Monday, 19 September 2011


Fresh from doing battle to stop marketing exploitation with Pure and with some self-delusion about painting myself as a 21st century Ralph Nader I’ve come a cropper.

Enter Abel and Cole on their organic steed and their neo classical marketing techniques. The door-to-door upmarket canvasser of their gastronomic delights came to call. And sold me on signing up there and then for a weekly fruit and veg box, size small, cost £12.

They were right about the first bit. About it’s being small.

It contained 1 broccoli, half a dozen plums, 3 bananas, 4 apples, some deep red carrots (a small bunch), 2 courgettes, 2 onions and a bag of leaf beet. It was very small and £12.

So I fired them.

Courteously but firmly.

E-mail one came back immediately. This is terrible they said. How can we have let you down so badly. You’re not paying. We are very, very, very sorry.

E-mail two followed. It was much longer than this blog and contained these lines near the end of a well written note which was a passionate essay about their value system and their relationship with their farmers:

I hope I have managed to convince you, even just a little bit, that we are different from a large number of grocers, not just in the produce we supply but in the ethics we uphold as a company.  I do completely understand that we may not be for you, but I wanted to explain the background as I would hate you to think that we intentionally charged you more than you felt the items were worth.

My wife sniffed she’d never seen such self-flagellation . Me? I was in tears and feeling awful.

So I had a plum...And then an apple...And the bloody leaf beet and courgettes with my supper...And a banana for breakfast.

And they all tasted wonderful. They taste of…plum, apple, banana, spinach, courgettes and (this is frightening) I’d completely forgotten what those tasted like. As far as I’d seen it vegetables tasted of green crunchy stuff on the side of the plate and fruit was either unripe or overripe and most apples were kind of fossilised.

Tonight it’s carrots and broccoli.

And tomorrow it’s sackcloth and ashes and an e-mail from me to them which says: “Sorry. You are small but you are very, very nice.”


Ian Wilson said...

It's what's inside that counts

Anonymous said...

Love the blog and thought I would join the site but I don't do Facebook or google if I can help it, now I will never know if you bought the medium box!
The possibly, a little bit, Holy One