The food industry can be harsh and frustrating. Those producing food aren’t always the ones selling the food. Those selling the food often don’t pay what they agreed they would, to the farmers. Producers are in such a fast moving industry that by the time their products come to market, demand may have increased or declined, producing food waste or future over production.
I’d certainly not want to be a farmer; they get a real rough deal. I wouldn’t want to be in a position where I’d have to grovel for a few extra pence per kg of produce, just to make a small profit or even break even.
So, it got me thinking (most people have other hobbies but mine inadvertently include researching crazy ideas and solutions to a world full of problems), how could Eco Freaks close that gap and make any sort of difference? You all know that we are really hot on organic food but something else I really like is knowing where food is grown, how it’s processed and knowing the Farmer, the producer and their story. For me, that makes perfect business and ethical sense. If we know at our store the who, what, where, why and when, we can share that with you, our customers and perhaps have a better sense of the food chain. In the hope that high standards and fair pricing all round are achieved.
After about 2 weeks of research we decided that as a company we would invest in projects, farms, production and products that were core to our values. We now have partnerships and adoptions of land, trees and even ocean conservation. Some of these include produce that we will share with you in special meal evenings or as prizes and a thank you’ to our valued customers.
We currently, already buy produce from British farmers and producers too but some of the investments below are high sellers in our store and are often foods that cannot be grown in the UK.
We searched and invested in the following:
Carlos Arenes and his apricots grown at Monte de Carlo in Catadau (Spain).
The farm started its conversion to organic status in 2019 and we believe it’s really important to back those taking a leap in the direction we value. The apricots (because the farm does not yet have its full organic status) are pesticide free, plastic free, only sent when fresh in season and they have no wax.
Organic seaweed and a square meter of a ría gallega (Galician estuary) in Cambados (Spain).
By doing so we are investing in sustainable farming and cultivation of areas in which the seaweed is harvested. The seaweed is sent to us plastic free and is organic, it is also dehydrated slowly under 40c .
Katja von Mentzingen and their organic goji berries from Germany.
The farm also uses plastic free packaging, dries the fruit in under 40c, uses renewable energy all produced on a small family farm.
An organic chickpea field at BioVállega SL in Spain and the Farmer Luis.
The chickpeas are a fantastic seller in store (did you know you can make vegan meringues with their water?), the farm grows organic chickpeas that are not genetically modified and their farm is a small family one.
High quality organic rice grown by Bernard at his Canard des Rizières farm in Saint-Gilles (France)
We noticed at the same time as this crisis rice was in huge demand, we’ve purchased a rice paddy for this season. The rice is cultivated in the a swamp area alongside the breeding of Mulard Ducks who a responsible for weed and vermin control.
Organic walnuts from Farmer Nicole Brazda at her farm Bio Dio in Osli (Hungary)
Another popular product in store are organic walnuts, we are really looking forward to tasting these plastic free goodies and supporting Nicole in her journey.
Wheat field and production of Organic pasta from Fastuchera in Cammarata (Italy) from farmer Nicola.
Artisan organic pasta and their 10 varieties, the farm is a small family business and the pasta is produced by hand.
We’re truly excited to share this journey with you and we can also set up with our customers a process to buy direct from these farmers and their produce too. Do keep an eye out to see what we make with the products and even trips to see our partner farmers. We are still in the process of setting up other links too, like: salt, almonds, lemons, oranges, avocados and chocolate.
– Chloe Cobb