We are often asked if our Ooooby boxes are “Organic” so here’s our response – and yes, it’s a little bit more than a simple Yes or No.
Firstly it will be up to the local hub whether they offer conventional, as well organic boxes, but the trend is for hubs to go the organic route in response to increasing demand for healthy, local natural food. Auckland, Waikato and Matakana hubs offer both, while Christchurch, Sydney and Fresno only offer organic.
It’s worth noting that the certified organic classification, while an ideal puts a limit on the variety of produce that can be offered and sometimes means that produce has to travel a long way to get to the customer.
As a way to illustrate the Ooooby approach we have mapped the possibilities of food sources on two intersecting continuums, between Natural––Artificial and Local––Far Far Away.
The Ooooby mission is to rebuild the local food system and make local food convenient, affordable and fair everywhere.
In order to do this, we have to acknowledge the realities of our current ‘broken’ food system and limited local supply of natural produce. Our approach is to build a base of customers and work hard to give them as much as we can of what they expect, need and desire, while educating and steering them towards local and natural.
In the early days we asked our customers if they wanted Bananas, because we can’t source enough locally and would have to go long-distance to get them. We received a resounding “Yes!” so we get Organic Fair Trade bananas via All Good.
Having established a solid customer base around a local Ooooby hub, the next phase can kick in, which is to help build the volume of local production by encouraging growers to produce more of what people want, and identify new growers who can begin supplying Ooooby and other local outlets, such as Farmers markets.
After acknowledging the limits on local certified organic produce, we decided the next best thing we could do, was to communicate clearly with customers. We do this by putting a box letter in every box, that is customised to the contents of that customers box that week. It lists what’s in the box, who grew it, how it was grown and where.
We use the following classifications to indicate how it was grown:
- Certified Organic
- Self-certified organic
- Spray free
We hope this helps, and that you can see we are in a transition, from food production systems which are ecologically unsound, to systems which feed not only the people, but also contribute to restoring natural ecosystems.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to answer them.
Up until 8pm on Sep 29th, 2015, you can buy shares at PledgeMe and be part of the mission for a better food system.