We wanted to share a photo with you of our first Ooooby spuds. We’ve worked all winter to convert a sheep paddock into a growing area and it’s pretty exciting to think that next week we’ll be supplying the Matakana hub with fresh dug local new potatoes.
Louise and I heard about Ooooby at the Beyond Organic NZ Tour workshop in March, then attended the Ooooby Matakana set up meetings. We just felt that Ooooby presented a really cool way to connect with the land and the local community. And that is “money can’t buy stuff” that people readily associate with. We’ve been enjoying being Ooooby packers – the Matakana team are lovely people and we have a lot of fun every Tuesday, and to be growing just adds to the mix. We are committed to seeing this Ooooby thing work.
I saw how nervous Pete was at the first investor roadshow meeting at AUT and I thought “this means a lot to this guy”. The simple act of feeling empathy for someone that is prepared to put it all out there got me thinking, “yeah, I’ll try and help this effort as much as I can”.
Like everything in life there are some commercial realities. Adam Smith’s reference to the “invisible hand” in 1776 is still very relevant today. People are innately motivated to service their own needs and by doing that they ensure the efficient allocation of resources within an economy (as if drawn by an invisible hand). Ergo, money will always find it’s best use. Ooooby like every other business has to operate within that paradigm.
In Matakana, we (Ooooby) have got a start, got some interest, got some support for the idea but there are two issues as Louise and I see it. Firstly, local food supply takes time to build and the economics at a small holder level can be challenging – our spuds cost $50 a kilo to produce. Yet that tacit promise of boxes bounding with fresh local produce needs to be delivered on. Secondly, we need to spend more time selling the business than operating it or we will slowly wither away. Both of these things are hard to do. That is why we are a business – because we provide a service that people value and is too hard for them to do themselves – and therefore they are prepared to pay us for that. So we have to find an answer to the hard questions and deliver on what we promised.
Securing a local food supply is hard yakka, we need our supporters on that journey, celebrating with us every step of the way, hence this little note.
~ Patrick and Louise Cole (Matakana)
Here are the spuds packaged up, as they went in the Ooooby boxes on October 27, 2015