Dale's Blog

My wonderful wife came to me and said i should start blogging. At first i thought what a compliment. I can share knowledge and have a great time writing stuff........Nope, it turns out that i need a place to release, shout out and simply tell the truth about farming. So here it is, Dale's Blog, a platform where I shout out and you respond, round one...ding..ding

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 20:08

Are You The Big Bad Wolf?

I suppose You cant answer that until you read this blog posting.

Whats The Big Bad Wolf Question About You Ask? 

Let me share my stories with you.We are all too ready to jump on farmers for using chemicals. What about the high prices you pay for produce, that farmer needs to be put inline you say! When i first started farming i sent my first crop of beans and spinach to the JHB Market. I was shattered when the beans sold for R2 a punnet and the Spinach R3 a bag. The agent still deducted more than 10% commission from that. I happened to stop at a local retailer who had purchased these crops at the market. I was gutted, this retailer was selling the beans at R12.99 and the Spinach at R8.99. I had been reemed by the agent and the retailer. Clearly colluding!! Do the math, 550% markup on the beans and 200% markup on the spinach.

That was the point I realised I would be farming against the Big Bad Wolf, let me eat you Little Piggy or I will blow your house down or in Red Riding Hoods case, Eat Your Grandmother!!

My whole view of the farming world changed. I used to blame the farmer for having to pay such high prices. Was I wrong about this. The retailer was the Big Bad Wolf eating the farmers lunch and ripping the public off. I'm all for profit but 550% is just morally wrong. I continued supplying the market as I had no other option. Kept being stolen from no matter what I did. Enough was enough. Colleen suggested we start a home delivery website shop. Great, We get to deliver direct to the consumer, they will love us and support us for delivering organic food, how wrong were we!

They will love us and support us for delivering organic food

We get the organic online shop live and as expected nobody had a clue as to what organic food is. Consumers were few and very far between. We persisted and educated consumers on how we farm organic and all the benefits of eating organic. Things started to pick up and we thought this is it. Out of nowhere people start to moan about plastic packaging, I'm not buying that in a bag, why must I pay a delivery fee, why don't you have eggs, Why does your milk only last 5 days, why is your chicken so expensive, why, why why.....? It felt like consumers were turning on us. Why? I asked myself. We farm organic, we have certification and we should be  loved and supported for delivering organic food. That was not enough, the consumer holds the farmer responsible for almost every part of the food chain.

At this point I am defeated, Colleen is drained, the consumer has turned into The big bad wolf. I'm all for eco-packaging but when the eco stuff is a lie ( blog coming soon on eco lies) and consumers won't pay for eco-packaging what are we supposed to do. Well at least ask the supplier

The Big Bad Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Here we are, getting hammered for packaging and what ever else. We seek out suppliers with eco packaging and offer this to the consumer. Take up is good, the first orders, then it all goes south. Your packaging is breaking, Why is the bag so misty? and so it went, we were getting blame for packaging that we had no role in, other than packing our organic produce in. The supplier tells us we should try different cellulose or something like that but fails to tell us that the eco-packaging just does not work on vegetables. This supplier is the big bad wolf in sheep's clothing I thought at the time. I'm the farmer taking hits on their behalf and in no way would they support us.

Who is the Real Big Bad Wolf? the world always want's something or someone to blame.

If we are truthful, we all are in some way the Big Bad Wolf but the world always want's something or someone to blame. In this case it's the farmer. The farmer is the Big Bad Wolf for delivering organic food in plastic packaging. The farmer is to blame for high prices he has no control over. The farmer is to blame because he had no tomatoes in winter......Heck, let's blame the farmer for bad hair cuts......

Stop? the world needs farmers!

Stop! Thank a Farmer today for getting up at 2 am and going to bed at 10 pm just to make sure that the consumer can have a meal. Stop! Blaming the farmer for every little thing that is wrong with food. Colleen and I say start supporting a farmer. We have taken a no tolerance approach on blaming the farmer. Start fighting with the wholesalers, retailers and packaging companies and think before you blame the farmer.

I Ask You, Are You a Big Bad Wolf?
Published in Blog