FAQ | Abel & Cole

FAQs

We’ve done our best to compile the most common questions our customers have asked us over the years. However, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, do get in touch with our award-winning Customer Services team.

  • Top 6 questions

    • Can I choose my delivery day and time?
    • We will only be delivering in your area on a set day each week. Your delivery day and time depends on where you live. Our routes are planned to minimise carbon emissions and food miles. This also means we can’t offer delivery time slots. This ensures we have fewer vans on the road and can keep the delivery charge low. Our drivers begin delivering from 4am, but will not knock if they arrive before 8:30am, unless your instructions state they can do so. If they arrive too early or there's no one at home, they will follow your instructions and leave the delivery in your designated safe place.

    • Do I have to be home to receive my delivery?
    • No, you don’t. We want our service to be as convenient as can be for you. We take delivery instructions so your driver can leave your order wherever you want it.

    • Can I choose what comes in my fruit & veg box?
    • You can swap any fruit or veg in your next box for another seasonal favourite, from a list of different options. This can be done on the box’s page by clicking on the green pencil next to each item. Or you can go to this week’s boxes to easily compare all of our Fruit & Veg Boxes in one place and make your swaps there. You can also create a Dislikes list of fruit & veg that you never want to receive here, and leave your box to surprise you each week. These options only apply to our Small, Medium and Large Fruit & Veg Boxes and Very Veggie Veg Boxes.

    • Am I tied into a contract? What if I'm going on holiday?
    • There are no string attached whatsoever. You can stop your orders or cancel your account at any time. You can do it online with just a few clicks by going to the “personal details” section of my account.

    • Is there a minimum order value and how much is Abel & Cole delivery charges?
    • There is a minimum order value of £12.00. No matter how much you order, our delivery charge stays the same: £1.99. Time to stock up.

    • What happens if one of my fruits, vegetables or other items is damaged when I receive them?
    • We’re committed to packing only the very best produce we can find, so if something has been damaged in transit or isn’t fresh when it arrives at your door, please let us know. If you’re ever not happy with your order, we have a no-quibble guarantee. Just get in touch with our friendly and award-winning Customer Services Team on 03452 62 62 62 or at organics@abelandcole.co.uk, and we’ll make sure that you’re reimbursed.

  • Coronavirus

    • How is my box being packed?
    • We need to make sure our packing teams are maintaining safe social distancing, which means we have less people actively packing at any time. Our teams are still adhering to 2m social distancing guidelines and are equipped with all the necessary PPE. Everyone has their temperature checked before they are allowed onto the site.

    • What precautions are you taking with my delivery?
    • We’re having regular briefings with our drivers and continue to uphold the strictest health and safety guidelines, such as regular hand washing and carrying hand sanitiser to sanitise hands between deliveries. Each driver has their temperature checked when they arrive at the depot every morning. In addition to this, all our drivers will wear a face mask when entering communal spaces inside buildings such as offices or blocks of flats. It’s really important that your delivery instructions are up to date as we will continue to use your usual safe place until told otherwise.

      All our drivers are told to knock on the door if it’s a reasonable hour, to let you know that they have been, but they will not be staying to chat. We know this may seem a tad aloof but we’re sure you understand we just want to ensure everyone stays at least 2m away from each other.

      We’d also recommend leaving your empty boxes out for your driver to collect before they arrive, to minimise the need for contact.

    • Is there any risk with your boxes?
    • Perhaps one of the things that drew you to us in the first place was the fact we deliver to you in returnable boxes. There is at the very least 48 hours between someone returning a box and it being used again. It’s usually more likely 3-5 days though. However, we’re aware you might also be concerned about when the boxes are delivered to you, not just returning them to us. Our best advice is to wash your hands as soon as you have unpacked your order. It’s for this same reason that our drivers also have gloves to wear and carry hand sanitiser to ensure the absolute best hand hygiene between handling returned boxes and touching new boxes.

      The plastic chill liner is not reused if returned but rather recycled, so you could consider recycling straight away at home. Finally, our returnable ice packs are washed by us before being re-frozen. Then it takes at least 48 hours to freeze down, so there is always a minimum of four days before these are reused from when you send them back to us.

  • My box

    • Do I have to have the same box every week?
    • Definitely not. We want you to be free to explore. We have a variety of fruit & veg Boxes to choose from (as well as meat and fish), so there’s something for everyone. We’re so much more than just a box scheme so you’re free to order whatever you like providing your order meets our £12 minimum. However, to make the most of the range of seasonal produce on offer, we recommend enjoying a weekly box. We work with our farmers every week to pack our boxes full of our best organic produce, so that you can experience all that the seasons bring to the table.

