faq | Abel & Cole

FAQ's

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  • Top 5 questions
    • Can I choose my delivery day and time?
    • Your delivery day and time depends on where you live. Our routes are planned to minimise carbon emissions and food miles, which means we only visit an area once a week. This also means we can’t offer delivery time slots. Our first deliveries can be as early as 4am (our drivers won’t knock before 8.30am unless specifically told to do so) and the last deliveries are usually finished by mid to late afternoon. This ensures we have fewer vans on the road and can keep the delivery charge low. On the morning of your delivery, we can track the progress of your driver and find out an approximate arrival time for you, just give us a ring on 03452 62 62 62.
    • 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?
    • We plan our boxes with the seasons but you can always swap out any of the contents you don't need or fancy, in exchange for something that you do. Also, if you want to make sure we never send you a particular fruit or veg, you can put it on your ‘never send’ list. Just go to ‘My Account’ and select ‘Tailor my box’.
    • Am I tied into a contract? What if I'm going on holiday?
    • There are no strings attached whatsoever. You can stop your orders or cancel your account at any time, just give us a ring and we can do this for you, or you can do it online with just a few clicks. Here’s how.
    • Is there a minimum order value and delivery charge?
    • There is a minimum order value of £12.00. No matter how much you order, our delivery charge stays the same: £1.25. Time to stock up.
  • 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, recipe and juicing), so there’s something for everyone. 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. You can make any changes to the contents of your box from one week before the delivery. Look out for your order deadline – no changes can be made after this point. You can compare the different boxes here and see what suits you best at any given week.
    • Can I choose what comes in my fruit & veg box?
    • We plan our boxes with the seasons but you can always swap out any of the contents you don't need or fancy, in exchange for something that you do. Swapping is also a great way to take a break from a certain fruit or veg, if you’ve got enough for the moment. Also, if you want to make sure we never send you a particular fruit or veg, you can put it on your ‘never send’ list. Just go to ‘My Account’ and select ‘Tailor my box’.
    • 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 stored and packed in a temperature controlled area and delivered in a refrigerated van. All food is protected in our boxes. Anything chilled or frozen, besides single milk orders, comes packed in Woolcool®, our eco insulation, made from sheep's wool that will keep it at the right temperature till you unpack it.
    • Am I tied into a contract?
    • There are no strings attached whatsoever. You can stop your orders or cancel your account at any time, just give us a ring and we can do this for you, or you can do it online with just a few clicks. Here’s how.
    • What if I’m going on holiday?
    • If you're just going away for a bit, 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.
  • Our recipe boxes
    • What type of recipes do you have?
    • We have four different recipe styles: Foodie, Light, Simple, and Speedy. They’ll each give you a little something different. Whether you’re a fan of meat, fish, veggie or vegan dishes, there’s truly something for everyone.
      • Our Light recipes are under 500 calories and deliciously interesting to boot.
      • Our Simple recipes put an Abel & Cole twist on old favourites.
      • Speedy recipes deliver a flavourful meal in just 20 minutes, using just seven ingredients (the washing up will be minimal too!).
      • Our Foodie recipes are ideal if you’re after some culinary adventure.
    • How many people do they serve?
    • Each of our recipes can be comfortably enjoyed by two. You might even find there’s enough for seconds or delicious leftovers for the next day.
    • Do you cater for families?
    • If it’s hassle-free cooking for the whole family you’re after then our One Pot Wonder (serves 6) and Slow Cook (serves 4) boxes will be just the ticket. They’ll have all you need to put together a hugely flavourful meal for the whole family with minimal fuss. Cooking in bulk has never been easier. And our 15 weekly recipes comfortably serve two people, so you can always double up on a particular one if it’s caught your eye and you have a few more plates round the table to fill.
    • Do you offer pescatarian/veggie/vegan options?
    • We do indeed. You’re in the right place if you want some fantastically fishy or virtuously veggie meals. Every week, we’ll have four veggie, three vegan and three fish recipes as a part of the 15-recipe menu you can choose from. You won’t find more veggie and fish meals anywhere else than right here with us each week.
    • 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. If a recipe falls under either of these categories, there will be a handy sticker to let you know. Each recipe has an ingredients list for full details, which you can check over before adding to your basket.
    • How many meals can I order?
    • Whether you’re after just one meal for the week, or you’re looking to create a 7-day menu, you can choose as many of the 15 weekly recipes as you’d like, and can double up on each recipe to serve more than two people. There’s plenty of choice with Foodie, Light, Simple and Speedy dishes. Mix and match across the range, 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 15 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 Speedy recipes, for example, can be put together in a nifty 20 minutes. Practically the blink of an eye. On the other end of the scale, our Foodie recipes can take up to 60 minutes. Our recipe team handily note Prep, Cook and Total Cooking Time for each dish online, as well as in the step-by-step instructions you receive.
    • What cooking equipment do I need?
    • You won’t need much besides your trustiest knife and chopping board. Foodie and Light 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, worry not, there’ll always be a gadget-free option.
    • Do I need any of my own ingredients?
    • We’ll send along all the ingredients you need to rustle up your meals, besides the salt, pepper and oil. We precisely weigh out ingredients such as rice, spices and butter, to make whipping up your dish even easier.
    • How do I pick my meals?
    • Click on ‘Recipe Boxes’ in the grey navigation bar at the top of the website. Once there, click on the red ‘Create your menu’ button. All 15 of our delicious weekly meals will be handily laid out for you. Once you’ve had a good, mouth-watering gander, pop whichever dishes you fancy on order by clicking on the ‘Add recipe to box’ button that’s below each meal. Little tip: you can narrow down the recipes by using the filters sitting along the top of the page.
    • What will I receive in my next box if I don’t actively choose new meals?
    • If you don’t pick from the upcoming 15 meals for your next box, then we’ll send along meals in the same style to those that you had the previous week. Think Light fishy meals for Light fishy meals, and Simple veggie meals for Simple veggie meals. 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.
    • When can I see recipes for my next order?
    • After your delivery deadline, you’ll be able to see next week’s recipes. Hit the ‘Create your menu’ button on the Recipe Boxes page and hey pesto, there they are: all 15 of our upcoming recipes, in all their glory!
    • Where can I find nutritional information?
    • Both the printed recipe cards and online recipe page 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 olive oil you add to your cooking.
    • Can I remove ingredients?
    • As our recipe boxes 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.
    • What do I do if I’m missing an ingredient?
    • If you’ve unpacked your box 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.
  • My order
    • How do I change my order?
    • You can change your order, or how often you receive it, 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 working 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 mail, 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).
  • Your delivery
    • Do you deliver to my house?
    • Pop in your postcode below and we’ll tell you if we deliver to your area and what day we’d be there each week.

