Farming is cool

In South Africa, farming, especially among young urban communities, doesn’t always have a great appeal. Young people are a rare sight in many of the urban farms near our warehouse in Philippi, with older women predominating.

In Kenya at least, that’s starting to change. Urban farming is on the up, even amongst young and well-educated people. It’s seen as a great way to earn extra income. As people stream to the cities for greater opportunities, food is in great demand and urban farmers cannot produce enough, so conflict over scarce opportunities is rare.

The small scale of urban plots lend themselves to organic farming, with no temptation to mechanise, and no large monocultures at risk from single pests.

Hopefully a similar trend can take root here, and a new generation will bring their skills to farming, producing more and more of our food supply in the cities where it’s needed.

A huge amount of fresh food is wasted. In a shop, there’s a tendency for people to choose the best looking, the newest fruits, leaving perfectly good, but perhaps less pretty, specimens to spoil.

It’s estimated that a whopping half of all fresh fruit and vegetables grown in South Africa is wasted, mostly from spoilage before being sold.

Our model reduces wastage drastically, as we only order fresh produce from the farmer that’s already been ordered, and very little goes to waste. We get rightfully questioned on the packaging, as many people, including ourselves, would like to see less of it. Fresh produce, especially greens, lasts far longer in packaging though, and when we’ve tried offering it unpackaged, far more goes to waste. And, simply because of the volumes, our team can’t pack the produce loose. With the recent order sizes, we’re already battling to finish by 6am, just before the first delivery vehicles arrive!

Remember, if there’s ever anything wrong with your produce, please let us know about it, and we’ll give you a full refund. We try to ensure it leaves the warehouse in the best shape, and if your courier isn’t handling it lovingly all the way to your door, we want to hear about it!

Simplicity is good. Forgetting the 50c on the end of an invoice is quite a common mistake when paying, so we’re rounding everything to the nearest R1 instead to make things easier. That doesn’t mean we’re rounding up to squeeze out another 50c profit! Rather, we’re rounding to the nearest 50c. Gayleen’s Chocolates, for example, are now R14 instead of R14.50, and everything else will be repriced over time.

Bulging warehouse
Our warehouse is bulging with stock, and we may soon have to squeeze in some more shelving to fit it all in. We have a full range of tissue salts, and, unlike most varieties out there, all lactose and sugar-free. There’s lots else, from vegan caviar to decaf coffee, but it can’t all fit in the Featured and New section. Happy exploring!

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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