    • How can I find out what’s in the box?
    • We’ll show you what's in all of our boxes for this week and next. That way you’ll have plenty of time to put together next week’s menu. Look out for your order deadline – no changes can be made after this point. You can compare the different weekly boxes here and see what suits you best at any given week.

    • Does my order have to include a box?
    • You only need to order a box if you're taking advantage of a box offer. Your order can be made up of whatever you fancy from our shop. Just bear in mind that we have a £12 minimum order requirement.

    • How will my delivery stay fresh?
    • Your food is delivered in a refrigerated van and all food is protected in our boxes. Anything chilled or frozen comes packed in Woolcool®, our eco insulation, made from sheep's wool that will keep it at the right temperature till you unpack it. The only exception to this, at the present time, is milk. Whilst we will pack 500 ml bottles in boxes if there is other chill on order, our 1 and 2 litre bottles will be hand delivered by your driver. Likewise, if you order a 500 ml bottle of milk and don’t have any other chilled items on order, it will be hand delivered by your driver.

    • Am I tied into a contract?
    • There are no strings attached whatsoever. You can stop your orders or cancel your account at any time. Wondering how to cancel Abel & Cole deliveries? You can do it online with just a few clicks by going to the “personal details” section of my account.

    • What if I’m going on holiday?
    • If you need to skip a delivery visit the ‘Manage Holidays’ page where you will see your usual delivery dates highlighted. Simply click on the days you don’t want a delivery on.

    • What happens if one of my fruits, vegetables or other items is damaged when I receive them?
    • We’re committed to packing only the very best produce we can find, so if something has been damaged in transit or isn’t fresh when it arrives at your door, please let us know. If you’re ever not happy with your order, we have a no-quibble guarantee. Just get in touch with our friendly and award-winning Customer Services Team on 03452 62 62 62 or at organics@abelandcole.co.uk, and we’ll make sure that you’re reimbursed.

  • Fruit & Veg Box Swaps

    • Why couldn’t you introduce Fruit & Veg Box Swaps before now?
    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, various aspects of food supply became more difficult to manage, not just for us and for our makers, but for everyone across the world. One consequence of this was that we needed to streamline our box selection and temporarily remove the ability to personalise them, so that we could continue to deliver enough fresh fruit & veg to all of our shoppers, without compromising on our ability to support our growers in a way that we were proud of. Despite this, we were soon able to bring back our Dislikes list, and we’re now thrilled to be able to reintroduce Fruit & Veg Box Swaps as well.

    • Why didn’t I receive what I chose? / Why was I told too late for me to make a change? / Why didn’t you tell me about a change?
    • We will always try our best to deliver everything that you choose for your box. Very occasionally, a change will need to be made, for example due to the unexpected poor quality of a certain type of fruit or veg, or due to weather conditions. This will usually happen at the last minute, as our fruit & veg is delivered to us fresh from the fields for packing. When a change is made to a swap that you’ve chosen, we will inform you by email. But when we make a change to an original item that’s been chosen by us, we won’t inform you of this switch.

    • Why did I receive a double portion of fruit or veg in my delivery (due to a change that you needed to make)?
    • When we need to make a change to what was planned for your box (for example due to unexpected quality or transport issues), our system isn’t able to take into account what else you have on order that week. So you may end up with a double portion of a certain fruit or vegetable because of this.

      On some occasions, there may also be a limit to the number of varieties that are available (due to seasonality), so very occasionally a duplicate may be unavoidable. This is more likely to happen if there are several seasonal fruit & veg items on your Dislikes list. If you would like to amend your Dislikes list, you can do so here.

    • Why can’t I choose the contents for all of my Fruit & Veg Boxes?
    • A few of our Fruit & Veg Boxes, including our All British Veg Box, Seasonal Salad & Veg Box and Fruit Bowl Favourites Box, have fixed contents, carefully curated by our brilliant Buyers each week to celebrate the very best seasonal fare. Because of this, we’re not able to apply swaps or your Dislikes list to these boxes.

      If you find that the planned contents of a fixed box don’t suit you one week, then you can easily compare all of our Fruit & Veg Boxes here, and swap to a different box.

      Box swaps only apply to certain Fruit & Veg Boxes – it’s not possible to swap anything in any of our other boxes and bundles, like our weekly Meat & Fish Boxes.

    • Why can’t I choose any fruit & veg I want for my swaps?
    • When you decide to swap an item of fruit or veg in your box, you’ll be offered a selection of different swaps to choose from. We take several different factors into account to create this list of swaps.

