THOUSANDS of children and low-income families will benefit from a surplus of more than 30,000 vegetables, as organic veg box company, Riverford and food charity, FareShare South West join forces to get the excess greens to those in need.

The glut of giant cabbages, cauliflower, and leeks is a result of the unseasonably mild autumn weather in the UK.

Crops have become so confused by the warm temperatures they’ve grown too fast and too quickly, with harvest managers reporting they simply “won’t stop growing.”

To save the mountain of leafy brassicas from being wasted, the Devon-based company and its farmers have collectively accepted the bulk of the loss.

Riverford founder, Guy Singh-Watson has covered a further 25 per cent from his own pocket and appealed to customers to help cover the rest.

In a post on social media he said: “I don’t want to ask growers, many of whom are already struggling with cost inflation, or our co-owners to pay, so my proposal is this; I am about to receive an unexpected dividend from my remaining 23 percent shares in Riverford.

“If I pay the first 10p of each 40p. I am hoping some of you who can afford it, might make up the rest.”

Riverford’s customers can add a ‘Bundle of Veg’ to their weekly veg box order for £1.25, which covers the remaining cost of harvesting the extra veg, and the logistics of distributing it to charities across the South West and beyond.

It will help to feed children, low or no-income families as well as the homeless and older people who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Singh-Watson said: “Good food, produced in the right way and shared with inclusivity and joy has been my life’s work; striving for that goal has shaped who I am and left me with a determination to share my advantages and enthusiasm as widely as I can.

“After 35 years, to be living in one of the world’s richest countries where some struggle to afford any food, let alone good stuff, fills me with sadness and shame.

“I cannot enjoy my wealth, especially a dividend which is essentially unearned, while others struggle to feed their families, so my share of the profits Riverford made during Covid will be used to fund the harvesting and delivery of our current excess veg to those in need, by working with the charity FareShare South West.

“It restores my faith in humanity to find I am not alone. Within two days of launching this initiative, with the promise that I would cover the first 25 per cent of costs, Riverford’s customers and supporters have pledged funds to cover the remaining 75 per cent for the first half of the harvest.

“We plan to carry on until that last savoy cabbage, cauliflower and leek has found a home.”

Gene Joyner, chief executive at FareShare South West said: “Being able to rescue surplus fruit and vegetables from producers like Riverford whose fields are right on our doorstep, and then redistribute it to charities in the very same region makes sense on every level. It’s about getting local food to local people in need, as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The first batch has now been harvested and distributed via Farehshare Southwest’s channels.

The final batch of veg will be harvested until the end of the year.

To find out how to donate veg to FareShare South West, visit