Farm Fresh Organics
40 Evenlode Road, Solihull, B92 8EN ~ Telephone 0121 742 0764 ~ Mobile 07804 884 493 ~ Email chris@farm-fresh-organics.co.uk

OUR ORGANIC PRODUCE

GENERAL
Our Organic produce is all naturally grown without the use of any chemical insecticides, pesticides or artificial fertilizer. Once cut the produce is not dipped in any chemical biocides or packed in a ‘Protective Atmosphere’ (whatever that means!).
This natural production method is both its greatest asset and its worst enemy.
On the positive side it means you do not ingest any un-natural chemicals and that the wild life around the growing area is not threatened by them either, also the produce has a fuller flavour and is full of proper natural nutrition.
On the negative side the produce can appear to be somewhat damaged and it will not store for as long as its chemically treated cousins from your local supermarket.

PROCESSING
We carry out no processing of the produce it is delivered to you as received from the Farmers or Growers.

OUTER LEAVES
On leafy products such as lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower for instance you will find that sometimes the outer leaves are dying.
All produce starts to die from the moment it is removed from the soil, especially with the leafy products this process starts with the outer leaves losing moisture, in hot weather this can be quite advanced at the Farm due to heat stress in the field. However until the outer leaves are dead they protect the inner leaves from rapid evaporation and thus are left on. 
We both store our leafy produce in plastic bags and also spray them as well (they are sprayed with Highland Spring water which is drawn from an Organically Certified source) and also keep them refrigerated where they have to stay overnight.
We recommend that you leave the outer leaves on the produce and spray with water and refrigerate (in summer) where possible all leafy produce to allow it to keep for as long as possible.

LITTLE VISITORS
Sometimes you will find a little visitor or two especially inside the leafy produce. This is natural they just wash off and should not be a cause for concern; they can live on the Organic produce because there are no chemical pesticides or insecticides to kill them.

SEASONAL
All produce is UK sourced where possible although the season for some products is extended by mostly nearby continental imports where necessary.
We do not use air freight only ship for overseas produce (mostly fruit) and this reduces the range of produce we can offer, whereas your local supermarket may well be using airfreight to provide a wider/cheaper range of produce.
All produce is thus seasonal, even UK sourced main crop potatoes, apples or pears do not store until the new season starts.

SIZES
Often the size of produce in the boxes varies considerably especially for things like cauliflower and cabbage. We have arrangements with most of our UK growers to purchase all/most of their produce in a given season thus stopping them from getting squeezed by the super-markets. This arrangement means we have a guaranteed supply of produce and the grower has a guaranteed sale at a fixed sensible price. 
The grower plants his crops in rotation to meet the overall requirement for produce throughout the season. However growth rate is dependant on Mother Nature and the weather pattern temp/rainfall in any growing period.
Thus when the crop is first started to be cut it may be quite small and as the cutting advances through that planting the crops gradually getting larger week by week.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

GENERAL
We are mainly a retail side of the Organic Produce business and although our products are all certified ‘ORGANIC’ and thus grown in harmony with nature and make as little impact as possible on the wider environment, it is also necessary for ourselves to consider our own business impact on the environment.
As a business in addition to the ‘Organic Produce’ we also get a quantity of packaging materials such as cardboard, wood and plastic boxes and utilise plastic delivery boxes together with paper and plastic bags. We also use diesel fuel for deliveries and electrical power for refrigeration and lights.

BIO-DIESEL
Whilst we currently use a low-level percentage bio-diesel (5%) this is due to availability in the area. To use a high level of bio-diesel it is necessary to adjust the timing of the diesel injection to prevent the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) compounds. Once the higher levels become available (as they already are in some areas) we will use them.

AIR MILES
Some of our organic produce has to come from overseas, such as bananas for instance. These are all brought by boat, salad produce which could only come via air from distant locations is not used and only produce available within short road travel distances from the continent is used. In time we would expect all boats and road haulage to be fuelled by bio-diesel, which is Carbon Dioxide emission neutral as the plants used to provide the raw material for the bio-diesel convert the CO2 in the first place.

REDUCE
Turn off fridges and lights when not needed or in use.
Maintain delivery vehicle to obtain optimum miles per litre.
Review delivery rounds to maintain shortest (least fuel use) distances.

REUSE
Return all produce boxes to UK suppliers where in suitable condition.
Provide facilities to reuse our own paper and plastic product packaging as well as from others such as egg boxes.
Utilise the cardboard boxes where practical in place of plastic boxes for client produce deliveries.

RECYCLE/COMPOST
Separate for recycle or compost all materials for which our own or local facilities exist. In our area there are no plastic recycle facilities currently and they do not accept vegetable waste for composting only green garden waste.
(NOTE: - There is no problem with composting vegetable waste it is only meat that is a problem, we are now adding a composting unit for vegetable waste)
Also we do provide some of our edible leafy waste for rabbits and guinea pigs, if you have a suitable recipient please let us know.

LANDFILL
Currently we estimate we put to landfill about 10% of our total weight of refuse, we aim to reduce this to below 5% by the end of 2006 and will then be working on getting it to nil if possible.