      Our first consideration is the comparable cost of the fruit & veg. A more expensive item of fruit or veg that’s planned for your box might have a greater number of swap options available, for example, because we’re able to include more expensive options for you to choose from. This is to make sure that we can continue to pay our growers a fair price for their delicious, organic fruit & veg.

      Another consideration is availability. If we have an abundance of something that is widely available for a short season, we might be able to include it in many of our boxes and/or in the list of swap options, regardless of its usual cost. In the same way, if availability of a certain crop is very limited, we may not be able to include it as a swap option.

      Occasionally, we may need to change the swaps that are available to you throughout the week. If something becomes unexpectedly unavailable, for example due to poor quality or because it has sold out, it will be taken off the list.

    • What will happen if I don’t choose swaps for fruit & veg on my Dislikes list?
    • We will choose these swaps for you, from the options listed for any items on your Dislikes list. If you would like to amend your Dislikes list, you can do so here.

    • How does the cost of my weekly Fruit & Veg Boxes compare to buying fruit & veg separately?
    • We try to keep the value of our Fruit & Veg Boxes comparable to ordering fruit & veg separately. They may even result in a small saving, depending on what has been planned for your box or what swaps you choose.

      If you subscribe to one of our weekly Fruit & Veg Boxes, this can offer good value for money. You’ll always pay a fixed price for your box each week, whereas the cost of ordering your fruit & veg items separately will fluctuate, depending on what you buy

  • Meat-Free Meal Kits

    • What are Meal Kits?
    • Our Meat-Free Meal Kits contain everything you need to make a meal, including pre-portioned ingredients and a step-by-step recipe card.

    • What sort of meals do you have?
    • We have four different recipe styles: Quick, Light, Family and Foodie. They’ll each give you something a little different:

      • Our Quick recipes are easy to make and deliver a flavourful meal in under 30 minutes.
      • Our Light recipes are under 500 calories and deliciously interesting.
      • Our Family recipes put an Abel & Cole twist on some of our favourite dishes.
      • Our Foodie recipes are ideal if you’re after some culinary adventure.
    • How many people do your meals serve?
    • Every week, we have a mixture of meals that serve two people or one person with leftovers, and four people or two adults and two-three children.

    • Do you have vegan and vegetarian meals?
    • Our meals are equally split between vegetarian and vegan meals, so every week you’ll find six vegetarian and six vegan meals on the menu.

    • Do you have any gluten-free or dairy-free recipes?
    • Many of our recipes are dairy-free, and there’ll also be plenty that are naturally low in gluten. Each recipe has an ingredients list for full details, which you can check over before adding to your basket.

    • Where can I find nutritional information?
    • Both the online ordering page and printed recipe cards will always have a handy table of nutritional info on them, so anything you’d like to know will be at your fingertips. But because everyone’s tastes are slightly different, the nutritional value can vary depending on how much of your own salt, pepper or oil you add to your cooking.

    • How many portions of fruit and veg do the meals include?
    • Each meal is guaranteed to include at least two of your five-a-day per serving, and often they will include more. You can see how many portions of fruit and veg are in each meal on the recipe card and online ordering page, alongside the rest of the nutritional information.

    • How do I pick my meals?
    • Click on ‘Meal Kits’ in the yellow navigation bar at the top of the website. Once there, click on the red ‘Create your menu’ button. All 12 of our delicious weekly meals will be handily laid out for you. Once you’ve browsed the menu, pop whichever dishes you fancy on order by clicking on the ’Add recipe to box’ button that’s below each meal, and then checking out. Little tip: you can narrow down the recipes by using the filters sitting along the top of the page.

    • How many meals can I order?
    • Whether you’re after just one meal for the week, or you’re looking to create a seven-day menu, you can choose as many of the 12 weekly changing recipes as you’d like, and can double up on each recipe if you want larger portions of the same dish. There’s plenty of choice with Foodie, Light, Quick and Family dishes. Mix and match across the range, or stock up on your favourite dish – it’s up to you.

    • Can I order just one meal?
    • You most certainly can. Pick just one of our 12 brilliant meals if it’s just the one dinner you’re looking to rustle up for the week. Let the deliberations begin…

    • How long do the recipes take to cook?
    • Rustling up our meals can vary depending on which kind of recipes you’ve gone for. Our Quick recipes, for example, can be put together in a nifty 30 minutes or less. On the other end of the scale, our Foodie recipes can 60 take minutes (or slightly longer). Our Recipe Writers handily note Total Cooking Time for each dish online, as well as in the step-by-step instructions you receive. They will also include smart ways to get and save time whenever possible on the recipe cards.

    • What cooking equipment do I need?
    • You won’t need much except your trustiest knife and chopping board. Foodie recipes may suggest a blender or food processor from time to time, but if you don’t have anything like that in your kitchen cupboards, there’ll always be a gadget-free option.

