No more olive oil…?

A couple of days ago, I had a very interesting conversation with Nicolas who supplies us with amazing, single estate organic Greek olive oil. He came to tell me due to the impact of climate change his farmers do not have any oil for him for the rest of this year, and olive oil could become extremely scarce as the year progresses. This was to be his last delivery to us. 

He also advised that we try and source some oil now from a reputable supplier as the price has inflated so much that there will be sleights of hand in the olive oil industry, and what we think we are getting may not be what we are actually getting.

Our food system has become so convoluted, and as climate change puts more pressure on our production systems, more and more corners will be cut as retailers and farmer get equally desperate to survive. 

Pressure to change our food system is coming and must come, but just this week gone by, we have seen protests in Germany from farmers who are not happy with the pushing of an environmental agenda. I feel their pain, for years governments and the food industry has been encouraging a certain way of doing business, and now that must change. 

This change is inevitable, but it will require a very steady hand on the tiller, and a fundamental change in mindset when it comes to primary food production. An agenda no politician will touch.  Who wants to be the advocate for paying a little more for our food, when our whole system is based on the lowest possible price and not value, because low price does not always mean value.  

There, is no question that the supermarket model devalues fresh food. 

We have just finished the planning for the year ahead and looking at the performance of the farm in 2023 has been a depressing affair. 

I feel we may not have paid ourselves a fair price for the food we sell.  If we do pay our farm more, we will not make enough to run our retail business, as we must keep our prices as low as we can to try and compete with supermarkets, it is a tough space to be in.

But there is no question now in my mind as we head into 2024 with fresh purpose that our farm needs to be fairly compensated for the food it grows. There is a cost to produce high value food.

But there is also a very real, unseen cost attached to the selling of 1 Litre of olive for less than €4. This is the unseen, disconnected cost, the price of a level of agricultural industrialisation reliant on chemicals and ultra processing that removes any remnants of the original olives from the olive oil, all the goodness that was once there is gone.  This is the price we pay for our modern-day food system.

As climate breakdown amplifies, we may find ourselves increasingly seeing empty supermarket shelves where we expect the food to be.

Of course, there is a different path we can thread here, one that is brighter, better, filled with wholesome, chemical free nutrition, one that protects, enhances, helps and does right by our people, health, and planet. That is the course we are holding steady to.

Thank you for being with us on this one.


Do Small Changes Make a Difference?

When I was younger, I believed that by convincing my parents to recycle glass bottles and joining Green Peace that we would make a difference, I was utterly convinced, I never doubted it for a second, I knew the planet was precious and that our changes made a difference.

All young children have a connection with nature and they believe they can do anything, what happens as we grow up? Why do we lose that sense of value for the natural world that we had as children? 

When we started the farm, I believed growing sustainable food would change the planet, and that all we needed was a tractor, some seeds and we would have a successful farm. 

At times on this journey, there has been disillusionment, pressure and stress, the fighting to do the right thing when it seemed it was all going against us. But ultimately, we stayed the course and stuck to our principles. 

I am not sure how long it normally takes, but it took (and continues to take) a long time to realise that no one change in isolation changes anything. Real change and success is built on lots and lots of little things done consistently over time.

This is as true for building a new habit as it is for fixing the planet.

So maybe one by one and little by little all our changes taken together can effect real change. Maybe your choice to plant a tree, to avoid weed killer, or to tell your kids about biodiversity and educate them in the beauty and preciousness of nature contribute to real positive change.

By buying from us you are effecting real change, you are choosing a different way to eat and are supporting serious changes behind the scenes. You are supporting your health, and the planet, sustainable food production and a new system of growing and selling food.

Your choice to support us means you are one of a community that are choosing a new and better way to eat, you are supporting farming and food for a better planet.

Does it matter? Does it matter that you support a zero-waste circular economy, a sustainable means of growing food and a better food future, does that matter?

Well in my book that does matter it matters a lot.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead 

Thank you for your support.


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