Updated: Apr 16
We have been asked by a number of interested customers and stockists; "why Tibico isn't exclusively Organic ?.
I have written this short article as a personal opinion about Tibico's sourcing and a few ethical principles.
As we become more and more aware about the quality of our rivers and seas, unless something drastic is done to redress the balance, we will continue to be dominated by greed and money at the expense of our environment.
My concerns about ORGANIC is the dogma under which the Soil Association insist upon the fact that to be certified, fruit and vegetables must be grown in the soil.
Additionally close to 70% of what we eat is imported from all over the world with a high percentage of fruit coming from China and other Asian countries. There is no concern for sustainability or carbon footprint.
It's important to note that the regulations governing organic farming vary by country, and the permitted substances may differ depending on the specific organic certification program. In many countries they permit the use of pesticides, if, the their words "all else fails". This reminds me of the UK Water Authorities pumping millions of tonnes of sewage into our rivers in the name of profit.
A major concern I have, is that to be Certified Organic it excludes to quality of water used to irrigate crops. This water quality can contain heavy metals, untreated sewerage and run off chemicals from other areas that eventually end up in the produce.
Please don't tell me that a farmer in China on $300 a month cares about our health in the UK.
Have you ever looked at the quality and price of organic fruit and vegetables in many shops. Soft and withered, they have lost over 50% of their nutritional value with vitamins being the first denature. In contrast, frozen fruit and vegetables go from field to cold storage in hours and loose little nutritional value.
Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician who is often referred to as the "father of medicine." He was born on the Greek island of Kos in 460 BCE and lived until around 370 BCE.
His famous teaching remain as true today as over 2,000 years ago.
So common sense, not dogma must prevail. The only right is what is good for the environment and our health - not the greed of Big Food, Big Pharma, or Big Water.
Tibico has 3 major goals when sourcing ingredients.
When we don't know the origin we purchase organic. Eg. ginger, turmeric.
Anything imported must be Fairtrade and excluded labour exploitation. Eg spices
95% of our ingredients are sourced locally in Herefordshire from hydroponic, LEAF Accredited Farms.
A little more about Hydroponic, LEAF Accredited Farms from our UK Fruit supplier, Windmill Hill Farm.
At Windmill Hill they take our environmental responsibility and public relations very seriously. The farm has also been at the forefront of research initiatives, often leading the way with pioneering trials.
Examples of initiatives taking place include
‘Integrated Pest Management’. On the farm they introduce beneficial predatory species into crops and carefully manage the climate under the Polytunnel to create the optimum environment for controlling pests. Overall, this allows us them to significantly decrease or even remove agrochemical application and increase fruit quality.
Polytunnel rainwater collection and recycling system provide water to irrigate the farm crops. They collect and store this in our lakes over winter, for use in the summer.
Technology allows them to carefully monitor moisture levels in fruit beds. Using this live data, they make crop irrigation decisions and water in small amounts precisely via drippers. Therefore applying only the required amount of water to crops and ensuring no water is wasted or run-off into local rivers (Wye Valley).
The Packhouse and freezer store, has Solar panels which supply renewable energy to the freezer, Packhouse and even export to the grid. They generate enough energy to power almost 100 homes annually!
They have a continual hedgerow and tree planting plan as well as numerous wildflower meadows all of which increase biodiversity. The farm also has over 100 bird nest boxes. Swans and other wildlife also enjoy sharing our irrigation lakes
Any waste fruit is sent to our local Anaerobic Digester (AD plant), which produces low cost, low carbon renewable energy.
From July 2018 the farm became a LEAF Demonstration farm. Find out more about LEAF here
The fruits we use in Tibico Water Kefir and Krauts have achieved the following accolades:
Three Counties Farmer 2019: Fruit / Hop Farmer.
Three Counties Farmer 2019: Outstanding Achievement.
Great Taste Award 2018: Two stars for Windmill Hill Fruits Frozen Summer Fruits.
UK Soft Fruit Grower of the Year for 2016.
UK Edibles Grower of the Year 2016.
National Fruit Show 2016 – 1st place with Maravilla Raspberries.
M&S Farming for the Future Awards: Outstanding Producer 2016 Award for the England and Wales region.
National Fruit Show 2016 – 1st place with Driscoll Jubilee Strawberries.
Finalist in 2016 Farmers Weekly Awards: Specialist crop producer
Great Taste Award 2014 for Windmill Hill Fruits Frozen Raspberries
Please be assured that every ingredient in a Tibico product is carefully sourced to bring our customers safe, ethical and nutritious ingredients.