    • Do I need any of my own ingredients?
    • We’ll send you all the ingredients you need to rustle up your meals, except the salt, pepper and oil. Sometimes we’ll suggest an optional pinch of sugar or splash of milk, but you can decide if you want to add those to season your meals. All our ingredients are weighed out, so you’ll get exactly what you need to cook your meal, with no leftover ingredients cluttering up your kitchen.

    • Can I remove ingredients?
    • As our Meat-Free Meal Kits are geared towards specific meals, individual ingredients cannot be removed. Every ingredient comes individually packed, so you could always set a certain ingredient aside once you receive your box and substitute it for one from your own pantry if you wish.

    • What do I do if I’m missing an ingredient?
    • If you’ve unpacked your meal kit and noticed an ingredient is missing, please get in touch with our Customer Services Team on 03452 62 62 62 or organics@abelandcole.co.uk, and let them know. We always want to know about this sort of issue, so we can pass it on to the right people our end – and to make it up to you, of course.

    • How are the Meal Kits delivered?
    • We pack our Meat-Free Meal Kits into two separate boxes – a Chilled Box/Pack and a Dry Goods and Fruit & Veg Box. If you have extra Chilled items on your order, your chilled ingredients will be packed in with them, but don’t worry – the label on your Box will list your Meal Kit. In your Dry Goods and Fruit & Veg Box, you’ll find a bag with all your dried goods, such as spices, grains and tins, and your fruit and veg.

    • When can I see recipes for my next order?
    • You’ll be able to see the recipes one week before they are available to order. Once you have received your delivery, the following week’s recipes will become available and then you can swap, change, add or remove recipes up until your delivery deadline.

    • What will I receive in my next box if I don’t actively choose new meals?
    • If you don’t pick from the upcoming 12 meals for your next box, then we’ll send along meals in the same style to those that you had the previous week. Once you’ve found a good balance of meals every week, we’ll take care of the rest going ahead. You’re in complete control of your menu – swap and choose as often as you like up until your delivery deadline.

    • Why are you only doing meat-free meals?
    • We’re committed to making sustainable eating easier for everyone, and more delicious too. One simple way to eat more sustainably and to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat more plant-led meals and reduce meat consumption. Our Meat-Free Meal Kits make cooking vegetarian and vegan meals simple and can help you include more veggie meals in your repertoire. You can read about the average carbon saving of our Meat-Free Meal Kits over on our blog.

    • Does eating a meat-free meal really make a difference to my carbon footprint?
    • Yes! In a recent study, we found that our new Meat-Free Meal Kits have a significantly lower carbon footprint and emit 63% less carbon on average, compared to their equivalent meat dishes. You can read more about our carbon comparison study on our blog.

    • How do the Meat-Free Meal Kits create less food waste?
    • Every year thousands of tonnes of food are thrown away in the UK. Often, it’s food people bought with good intentions, but life got in the way, and they just didn’t get the chance to cook it. Our Meat-Free Meal Kits can help you plan in your meals and, because they include exactly what you need to cook the meal, there are no leftover ingredients that need using up. Instead, you’ll have all the weighed and measured fruit and veg, proteins, spices and condiments, grains, and sides you need to cook a satisfying meal. Additionally, we include tips on storing any leftovers if you do want to batch cook the meals to eat throughout the week. Our Recipe Writers also offer handy hints on how to use things we might normally think of as food waste – citrus peels, veg peelings, herb stalks – so you can make the most of every scrap.

  • My order

    • How do I change my order?
    • You can change your order, or how often you receive it, as many times as you like up until your order deadline. To amend your order, log in to your account and go to ‘My Next Delivery’.

    • How do I add to my order?
    • Once you’re logged in, you can browse our shop, from dairy to drinks, pantry to pastries. When you spot something you like the look of, hit the ‘Add’ button next to an item’s price and it will be popped into your basket. When you’re finished browsing, click ‘Checkout’ to complete the order. You can check over your order any time by clicking on the van.

    • Is there an order deadline?
    • Yes. It’s two days before your delivery day, so you’ve plenty of time to shop between deliveries. If you are making your order online, you have up until midnight on your deadline day to add items or make any changes. If you prefer to make your order over the phone, webchat or email, you will need to contact us during our office hours.

      If you need help staying on track with your deadlines, visit the My Account’ page where you can set up text message or email deadline reminders.

    • How do I know my order has been confirmed?
    • All future orders will show up under ‘My Next Delivery’ or by clicking on the van icon. You’ll also receive an order confirmation email, after you've logged out or left the Abel & Cole website. Please note, you can still make changes to a confirmed order up until your deadline (two days before your delivery day).

