Fresh food for all

David Cox offers dismal advice to those living on housing estates in priority wards with poor access to fresh vegetables ("Coming soon, the next rural fiasco", 28 January). Dependence on "intensive agribusinessmen" (sic) and the supermarkets they supply is less of an option than he thinks. Bus fares and children in pushchairs see to that. Instead, they rely on canned food and frozen ready-made meals from corner shops without regular deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Food co-ops are an effective alternative. In Cumbria, 30 have been established in the past year. As a result, thousands of people now have access to weekly deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables, supplied locally and regionally where possible, and at a fraction of the cost of supermarket produce. Consequently, local growers can sustain relatively small-scale production, securing and, in some cases, creating jobs.

David Browning
Rothbury, Northumberland

This article first appeared in the 04 February 2002 issue of the New Statesman, Revealed: how Labour sees women