As a Food Connect grower or foodmaker you must exhibit a holistic view of farming: care for the land, care for your community, and care for your food. In essence, you think and practice beyond organic and embrace the principles of local economies. You must stand by these principles:
You serve your local community
You pay your employees and vendors fairly and treat them with respect and dignity
You ensure environmental sustainability, especially by practicing and supporting agro-ecological farming methods
You know your suppliers and their practices
You’re completely transparent about your practices and / or ingredients
You grow your fruits and vegetables ecologically whenever possible - i.e., without synthetic inputs, including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and artificial fertilizers;
You use the best practices of agro-ecological farming methods;
You practice ethical animal husbandry;
You raise your animals out of confinement or in deeply bedded pens with plenty of access to the outdoors;
You raise your animals without gestation crates, hormones, rBGH, sub therapeutic antibiotics, or feed containing animal by-products;
You feed your cattle grass whenever possible.
You might be interested in learning more about what's happening in the Certified Organic industry in the USA. While this hasn't happened yet in Australia, there is increasing pressure on Certifiers by corporate farms to include some chemical use and inhumane animal husbandry methods.
There are small local businesses making high-integrity prepared products and we're committed to helping them grow. However, they can face challenges when it comes to sourcing ingredients. Often, wholesale volumes are too large, while retail prices are too high. Not to mention that not all ingredients can be sourced locally, like spices or chocolate. It can be tricky, which is why we’re committed to including small food businesses in our marketplace while actively helping them move in a direction of sourcing their ingredients as locally and sustainably as possible.
With that said, you can be sure of the following things when buying grocery items from Food Connect:
Foodmakers are 100% transparent about where they’re getting their ingredients;
Eggs and dairy will always be raised with care - never in industrial confinement operations. Animals will be pasture-raised without hormones and antibiotics;
The food tastes good (based on the discerning palates of Food Connect taste-testers!);
Foodmakers work with the seasons, sourcing produce locally whenever possible;
Foodmakers have agreed to work closely with the Food Connect team to improve their sourcing practices steadily over time.