    • Can I order food for my office?
    • Yes, indeed! We can offer regular deliveries of fruit, milk, tea, coffee, and a wide range of office essentials. Get in touch via officeandwholesale@abelandcole.co.uk or 020 8944 3715 and we'll be very happy to help.

  • Your delivery

    • Does Abel & Cole deliver to my area?
    • Can I choose my delivery day and time?
    • We will only be delivering in your area on a set day each week. Your delivery day and time depends on where you live. Our routes are planned to minimise carbon emissions and food miles. This also means we can’t offer delivery time slots. This ensures we have fewer vans on the road and can keep the delivery charge low. Our drivers begin delivering from 4am, but will not knock if they arrive before 8:30am, unless your instructions state they can do so. If they arrive too early or there's no one at home, they will follow your instructions and leave the delivery in your designated safe place.

    • Will my delivery come at the same time each week?
    • They tend to come at a similar time, but this can be subject to change. We order our rounds each week depending on what deliveries we have in your area. This means we make more deliveries with fewer vans, which is great for the environment.

    • Do I have to be home to receive my delivery?
    • No, you don’t. We want our service to be as convenient as can be for you. We take delivery instructions so your driver can leave your order in a safe place.

    • Where can you leave my delivery if I’m not in?
    • We can leave it anywhere you think is safe, which could be as simple as leaving it by your front door. Some other examples are: tucked out of sight behind a wall, flower pot or bush, inside a recycling bin (just make sure it’s not your collection day!), inside or behind a storage area (such as a utility cupboard or bike shed), inside an outbuilding like a shed, greenhouse, playhouse or garage. We can also offer you a secure keyholding service for keys to a communal entrance, porch, garage, shed, side gate, etc., which is also ideal for blocks of flats, for which we could also take door codes. Please call us on 03452 62 62 62 to find out more.

    • What if my delivery gets stolen?
    • If your delivery is stolen, give us a ring on 03452 62 62 62 and we will refund you and work out a better place to leave your order in future.

    • Can I send an Abel & Cole delivery as a gift?
    • Absolutely, as long as we deliver to the lucky recipient’s area. We create an account for them and take your payment details. If you already have an account with us, you still need to set up a new account to ensure it goes to the right address. This account can then be closed, once the delivery has been made. We're happy to help, so please give us a call on 03452 62 62 62 if you’d like us to set up a gift account for you.

  • Plastic Pick-Up

    • What is Plastic Pick-Up?
    • Plastic Pick-Up is a service we offer as part of a national scheme to reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill. In collaboration with our Flexible Plastic Fund and UK Plastics Pact partners, we collect hard-to-recycle plastic bags and wrapping when we drop off your Abel & Cole deliveries. We’ll then send this material to our recycling partner, Coveris, to be transformed into sustainable building materials right here in the UK.

    • Why is recycling flexible plastic important?
    • Whilst it's our responsibility as a retailer to eliminate as many of these materials as possible from our packaging, flexible plastic films are, in many cases, the most effective material for the job. These plastics can't be easily replaced and this is especially the case for a lot of meat and dairy packaging. These materials are not normally collected for recycling because they are very hard to identify, but they have value and can be recycled. It's therefore important for us to make sure that any plastic bags and wrapping that we do use is sent to a facility that can process them, and not to landfill. But this arrangement requires close collaboration between retailers and recyclers, which is why we've created Plastic Pick-Up.

    • Why is recycling flexible plastic so complicated?
    • Nearly all plastics can be recycled. However, different plastics can't be recycled together as this results in poor-quality material. Since recyclers make their income from selling recycled plastic back to manufacturers, it’s only profitable for them to recycle plastics that can be easily identified, and collected in large amounts.

      Fortunately, the majority of plastic food packaging is made from a mixture of just four plastics: LDPE, HDPE, PET and PP. These can be identified on rigid packaging thanks to 'resin identification numbers' which are embossed onto products such as drinks bottles and yogurt pots. For flexible films, identification numbers can be much harder to verify as they’re easily broken up. As a result, it's very hard for recyclers to know how much they have of any one plastic type, or the quality of their end product.

      Working with retailers is a huge benefit to recyclers because we can provide a record of which materials are used in our packaging. Using Plastic Pick-Up also means we can ask our customers to return only what will be valuable to our partners. This collaboration lowers the risks involved with collecting flexible packaging, setting the stage for more widespread collections in the long-term, as well as changing our packaging to be even more recyclable.

    • How does Plastic Pick-Up work?
    • We’ve tried to make the whole process as easy as possible. If you’re opted in to Plastic Pick-Up, then there’s just three simple steps you need to follow to help prepare your packaging for collection and recycling.

