Back in the day (not so long ago) when the market was a local one and the farmer got a reasonable price for his produce, things were different. I imagine my grandfather got fair prices in the Galway market for his cattle.

Today things are very different, the whole food system is such a tangled web I wonder do we ever really know where our food comes from?

Supermarkets have a big part to play in this. They show us pictures of the farmers on their walls, and they belabour their points of distinction in supporting local farmers with fair prices.

Tesco in their cleverness last year created fictitious farms to lead customers to believe the meat they were buying came from real farms, these farms in fact did not exist.

Aldi last year marketed their salmon as “Wild Irish salmon” when in fact it was “farmed Scottish salmon” a descriptive error they claimed!

Supermarkets hold the keys to the market, they have all the power.

The recent contamination scare sweeping through Europe resulting from the illegal use of the banned insecticide Fipronil in conventional egg production is another example of costs being cut to provide food at ever decreasing prices. The intensity of factory farming conditions for egg production is immense. The conditions the hens are kept in are so far removed from the way hens should be allowed to live that they regularly get sick.

Pre-emptive Routine dosage with antibiotics and a whole range of other chemicals is often necessary to maintain production at all costs. The use of the banned insecticide Fipronil is another example of a system that is clearly broken, a system that in this case classes animals as production machines that are pushed well beyond the limits of what should be possible and certainly what is acceptable.

Mahatma Gandhi once said.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. We, I think would not be judged too well based on this maxim.

1 million of the infected conventional eggs have reached Britain and millions of eggs are being removed from supermarket shelves across Europe.

The supermarkets play with prices to bring customers in and there is no place where this is so readily seen as with the basics: eggs, milk, bread and discounted vegetables.

How can you produce 1kg of organic new potatoes and sell them on a supermarket shelf for 49cent? Recently Lidl did just that. It is not possible to grow organic potatoes for this. It certainly is not possible to grow them, purchase them, transport them and sell them for this.

If you had looked a little closer at Lidl's organic new potatoes you would have noticed that the county of origin was “Israel”. It is hard to justify how we need to import potatoes from Israel, the only possible justification can be cost.

Do supermarkets have an ethical code that they adhere to? Short term gain and maximising shareholder profit is their holy grail. Surely there is room in their profit margins to take sustainability seriously? With all that power comes responsibility.

It is very easy to lose track of the value or our food in this busy crazy world and I wonder is it as Oscar Wilde once stated that “We know the cost of everything but the value of nothing”?

Here’s to a better more sustainable food future.

PS We have taken our first delivery of organic new season potatoes from a “REAL FARMER” Oliver Kelly in Wicklow, the variety is Orla and they are delicious. Thank you to all who have helped us out and supported our farm by buying our produce over the past couple of weeks, it has meant a lot. We still have a few weeks of the summer holidays to go, please stick with the ordering if you can. We always see a fall off over the summer months until routines are re-established in September and your support is crucial in getting through. Thanks again for your help it is very much appreciated

PPS We also have the two great offers to encourage you to give us a go. Order over €35 and get a free bag of farm greens, just enter code “goodiesbag”. Order over €50 and enter coupon code “goodies50” and get FREE local delivery and a bag of green goodies fresh from the farm!
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