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A new ecommerce business aims to restore historic food links between London and the surrounding farmers. delivers food grown largely within the M25 to London homes. More than 35 suppliers including independent farmers such as Calabaza, a farm inside the M25 and seven miles in a straight line from Trafalgar Square, social enterprises, bakery Bread Ahead, Purton House Organics and coffee supplier Old Spike Roastery, deliver food into London hubs four days a week before it is then shipped to homes and other collection points using electric vans. Some 75% of produce is sourced from within the M25, and between 70% and 75% of the retail price goes back to the suppliers. A new Clapham North farm, Growing Underground, will also supply Farmdrop when it starts trading this summer.

Ben Patten, who runs, said: “Historically Londoners benefitted for easy access to fresh produce – and ironically we’ve lost that due to ‘progress’. Markets have been priced out of the City’s central areas, with the exception of one or two places, and that means that most of us are reliant on the supermarket food chain. This also means that we’re very short of genuinely fresh produce in London.”

The crowd-funded business aims to expand around the UK, with active plans to launch in two more cities in the next 18 months. Suppliers will be local to the target cities.

Patten added: “What we’re doing is redefining freshness – and taking the idea back to its local roots. Central London’s historic markets were any amazing source of local fresh produce and we’re using new technology and logistics to bring our nutritional history back to life.”

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