- "These farmers are our heroes, the souls of the earth and it shows in their produce. The flavour from the meat is exceptional and we have had nothing but rave reviews since moving to Dirty Clean Food." Tony Howell, Executive Chef
Nurture the planet and people
Values unite us, guide us, and bring out the best in us
Wide Open Agriculture was born out of despairing situations to bring about much-needed change and hope. Much of this centred around regenerating the land on which we grow food to reverse the effects of climate change, as well as building stronger relationships between farmers and consumers to build resilience in the community.
Today, we find ourselves in another despairing situation. And as a regenerative food company, we have an important duty: To bring nutritious food to the community in a time of scarcity. And, also, hope.
Recently, we revised and cemented our values. At the time of writing this, COVID-19 had already begun permeating every corner of the globe. As a world, we are entering a new chapter of uncertainty and challenges. But also reform and regeneration. The five values provide the bed-rock to unite our efforts and lift our spirits—now and in the future.
By the way, one of them is Keep It Real. For us, that means being straight and transparent with you. So, we thought, “Why not share these values with the community. Perhaps, they will unite all of our efforts and lift everyone’s spirits.”
You could almost view each value as a rallying cry.
And together, we will face ambiguity and unease. And together, we will grow, enabling us and the world at large to become more resilient and harmonious for all.
We will talk about each value, one by one over the coming weeks. So, without any further ado, here’s numero uno:
Nurture planet and people
Just as soil sustains a plant, the planet sustains the wellbeing of us - people. This is obvious, of course. But, since the industrial era, the business of farming and food has compromised the environment. We understand why that is the case and have compassion, accordingly. But we can no longer afford to keep that model - as you know.
Now is the time to become responsible stewards. That is why we seek to work for the land, not the other way around. There are many examples of how we adopt this at Wide Open Agriculture. But perhaps the most significant is basing the entire company on regenerative farming principles and working together with farmers passionate about holistic farm management.
We nurture the existing ecosystems in which we work. This makes produce healthier and tastier - plus the bacteria, insects, animals more vibrant and happy. Also, it helps climate change (healthy soil sucks carbon out of the atmosphere, instead of putting more in.)
This care carries over to people, too. In nature, certain symbiotic relationships sustain the health of the entire ecosystem. By symbiotic, we mean a scenario where everything is saying to each other, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Pretty cool.
The same goes for society. And definitely food systems. The farmer grows food; the community eats the food. Then the consumer pays the farmer so he or she can make more. You know this.
But now, in this crisis, we are seeing the extent to which our economic and social systems rely on every moving part. And when you take out a bolt, you undermine the entire conveyor belt.
However, if we support each other and work together, we can make these symbiotic relationships - these bolts - more robust. So, in a crisis, we are more resilient.
You could say we aim to be a conduit, bringing people together to bring about a common goal. So, we go about things with a posture of collaboration and generosity.
We think everyone should adopt this posture - in any way you can.
One way we do this is through our food brand Dirty Clean Food, connecting regenerative farmers directly with consumers. We work closely with farmers. And with consumers.
Even now, we are in the process of working with producers around Western Australia - producers that are hurting - to deliver much-needed necessities to the wider community. (But more on this later!)
You could say that, ultimately, this value means we strive to choose the best possible outcome for the planet and people.
So, we stress the importance of remaining aware: Of the impact our decisions have. We always question whether something is being compromised - whether there is a loser. And if so, we exhaust the options to enable us to improve and ultimately ensure a win-win.
Now, during this pandemic, there will be people who lose. That’s the bad news. But if we hold the intention to nurture the world around us, more can come out the other side, more can prosper, more of us can move forward, together.
Here are some questions we can all ask to keep ourselves and each other accountable:
Is there are a loser?
Did we investigate all options?
Is this the best option?
Have we got his or her back?
Is this sustainable for the planet?