      • Unwrap it: Separate any plastic bags and wrapping from the products in your weekly shop.
      • Rinse it: Rinse the plastic to remove any food residue and dry it off to help prepare it for recycling.
      • Bag it: Pop the rinsed, dried packaging into your Abel & Cole Recycling Collection bag.

      When your bag is full, seal it and leave it out with the rest of your boxes for your driver to collect. We’ll leave you a new bag in its place, ready to refill.

    • Can clingfilm go in the recycling bag?
    • We can accept clingfilm that has been rinsed and dried.

    • What happens to the plastics we collect?
    • The plastic we collect is sorted by our partner, Regent Hill, before it’s transported to Coveris for conversion into groundsheets. Groundsheets are an integral waterproofing feature in building construction and can be recovered after demolition to be recycled again. In the future, we hope to convert the flexible plastics we receive back into packaging grade material or even food contact materials. This will be possible once we can ensure a high enough level of purity in the recycled materials we receive.

    • Does Plastic Pick-Up only take Abel & Cole packaging?
    • We’re happy to collect waste materials from any retailer so long as they fit within the ‘Bag It’ list on our recycling poster.

    • What are the Plastic Pick-Up bags made of, and what happens to the bags themselves?
    • The recycling bags are made using LDPE line waste from the production of our Woolcool chill bags. These bags are emptied to sort through the returned waste and then sent with the flexible plastics you send us to be recycled into building materials.

    • What happens to incorrect materials that I’ve unknowingly included in the bag?
    • These are sorted by our partner, Regent Hill. Anything incorrectly added will be removed and disposed of responsibly in the UK. For some items, such as crisp packets, this will mean going to incineration. For recyclable items, such as glass bottles, they’ll be sent to be recycled conventionally. If you are ever unsure about whether something is meant to be packed into the bag, the best course of action is to dispose of it in your general waste bin, unless it is recyclable in your kerbside collections.

    • How is Plastic Pick-Up not adding to the problem of plastic-use by creating plastic bags?
    • The plastic bags we use are made with 100% recycled content and allow us to collect and transport the flexible plastic waste in a secure fashion with no impact on our food safety or van efficiencies. The bags are then recycled with the waste that we collect, so that they can be used again as building materials.

    • Do I have to have a delivery to take part in the Plastic Pick-Up scheme?
    • Yes, your bag will only be collected on delivery of a fresh Abel & Cole box.

    • Can I have more than one bag with my delivery?
    • This is not something we are able to support at this time.

    • What do I do with plastics that are too big to put in the recycling bag?
    • Unfortunately, because of the food safety and space limitations in our vans, we can’t offer collection of anything that isn’t in a recycling bag and therefore you should seek out another route to recycle those plastics.

    • Where can I recycle the packaging that you can’t collect?
    • We have carefully selected the types of plastic that can be feasibly recycled as part of Plastic Pick-Up. The plastics we refuse can’t currently be recycled through the mechanical process we use but some large retailers send their waste for chemical recycling and may accept these items.

    • What to do if I can’t tell what material my flexible plastic is?
    • If in doubt, the best thing to do is to put it the plastic into your general waste bin. Whilst we encourage everyone to return as much waste as possible, it’s important that we ensure the plastic we send to be recycled is high quality. The inclusion of materials such as cellulose-based films or crisp packets limits our partner, Coveris’, ability to make useful materials at the end of the process.

    • What do I do with stickers?
    • It’s best to remove stickers so that we aren’t mixing materials together. If it isn’t possible to simply pull it off, we recommend cutting it out of the plastic and putting it into your general waste bin.

    • Why can’t I return flexible plastics in my own bag?
    • Our vans are designed specially to maximise the available space so that we can minimise our carbon emissions and get the highest efficiency in our deliveries. As a result, we need to ensure that any waste returned is in a compact container that keeps it sealed away from our fresh deliveries. This is how we decided on our Plastic Pick-Up bags, as they can be recycled with the flexible plastics they contain.

    • Why aren’t the Plastic Pick-Up bags bigger?
    • We need to maximise space in the van and therefore have designed our bags to be as compact as possible whilst being able to hold at least a weeks’ worth of flexible plastic.

    • What if I didn’t get a replacement?
    • If your driver doesn’t replace your bag when you send one back to us, please contact our customer service team and they will ensure one is sent with your next delivery.

    • What do I do when my Plastic Pick-Up bag is full?
    • Make sure to seal the bag and then leave it out in a safe location for your driver to collect.

