Team of seven from Worshipful Company of Fruiterers raises funds for London food rescue charity with testing cycle ride around Isle of Wight

A team of seven cyclists from The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers has cycled 125km around the Isle of Wight to raise over £21,000 for London-based food redistribution charity City Harvest.

At the time of writing the feat had raised just under £21,500 (including online and offline donations) and more money is coming in. Online donations can be made here, ideally before 17 July.

The ride on 22 June took around six hours to complete and the Fruiterers peleton included some familiar names from the fresh produce industry. The seven cyclists were Matt Hancock (Norton Folgate), George Beach (Mudwalls), Tony Reynolds (Reynolds), Pete Osborne (Ferryfast), Charlie Hodges (Emanjo), Elliott Porter (Fresh Service), and Andy Banks (JM Finn).

Commenting on the cycle, Master Fruiterer Matt Hancock wrote in his blog: “There is an instant sense of elation on completing any endurance event, and this is no different.

“We are all huffing and puffing quite a lot but a few cold beers, some gin and tonics and a good meal settles our aches and pains. By 10.30pm we can’t feel anything anymore! Some are nodding off at the table while others don’t know when to stop. It’s time for bed!

“We’ve all had a long but very rewarding day and the weather gods have been kind to us. As I shut my eyes, I know that today we will have made some people’s lives a bit better.”

The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers has donated food to those in need in London since the 13th Century, and this is celebrated every year with the presentation of fruit to the Lord Mayor of the City of London at Mansion House.

The Fruiterers’ chosen charity partner for the fundraiser, City Harvest, is one of the capital’s leading surplus food redistribution charities, delivering free nutritious food to more than 375 organisations.

One in four people face food poverty in London, and City Harvest has positioned itself as a sustainable solution to food waste and food poverty.

Every day its fleet of vans rescues surplus food from retailers, manufacturers, markets and events, resulting in the reduction of food waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

The organisation currently delivers food for around 10 million meals a year, which equates to 30,000 meals a day.