You may be aware of emails or promotional material from organisations like Greengrocer.co a marketplace community encouraging people to grow more and share their home-grown food locally with their neighbours. The email is titled "Partnership Greengrocer.co and [your allotment name] purporting to be from "Andre Quintanilha".

The dialogue leads to "selling surplus is a great way to reward their efforts and reduce the costs required to run the plot". The implications of selling surplus were discussed at a recent EAP meeting.

The email promotes the idea of using Greengrocer.co (http://greengrocer.co) as a register to sell and buy produce, however, at this time, September 2017, the web facility does not appear to be available.

It is common for allotment holders to donate surplus produce to local churches or charities and also share friends, perhaps in exchange or nominal monies. Extending this practise to wider public implies some form of trade, which is contrary to allotment regulations and not encouraged. In addition, issues raised include quality, chemicals used, reliability of supply, storage and shelf life, pressure on tenant to provide on demand and implication that allotment is being used for commercial gain or commercial use. The scheme also suggests some method of delivery is made by the producer, which adds overhead and risk.

We would not wish to discourage sharing of surplus produce. However, the implications of scheme described above must be carefully examined and, in this case, is not recommended.

An allotment must, by definition, be wholly or mainly cultivated for the production of vegetable or fruit crops for consumption by the tenant or his family (s22 Allotments Act 1922)

For further information the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens (https://www.farmgarden.org.uk) provide a guide to help thinking through some important questions related to sharing and selling produce. Read the 'Guide to growing and selling produce' (https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/resources/guide-growing-and-selling-produce)