Organic Fortnight takes place from 3 to 17 September and is the biggest celebration of all things organic in the British Isles. Over the two weeks home-grown and reared organic produce will be promoted in supermarkets, from farm shops and roadside stalls and at farmers markets. Islanders will also be able to sign up for weekly home deliveries of fresh organic produce.
The Chief Executive of Genuine Jersey, John Garton, said: ‘Thanks to a small but very dedicated group of producers, Islanders can buy from a choice of fresh organic produce across all the food categories. Following the organic principles of growing and rearing livestock is not just a business it is a way of life and the passion these producers put into everything they do comes through in the quality of their produce. I hope that consumers will try something organic every day of the fortnight so they can taste that passion.’
Genuine Jersey’s organic members are Steve and Jacqui Jones of Vers Les Monts Organic Farm; John, Maggie and Chris Hamon of Vermont Farm Organic; Steven and Linda Carter of Farm Fresh Organics; Andrew Averty of Beechvale Farm Orchard - who grows apples and walnuts - and Darren and Julia Quénault of Classic Herd. The range of fresh organic produce available for Islanders to enjoy includes vegetables and fruit, salads and herbs, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
On a Friday and two Saturdays during Organic Fortnight the growers will take turns to promote their produce at a Genuine Jersey stall in Brook Street (the shortcut from King Street to Library Place). On Friday 3 September the stall will be manned by Linda Carter of Farm Fresh Organics; the Hamons of Vermont Farm Organic will take over the next day with the Jones of Vers Les Monts Organic Farm in position on Saturday 11 September.
Organic Fortnight in the UK is organised by the Soil Association which is a governing body of organic production in the British Isles. The Genuine Jersey organic members are all approved organic producers. When you buy from them you can be sure that food has been produced to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards. In addition products and produce carrying the distinctive Genuine Jersey mark have been reared, grown and caught in Jersey or created by accredited Islanders and local businesses who qualify to be members of the Genuine Jersey Products Association.
Organic growers Steve and Jacqui Jones met through the organic movement and are dedicated followers of its principles. They farm in rural St Peter and sell their produce at farmers markets, in farm shops and via box deliveries.
Mr Jones said: ‘The ethics of organic farming are founded on working with nature and the environment rather than fighting it with the use of manmade chemicals. It is labour- intensive and requires a great deal of commitment but we are convinced that the fruits of our labours, our passion and dedication are evident in the quality of what we produce. Jacqui and I work all week to meet the requirements of the Islanders who take our box deliveries and to fill our market stall. Everything we do is governed by Soil Association best practice and has to be if we are to maintain organic status which is reassessed every year. When we see our produce presented for market the hard work is well worth the effort.’
Taste the Passion is designed to encourage consumers to buy local and in doing so, support Island producers and the economy at a time when the home-grown produce is in season, at it very best and in abundant supply. The idea came from Rod Bryans, who also dreamed up last year’s Think Twice Buy Local campaign, and was inspired by the passion local producers put into their businesses. By engaging and educating the community, Genuine Jersey hopes to raise local awareness of its many members and to encourage consumers to make an informed choice to support them.
Taste the Passion is funded by a combination of money from the States Fiscal Stimulus Fund to support local businesses in tough economic times and also from the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society and participating producers. It began in August with the promotion of eggs, followed by crabs and lobsters which runs until the end of October.