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From Sweetcorn to Sweet potatoes, Barfoots are UKHarvest’s Largest and Closest Fresh Food Donor

With community and sustainability at the forefront of their core business values, UKHarvest are proud to work closely with Barfoots, a Sussex based agricultural food production and packaging company, and the largest fresh produce donators.  

A family-run organisation, Barfoots has been in operation since the founder, Victor Barfoot and his son, Peter, went into business together in 1976. However, Barfoots has grown exponentially since then with agricultural, production and processing sites across Europe, Africa and South America, allowing UKHarvest access to a wide range of produce, and a huge amount of nutritious food, with a low carbon footprint.  

Barfoots have been donating to UKHarvest since the charity was founded in 2017. A collaboration that began through UKHarvest’s CEO, Yvonne Thomson’s key aim to ensure that food that would otherwise be sent to landfill finds a clear and accessible route to the homes and organisations that need it through locally sourced fresh produce. Keston Williams, Barfoots’s Chief Operating Officer has said that “If we can help UKHarvest provide those who are at risk of facing food insecurity with the opportunity to eat our vegetables, then donating our surplus produce is simply the right thing to do.”   

Since 2022, Barfoots have generously donated more than thirty-six tonnes of fresh vegetables to our UKHarvest community, making a dramatic difference to households, charities and food banks across the country. Simon Thresher, Operations and Compliance Manager at UKHarvest, stated that ‘Barfoots food donations allow us the opportunity to achieve our goal to provide a healthy nutritious diet to all by saving food that would otherwise be sent to landfill.,’ an achievement that is only made possible by the donations regularly made by Barfoots.  

According to VEGPOWER, award winning UK campaigners that work closely with Barfoots and other food producers, 80% of children in the UK are not eating enough vegetables with one-third of those eating less than 1 portion a day. UKHarvest’s key message is to ‘Nourish Our Nation’ and our collaboration with Barfoots supports just that. Being able to collect food directly from their locations in Chichester and Pagham before it reaches external outlets such as supermarkets, ensures that the food available to our community food hubs, and other charities, is excellent quality ingredients enabling more people to access healthy food. Combined with UKHarvest’s online cookalongs, educational material and free online recipes and cooking hints and tips, the food supplied is turned into delicious meals.  

Barfoots has two sites in West Sussex, both are a stone's throw away from UKHarvest’s HQ. The locality of this ongoing collaboration is a crucial factor in the collection, processing and distribution of food through UKHarvest’s channels, and to the accessibility of the food to those that need it. Regular collections from Barfoots fill the cold store, allowing a quick turnaround to the sixteen food hubs that run each week across West Sussex.  

The collaboration does not stop there. As well as the incredible food donations, Barfoots work closely with UKHarvest through regular open days to the Donnington site, and visits to the community food hubs. The Barfoots team actively seek to find new and innovative ways to work with UKHarvest as one of their main donation outlets to see firsthand how their produce is distributed. In the coming months, the charity is excited to be hosting a corporate volunteer day where Barfoots’s employees will be joining the volunteer team and staff to donate their time to aid in processing food donations delivered to the warehouse.  

Barfoots are looking forward to continuing the ongoing collaboration to support UKHarvest in all the community-based work that takes place within the organisation. Working to help support the wellbeing of the community through UKHarvest allowing the ongoing benefits of receiving, cooking and eating fresh produce benefits Barfoots as an organisation, and UKHarvest’s ongoing pledge to reduce food waste and support those threatened by food insecurity.