Fresh, unpackaged, organic fruit and veg takes a starring role at Unicorn; we’ve got the biggest selection you’ll find in the North West, and at prices that compare incredibly well to our supermarket competitors.
Where possible, we buy direct from growers and always prioritise local and UK availability. We receive fresh deliveries every day of the week, meaning produce can be on the shelves within hours of harvest.
Over the years we have built strong relationships with both UK farmers and European producer groups, so we can sell good quality, fairly-priced organic produce. We typically offer around 100 lines on any day. The vast majority are sold loose, not only reducing single-use packaging but allowing you to choose the selection you want, and to really feel and smell what you’re getting!
We treat seasonality as European-wide (with the exception of tropical fruits and ‘essential’ lines such as apples, oranges and avocados). Nothing we purchase from abroad is air-freighted, and we only buy organic or ‘in conversion’ fruit and vegetables.
Supermarkets’ organic ranges don’t come close to us on price, availability, range, packaging or quality. Our direct buying approach even means that our certified organic produce is sometimes cheaper than non-organic supermarket produce (particularly UK field crops).
Want some ideas for what to do with our veg? Need to know the difference between a Bluebell potato and a British Queen?! Head to our ‘cook it up’ section for inspiration, recipe ideas and some in-depth guidance on the world of veg at Unicorn!
Our Organic Growers
Local supply is our ideal. Year on year we have worked with UK farmers to increase the proportion of UK organic fruit and veg available at Unicorn, and over time it has improved significantly. There are some very talented organic growers in the North West, and we hope their numbers may increase with the creation of Farmstart Manchester by The Kindling Trust. Our most local growers are Glebelands City Growers, a small group of skilled growers running market gardens in Sale and Stockport.
The seasons limit what can be grown here however, so we do rely on organic European and even Southern Hemisphere produce to maintain an impressive range throughout the year. We’d always encourage eating seasonally – it’s usually cheaper, tastier, more nutritious and of course a lot less ‘well travelled’.
Newfields Organics lies high on the southern edge of the North York Moors… Read More
Libby has farmed near Preston since 1993, and supplies us with a huge range… Read More
Strawberry Fields is an organic oasis ten miles north of Boston, Lincolnshire… Read More
Glebelands City Growers
Glebelands City Growers runs two market garden sites in Sale and Stockport… Read More
We are keen to support our growers, who are typically at the bottom of the food-system chain. We try to balance affordable prices for customers with a good return for the growers, a very difficult thing to achieve given the market realities of UK horticulture. Cheap overseas labour, low fuel-mile costs and low grocery expenditure in the UK have all combined to muddle our shopping perceptions. In real terms, fresh fruit and veg has never been cheaper. Farmers (including ours) are surviving on very low wages because the prices we have all come to expect don’t meet the true costs of production, and trading systems generally favour the buyers rather than the growers. Although we can’t change the market overnight, we have long supported our growers in other ways, helping them out when times are hard, and always dealing with them in an honest and human way. They tell us they far prefer dealing with us to the supermarkets.
In 2017 we were proud to establish a Growers Fund, equivalent to 1% of fruit and veg sales for the year and available to applications from all growers currently supplying Unicorn.