    • Where should I leave my Plastic Pick-Up bag?
    • The best place to leave your bag in is in a secure place by your box, so that it’s protected from wind and rain. Please don’t leave bags inside of your Abel & Cole boxes, as drivers need to be able to spot the bag when delivering in order to leave a new one.

    • Why do I need to rinse my packaging?
    • To ensure that we don’t contaminate our delivery vans or the recycling stream, we ask that you rinse your packaging so that the presence of organic waste doesn’t prevent it from being recycled.

    • Does this have an impact on hygiene with my food delivery?
    • All of our recycling bags are returned sealed and are kept in a secure container in our vans. This ensures that the plastic waste never comes into contact with our customers’ fresh deliveries.

  • Our packaging

    • What do I do with the packaging?
    • Your driver will collect the packaging while making your next delivery, so please leave out your folded down boxes, Woolcool® iinsulation, ice packs and clear Abel & Cole bags. However, we can't take back the glass or plastic bottles, so please rinse them and put them in your home recycling.

    • Is all your packaging re-usable and recyclable?
    • Most of our packaging can be recycled or re-used but it depends on what your local authority will allow. You can find out more by contacting your council or by putting your postcode in the Recyclenow website. Please put rinsed glass and plastic bottles in your home recycling.

    • Are your ice packs safe?
    • Our ice packs are filled with water only so whilst we don’t recommend using it to dilute your Rocks Organic Squash, there’s no need to worry if you accidentally ingest some from a leaking pack.

    • Do you have a vegan alternative to the Woolcool® insulation?
    • Our use of packaging is under regular review and so far we have been unable to find an animal-free alternative to the Woolcool® insulation that works well enough and satisfies all of our criteria. Please do get in touch if you’re aware of any suitable alternatives – we welcome tips that help to improve our packaging.

    • Are you going plastic free?
    • Abel & Cole have always tried to minimise the amount of packaging we use. That’s why we deliver your food in cardboard boxes which we pick up and re-use. We only use packaging when absolutely necessary, to protect the fruit & veg while on its way to you or to keep it fresh. We’re fully aware of the environmental impact that plastics have, and this is why we are actively looking for alternatives. We have already reduced the amount of plastics we use and are working hard to reduce this further.

  • Your account

    • How do I update my personal details (address, delivery instructions, telephone number, credit card, etc.)?
    • Log in to your account and go to the ‘Personal Details’ section of ‘My Account’.Here you can amend your address, delivery instructions, contact details, password, and card details.

    • Can I create a list of my favourite items?
    • You can mark your favourite items by clicking the heart icon, which is located on or near the photo of the product. You’ll find these in ‘My Favourites & Previous Orders’ when you log in to your account. From there you can add to your basket individually or select a previous delivery date and add the whole lot. To remove anything from your favourites, click on the heart again.

    • Can I write a review about the things I buy?
    • If you're reporting a problem, we'd prefer you get in touch with us directly so that we can resolve it for you straight away. Please ring us on 03452 62 62 62 or visit our contact page. If you want to share your thoughts about something you’ve tried, please submit a review in the My Reviews section of your account. Here are some handy hints for your review:

      • Include anything that's useful for fellow Abel & Colers.
      • Avoid using personally identifiable information (like full names or contact details).
      • Please don't mention other food companies, retailers or prices otherwise the review system will reject the review.
    • How do I stop unwanted contact from Abel & Cole?
    • We're passionate about what we do and want to tell you all about it. However, we wouldn’t want to overwhelm you, either. You can amend your contact preferences through the My Account’ page. Alternatively, please call us on 03452 62 62 62 and we will stop any or all contact.

    • How do I close my account?
    • If you have had any problems with your deliveries, please do get in touch with us as soon as possible and we'll do everything we can to help. If you want to close your account, you can do so from the ‘Personal Details’ section of ‘My Account’.

  • Your payment

    • Is there a minimum order value and how much is Abel & Cole delivery?
    • There is a minimum order value of £12.00, plus a delivery charge of £1.99

    • When does Abel & Cole take payment and how do I pay for my order?
    • We take payment by credit or debit card on the day of your delivery, not at the time of ordering. We accept most cards excluding American Express. When you set up an account, your payment details will be saved so you don't have to add them each time you place an order. If you cancel your account, your payment details are deleted.

