all our meat is raised and killed in the UK.
  • We aim to utilise the whole carcass of the animal. This helps decrease waste, allows us to pay a premium price and keeps every aspect of the process within the local economy, and honors the life of the animal.
  • All our meat (excluding chickens) is dry aged and matured on the bone.

Specific guidelines for ruminants (beef and sheep):

  • All beef and lamb (with a couple of exceptions) is Pasture for Life and/or Organic. If not certified Pasture For Life, we ask them to be within two years of joining. Pasture for Life standards offer a distinct accreditation process that ensures livestock are fed only on the vegetation that forms their natural diet, predominantly grasses, legumes and herbs, and excludes the grains and other concentrate feeds which increasingly dominate livestock production. These farms often have a positive carbon footprint because they capture and store carbon in the soil.
  • In 2021 we will focus on bringing together the best science and practice on regenerative practices and applying it to our pastoral beef and sheep farms. We recognise the crucial role ruminants (under proper management) have in maintaining and restoring important habitats for wildlife, regenerating soils, storing carbon and providing nutrient dense food for human consumption.

Fish

Our commitment is to sell fish and shellfish that has been caught with as little impact to the marine environment and local communities as possible. We only work with responsible and sustainable fishers who use small day boats, low impact methods (for example rod, handline, light trawl, static gill, trammel nets, mid-water trawl, light dredging with a maximum of one dredge each side of the boat) all with gear that does not impact or plough the seabed. This also ensures minimum bycatch and discards. 

We source a range of farmed fish, including salmon, trout, bass, and bream. We source from farms with a minimum of RSPCA certification; these focus on fish welfare and the effect of farms on the environment. We have specific standards when it comes to how densely stocked the pools are, the fish feed, antibiotic use, slaughter and parasite treatment. 

We favour British caught fish however some of our products will come from further afield where we see the fishing methods as more sustainable than local fisheries, for example Wild Alaskan Salmon & Tuna. We always ensure full transparency back to the fishing method and boat and will ensure transportation to the UK is compliant with our no air freighting policy. 

Bakery

All fresh bread will have been cooked, cooled and sliced within hours of being delivered to your door. Sourdough loaves contain no more than four ingredients.

All our pastries and cakes use only free range eggs and contain the minimum number of ingredients possible. 

All dairy, vegetable, and meat savoury baked goods will match our dairy, meat, and vegetable sourcing policies.

Dairy

All cheese, butter and yoghurt are from dairies offering high quality products with a focus on high animal welfare. We buy from local, free range and organic dairy herds wherever possible, all fed on pasture the majority of the year (minimum 120 days), and the use of routine antibiotics is prohibited. Due to the challenges of rearing dairy goats, in particular high infant mortality rates and the risks of tuberculosis and worms in free range goats, we work with some dairies whose goats are reared in large open barns instead of at pasture, so while they are not free range they have plenty of space and enjoy good health. 

Our milk is unhomogenised and bottled on site. 

When we buy imported cheeses with POD status, for example mozzarella and parmesan, we ensure the same ethics and standards as our locally sourced range.  

Eggs

Our chicken and duck eggs must all meet the following criteria:

  • Raised on rotating pasture in mobile housing with continuous daytime access to pasture to forage on.
  • Certified organic or farming to organic principles.
  • Local - all our eggs come from within 150 miles of London. 
  • Smaller flocks - we go out of our way to support farms with smaller flocks (as low as 100 birds on some farms) and those who vertically integrate, meaning each elements’ externalities support all other elements helping to become less reliant on external inputs.
  • We look for producers that go above and beyond when it comes to ecological sustainability. We aim to support farms that encourage ecological regeneration, biodiversity, and use renewable energy.
  • No routine use of antibiotics - they must not be used as a preventative measure and instead should only be used to treat animals if they do get ill.
  • No beak trimming.
  • Must be fully transparent, which includes allowing us to come for farm visits.

Food Cupboard

We source the majority of our Food Cupboard products from smaller, independent, local producers who are using the most sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. 

When we choose to include larger brands, we evaluate each product based on the ingredients used, production methods, packaging and place of origin.

Farmdrop sells a number of Food Cupboard items through trusted wholesalers who source from smaller co-operatives and independent producers, and give preference to organic and fairtrade products.

We avoid products with palm oil where possible however where products do contain palm oil, we ensure that it is fully certified, traceable and GMO-free and adheres to the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

Our honey is sourced from producers who prioritise bee welfare and health. This means colonies can freely access suitable sources of nectar and pollen, and honey is only taken from the hive when there is enough honey produced for the bees themselves. The practice of feeding sugar substitutes is only ever used to prevent starvation in exceptional circumstances (such as during extended periods of bad weather, where the bees are unable to leave the hive). Sugar is never fed while collecting honey; this ensures any honey harvested is produced from nectar. 

Drink

All our beers and spirits are from small batch producers, and the majority are local to London.

Our wines are imported from smaller vineyards, chosen for their sustainable and low-impact growing methods. All of our wines are either practising or certified organic, biodynamic, or low intervention and all are sustainably farmed. 

Where possible we will use the most eco-friendly form of packaging.

Baby & Kids

We buy our baby and kids ambient products from independent brands who are using the most sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods and must be certified organic as a minimum.

Our fresh baby and kids range will always adhere to Farmdrop’s wider principles; organic where possible, using free range meat and dairy, and produced using ingredients of the highest quality.

Household

We aim for most of our household products to be from smaller, independent brands who are using the most sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. Factories based in Asia must have Sedex accreditation at a minimum. When we choose to include larger brands, we evaluate each product or brand on the company, product, packaging, and origin.  

Wherever possible larder items are bought directly from the producers, and we source as much as possible from within the UK.

We will only sell eco-friendly cleaning products; this means they have a minimum impact on the environment and must not contain harsh chemicals.

Farmdrop sells a number of household items through trusted wholesalers because they work with smaller co-operatives and independent suppliers, and give preference to organic and fairtrade products.

Any beeswax found in candles or wax wraps must be a by-product of honey production. The bees must be kept to create honey and this process must not be artificially altered to enhance wax production.

Health & Beauty

All of our health and beauty products are ‘clean’, meaning paraben free, cruelty free and where possible organic and with recyclable or reusable packaging.  

Our vitamins and supplements will never contain any artificial fillers. 

We avoid products with palm oil where possible however where products do contain palm oil, we ensure that it is fully certified, traceable and GMO-free and adheres to the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

All products are vegetarian and most are suitable for vegans.

We will never sell products that contain plastic microbeads.

Pets

All meat used in the pet food we sell is entirely free range, sourced from farms not factories, and is sourced as locally as possible. 

All fish is MSC certified, and can be either wild or farmed.

There is no rendered meat in any of our pet food.

All accessories have minimum impact on the environment and are not made for single use.