February 2024 – Fruit and vegetable delivery business Wonky Box is set to bring its affordable fresh produce to the South Island.
The growing popularity of the company across the North Island, particularly amid the cost of living crisis, has long led to an influx of messages calling on the initiative to venture south.
Working alongside South Island growers, the team at Wonky Box has now been able to make this happen, employing a staff of 17 Southerners, including an on-the-ground grower liaison responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with fellow growers across the South Island.
The business has already gained 1,400 new South Island customers, with many opting for medium to large-sized boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Our core mission is to reduce waste, make fresh produce accessible and affordable, and provide our local growers with the support they deserve,” Co-founder Angus Simms says.
“Local growers have been hard hit with severe weather events and inflationary costs. We partner with them to help both reduce their waste and provide them with an extra revenue stream.”
Globally, an estimated one-third of fruits and vegetables is wasted annually, with 4% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food and organic waste. [0: Ministry for the Environment, July 2023]
In 2023 alone, Wonky Box diverted 2,000,000 kilograms of produce from waste, while simultaneously providing some relief to local growers and providing quality produce to households.
When two worlds collide
Wonky Box’s newly formed partnership with Nova Trust, a not-for-profit grower and recovery centre in the South Island, will see the two harness their services to support people and the planet.
Co-founder Katie Jackson expressed her excitement about Nova Trust’s program that teaches horticulture and farming practices to patients recovering from addiction and other life challenges.
The core focus of the unique partnership is threefold: to reduce waste, provide affordable and quality produce to households and support patients seeking a better life.
“We’re stoked to be supplying Wonky Box. It’s awesome that our previously unwanted fruit and veg is now being utilised, and it increases supply and accessibility for nutritious produce into the market,” says Nova Trust Commercial Manager, Boyd Warren.
“It promotes a sustainability kaupapa that our staff and whai ora are all on board with. Plus, it makes good business sense to monetise produce that was previously considered waste, [since] the costs to grow a perfect fruit for sale or an imperfect fruit for dumping or stockfeed are the same.”
For more information about Wonky Box and to sign up visit www.wonkybox.nz