Small independent farmers in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Philippi in the Western Cape are harvesting the benefits of a partnership with online dinner kit delivery service UCOOK. At the same time, UCOOK is bridging the gap between farm and fork, by bringing organic produce from these farmers to its clientele.
UCOOK clients visit the website; select their desired dishes from one of three menus curated by some of the top chefs in the country (Rustic, L-Carb, Veg) and pick portion size (Bachelor, Couple or Family). The UCOOK team then sources organic ingredients, accurately measures these and delivers them, along with their corresponding recipe cards, directly to the customer’s address for them to cook in the comfort of their own home.
In their quest for quality organic produce suppliers for their specially prepared menus, the UCOOK team came across Abalimi Bezekhaya’s Harvest of Hope project. After trialling their produce and further investigating the good work that the organisation carries out in disadvantaged communities, an instant partnership was forged to uplift the residents of these areas even further through a steady stream of income.
‘We decided to make Abalimi Bezekhaya’s Harvest of Hope our organic supplier of choice – the relationship just ticked all the right boxes. At UCOOK, we aim to shorten the chain between farm and fork and for the produce consumed to be seasonal, and ethically grown. We want our customers to have a closer relationship with the food that they are consuming and also for the farmer to be more accountable to the consumer in the manner in which they produce their food,’ says Ryan Menno Bouwer, UCOOK’s operations and innovations manager.
While not all of UCOOK’s produce is organic yet, the team aims to source as many ingredients as possible from Abalimi Bezekhaya’s Harvest of Hope.
‘Vegetables are grown using strictly organic methods, meaning that everything we get from Abalimi is seasonal, sustainable and ethically grown. As UCOOK grows, we hope organisations like these grow with us, so that our menus and recipes can be based around organic, seasonal produce, allowing for our customers to enjoy the healthiest diet available,’ concludes Bouwer.