Fruit Factory: Scrumping HQ

Brighton Permaculture Trust's scrumping project - and its future headquarters, the FRUIT FACTORY - is all about local food.

Why we scrump

Every year within 25 miles of Brighton, hundreds of tonnes of fruit go unpicked or never leave an orchard, and yet we import truckloads of it from all around the world to satisfy the demand for fruit and fruit products.

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership shares some shocking statistics:

  • Brighton & Hove residents waste 39,000 tonnes of food every year (that's about 260kg per household).
  • Tackling food waste can save up to £50 a month on food bills - and save the energy of natural resources and human effort.
  • Nearly half of what is thrown away is fresh fruit and vegetables.

In a permaculture system, ‘waste’ is another word for ‘resource’ -- it’s not waste until it's wasted, after all.

Our scrumping project plays a vital role in intercepting fruit what would otherwise go to waste or be disregarded.

Can you help support this project with a donation?

Video: Fruit Factory

Our scrumping project

Last year Brighton Permaculture Trust, with the help of volunteers, picked two tonnes of waste fruit from orchards and processed it into products including:

  • FoodshedApple and pear juice, delicious and nutritious fresh juice as well as a pasteurised juice that can be kept in the cupboard until you want to enjoy it
  • Jams, chutneys and preserves, a seasonal range based on what we can harvest of apples, pears, mulberries, damsons, and cherry plums

The products we make are unique in their freshness, truly local in production, and made with the help volunteers and in public view, contributing to our educational aims.

We have run this scrumping project for six years on a small scale, with pop-up production at events and using community kitchens. They have proven to be fantastically popular, inspiring us to seek ways to "scale up the scrump."

Where to buy our scrumped products

Our scrumped juices, chutneys, bottled fruit, etc, are currently available at

The Fruit Factory

The Fruit Factory

Future home of the scrumping project

We now have an excellent opportunity to develop this project by renovating and equipping new premises at Stanmer Park.

The Fruit Factory will be a hub for our scrumping project - picking fruit that would otherwise go to waste.

The Fruit Factory will provide us with space to scrump until the cows come home, as well as give us the ability to house and store fruit without worry and a location that we can grow into and can invite people to learn, see, and do.

Naturally, The Fruit Factory will feed into all other work around education and planting orchards. For example, read here about how we're raising the next generation of scrumpers through our work with local schools.

Once finished, our Fruit Factory will process 10 to 20 or even as much as 40 tons of fruit a year. That's more than 250,000 apples!

Given that the average UK consumer drinks 1.5 litres of fruit juice per week (about 75 litres per person per year, or getting on for 20 million litres in Brighton & Hove each year), we intend to use our expanded premises to supply 5,000, maybe even 10,000 litres a year, all from fruit that would otherwise go to waste. It would represent just 0.05% of the juice consumed in the city, but every little helps.

We're excited by the idea that the Fruit Factory will become a permanent hub for Brighton Permaculture Trust. A place to process food (in full view of the public), teach courses, host events and sell products. The proceeds from sales will go towards expanding the educational opportunities the Trust can provide.

Straw bale fruit factory

The current status of the building

The Fruit Factory began life as a straw bale 'internal building' in an old tractor shed in July 2014. Find out more about its construction.

But work on the future Fruit Factory had to pause while we raised funds to complete the rest. The bales were in place, but we needed windows, doors, roof, plasters, renders, connection to services and much more.

On 3rd March 2015, we launched a crowfunding campaign with Buzzbnk to raise £12,000 in 30 days. You can view our campaign page here.

It was a new experience for us, mobilizing social media as well as traditional media outlets to spread the word.

And we'e very proud of our campaign video:

We hit our first tipping point within two days, covering the roof and doors.

Two days before the end of the campaign, we'd met our goal - and gone beyond it! We successfully raised £12,601.25 in 30 days, thanks to 236 donors.

We needed every extra donation for additional costs such as a hard wearing floor and repairs to the existing roof and guttering. And that's where YOU come in.

If you didn't get a chance to donate during the campaign, or would like to donate more, then we can use every penny to help complete the build. You can donate to the project right here:

Other ways you can help

You can also help out the scrumping project in other ways. We invite you to contact us if you know of fruit trees where the fruit isn't used.

If you would like to do some scrumping yourself (volunteers get to eat lots of fruit!), please sign up to our volunteer list to receive notice of scrumping opportunities. Picking and preparing fruit is a fantastic way to get involved, and the project is totally dependent upon volunteers.

Fruit Factory supporters

This project would not have been possible without a lot of help. We would like to thank:

  • The many kind donors to our crowd funding appeal
  • Volunteers who have worked hard to make the project possible
  • TimberBale: The builders who worked tirelessly to make the project happen
  • Daniel Jon Griffiths: Artist and blacksmith at Stanmer for his support in many ways
  • DH Solar Engineers: For assistance with the plumbing
  • Infinity Foods
  • Lightfoot LED: For providing lighting
  • The Naturesave Trust: Environmental, conservation and community renewable energy grants
  • SIG PLC: For kindly supplying environmentally-friendly liquid roofing material
  • Sterling Power Tools, Northbrook Business Park, Worthing: For kindly donating fixtures and fittings
  • Westgate Joinery, Ringmer: For kindly supplying the byford doors and windows