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    • Can I choose my delivery day and time?
    • Your delivery day and time depends on where you live. Our routes are planned to minimise carbon emissions and food miles, which means we only visit an area once a week. This also means we can’t offer delivery time slots. Our first deliveries can be as early as 4am (our drivers won’t knock before 8.30am unless specifically told to do so) and the last deliveries are usually finished by mid to late afternoon. This ensures we have fewer vans on the road and can keep the delivery charge low. On the morning of your delivery, we can track the progress of your driver and find out an approximate arrival time for you, just give us a ring on 03452 62 62 62.
    • 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.
  • 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 boxes, Woolcool® insulation, gel packs and clear Abel & Cole bags. If there's punnets or bags you can't put in your home recycling, please leave it in the box for your driver to collect and we'll take care of it for you. 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. If there's something you can't recycle, please leave it in the box for your driver to collect and we'll take care of it for you. Please put rinsed glass and plastic bottles in your home recycling.
    • Are your ice packs safe?
    • They are made from purified water which is chlorinated with Sodium Hypochlorite, and the packaging is made of low-density polyethylene. They’re completely safe and if accidentally eaten are considered safe to ingest (though we don’t recommend adding it to your drinks!). However, if you are concerned, please visit your doctor and we can give you the Materials Safety Data Sheet for the gel pack ingredients to take with you. Give us a call and we can email it or post it to you.
    • 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. As well as now delivering our carrots in a fully bio-degradable bag, we are testing how other products respond to being packed without plastic, in terms of both quality and shelf-life. 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. 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 delivery charge?
    • There is a minimum order value of £12.00, plus a delivery charge of £1.25
    • 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, that’s not only better for you and the environment, but tastes much better too! Organic farming will always mean:
      • Fewer pesticides
      • No artificial colours or preservatives
      • Always free range
      • No routine use of antibiotics
      • No GM ingredients
    • Is everything organic?
    • Although almost all of what we do is organic, certain things cannot be officially certified, such as water, wild game, sea-caught fish and foraged food. This is because they have not been monitored or controlled under organic standards. A number of our household cleaning products (while they are eco-friendly) aren't organic. All of our organic produce is clearly labelled on the website.
    • How do you know it’s organic?
    • There are strict controls and checks in place to ensure the food in our shop is organic. 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. We do, however, have the All British Veg box, which contains six varieties of seasonal vegetables every week, celebrating the best home-grown veg from up and down the country.
    • Do you sell halal or kosher meat?
    • No. Organic standards don’t allow for halal and kosher slaughter. Organic certification requires that all animals must be effectively stunned (unconscious) prior to slaughter.
    • 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 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 Corporation®… what does that mean?
    • B Corporations® 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.
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03452 62 62 62

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