  • Our organic shop

    • What does organic mean?
    • In a nutshell, organic farming means it’s food as it should be, food you can trust, food that doesn’t cost the earth, and food where the animals come first. It’s a conscientious way of tending to the land, which works with nature and not against it. Organic farming will always mean:

      • Fewer pesticides
      • No artificial colours or preservatives
      • Always free range
      • No routine use of antibiotics
      • No GM ingredients
    • What do you mean by ‘organic and sustainably wild’?
    • This means that every item in our shop that organic standards can apply to is certified organic, and those that can’t be certified are just as responsibly sourced. Some items, such as salt or water, cannot be certified organic because they cannot be ‘produced’ in the first place. Wild caught fish, and foraged food, again has not been produced – or in this case, farmed – in conditions that are controlled enough to be certified. Honey can only be certified organic if it comes from beehives surrounded by more organic land than the UK can currently offer, hence why our British honey cannot be certified organic. This doesn’t mean however that there aren’t sustainable options available for these items. With standards, policies, expertise and partnerships as strong as ours, we’re confident that whether a product has been hand-dived, line-caught, foraged, picked or gathered, it’s the most sustainable option we can offer.

    • How do you know it’s organic?
    • There are strict controls and checks in place to ensure the organic food in our shop is certified and produced to the legally-required standards. We are certified by the Soil Association, which is the main certifying body in the UK and you’ll see the logo on lots of our products. There are eight others (known as Organic Control Bodies), approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Organic products from abroad will be certified by the relevant body in that country, shown by the organic control code on the label. For organic items grown or produced in the EU, there will also the EU ‘leaf’ logo on the label. We hold copies of the organic certificates for all of our suppliers. Each certifying body will carry out a regular audit (usually annually) of the suppliers under their control and we also make visits to them ourselves. Produce is tested by the accreditation bodies to ensure it's organic and we will also do random spot checks for pesticides.

    • Is everything British and/or locally sourced?
    • Due to the quantity and variety of produce we need, unfortunately it isn't possible to rely solely on British or local suppliers. Seasonal availability means that at certain times of the year we'd struggle to have enough fresh fruit & veg to go around! If we have to get it from abroad, we only ever ship it in over water rather than airfreight, and we’ll always mention where the food has come from on our product pages.

    • Do you sell halal or kosher meat?
    • No. None of our suppliers have been certified as halal or kosher.

    • Do you sell vegan/plant-based food?
    • Yes. We have a wide range of vegan and plant-based food that can be found in our Free From section.

    • Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
    • You can filter the website to show only products that are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, biodynamic or dairy free. PLEASE NOTE: Abel & Cole handles celery, celeriac, peanuts and nuts. Due to our packing process and re-use of boxes there is a risk of cross-contamination from these allergens.

  • More about us

    • I hear you’re a B Corp™… what does that mean?
    • B Corps™ are leaders of the global movement of people using business as a force for good. We’re part of a community dedicated to improving their sustainable impact. Since day one, we’ve always wanted to do things the right way. We’re proud to have stayed true to these values over the years. We’ve helped farmers achieve organic certification, challenge ourselves to be green, and support charities at home and further afield. You can find out more on our blog and check out our profile on the B Corp™ website.

    • How is Abel & Cole making a positive difference to people and our planet?
    • We’re on a mission to make shopping sustainably easy and delicious, putting people and our planet first every step of the way. You can read about how we’re making a difference in our Sustainability Report. Our report celebrates some of the amazing things we’ve achieved with the support of our green community in 2021, across the three areas of our sustainability strategy: Planet, People and Product. It also sets out our ambitious targets for 2022 and beyond, as we continue our exciting sustainability journey. Read our report, here.

  • App

    • Do you have an app?
    • We certainly do. Our official app is available to download for Apple and Android devices. You can download our app in the Apple Store or via Google Play

    • How do I get the app?
    • You can download our app in the Apple Store or via Google Play.

    • What’s happened to the shopping basket?
    • One of the changes we’ve made to the shopping experience on the App is the removal of the checkout shopping basket. This means a single click will pop something on order for you. The change is designed to make shopping sustainably easy, so you spend less time managing your order and more time enjoying the very best of organic.

    • How do I view my future orders?
    • If you click on the van icon at the bottom of the app screen, you’ll be able to see what’s coming next and in future weeks. However, please be aware that items you have on a recurring order will only show on the next date they’re due to arrive.

    • Can I still add items to my list of dislikes?
    • You certainly can. You’ll find the option in the ‘Account’ section of your app.

    • Why can’t I view the app in landscape mode on my iPad?
    • Our official app does work on an iPad but unfortunately cannot yet be viewed in landscape mode, as it is not yet compatible with our app. You can still enjoy our app on your iPad by viewing it in portrait mode.

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organics@abelandcole.co.uk

Send us your questions, suggestions and dog or cat photos.

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03452 62 62 62

(locally that's 020 3856 8560)
Our lines are open
Mon to Fri: 8.30am – 5pm

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WRITE TO

Abel & Cole Limited,
16 Waterside Way, Plough Lane,
Wimbledon, SW17 0HB