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Waste not

Categories: News and previews

How Ted’s Veg responded to the Market’s closure by finding a home for their wasted produce

As the denizens of Borough Market begin the process of returning to normal life following the dreadful events of 3rd June, the true spirit of our community has been shining through, with stories aplenty of selflessness and camaraderie. The way that Ted and Kath, the owners of Ted’s Veg, have reacted to the loss of several trading days as a result of the police investigation typifies the Borough spirit. Their first instinct on realising that the Market would be closed for a prolonged period was to get on the phone to ensure that their wasted stock could find a good home.

“Even though the Market was closed, we made the decision to try to get the produce that we couldn’t sell to the surplus food charity that Borough Market works with, called Plan Zheroes,” Kath tells me. “There are potatoes, cauliflowers, summer mushrooms, melons, soft fruit and herbs—all the things you would find on a fruit and veg stall at this time of year.”

Those in need
Plan Zheroes collects surplus produce from food businesses that would otherwise be destined for landfill. This is then redistributed via a large number of local charities, each dedicated to helping a vulnerable section of society. The charity, which was founded in 2011, collects from the Market every Saturday and Wednesday, and over the past couple of years dozens of traders have donated hundreds of tonnes of produce to help improve the lives of those in need.

“We started giving to Plan Zheroes perhaps 18 months ago,” says Kath. “It just seemed wrong to be throwing away the perfectly good food we hadn’t managed to sell when we knew that there were people in our country struggling to get enough to eat, but we never knew how to get the food to them. So, when we heard about Plan Zheroes, we signed up straight away.”

Not a normal week
At the end of a normal week of trading, Ted’s Veg usually donates something in the region of 200kg of fruit and veg. But this has not been a normal week and their latest was not be a normal donation. “There was far more produce because of the closure of the market. We made sure it was accessible and with permission from the authorities and Borough Market, the charity was able to collect it. Of course, at the end of the coming weekend we will be donating unsold produce as usual.”

So, even in the midst of these trying times, the team at Ted’s Veg took the time to consider the plight of those less fortunate than themselves. As chair of the trustees of Borough Market, Donald Hyslop said: “A food market is about sustenance and wellbeing, pleasure and sharing.” Ted, Kath and the others at Ted’s Veg, by acting wholeheartedly in the sprit of those wonderful sentiments, are doing themselves and whole of the Borough Market community proud.