Inaugural Dirty Clean Food Farmer Field Day
Last Friday Dirty Clean Food held our first ever Farmer Field Day at Warren Pensini’s farm in Boyup Brook with our Dirty Clean Food Farmers. This was a ground breaking (or should that be ground regenerating!) event, bringing our farmers together with the Dirty Clean Food Impact Team, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director and Wide Open Agriculture board members.
The purpose of this day was to strengthen our connections with each other, discuss what has gone well both on the farms and with our business relationships, what hasn’t gone so well, and how we can work together to improve our farming systems, distribution network and relationships. It was also a great opportunity for our farmers to meet each other face to face, as they are spread over a large area and not all have crossed paths yet.
The day began in typical field day fashion with tea and coffee in the shed at Warren’s, made a bit fancy with Craig bringing along his Nespresso pod coffee machine. After an initial hold up in the coffee line while Craig educated those of us not so familiar with such fancy coffee options, we got down to business.
Ben Cole, Wide Open Agriculture’s Managing Director, welcomed us and provided context for this coming together, encouraging us all to be open and constructive so we can work together to keep building a better food system for the future.
Craig, Christie and Warren (the Wide Open Agriculture Impact Team) presented updates on some of the projects that we are undertaking with our farmers. These included presentations on some of the outcomes based data measurement tools Dirty Clean Food are piloting or investigating, to begin shifting our on farm measurement from practice based to outcomes based. These projects included:
- Downforce Technology remote sensing project - remote carbon mapping
- Source Certain - food nutrient testing
- Natural Capital Accounting - measuring and accounting for a farmer’s natural capital
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator update
- Axistech data framework project pilot - collection, storage, secure management & benchmark reporting
- Aggregated Reforestation carbon farming project - including the tree planting project at Warrens, which was stage 1 of this project
Jay Albany, Dirty Clean Food’s CEO, spoke about his background in building food companies, and presented our company objectives, working through how Dirty Clean Food and our farmers are aligning our production, manufacturing and distribution to support and grow regenerative farming and regenerative farmers in Western Australia.
Matt Skinner, our CFO and ran through a couple of case studies of Dirty Clean Food products and their associated inputs and costs across the whole supply chain, providing transparency (and some fantastic artistic skills with coloured markers and butcher's paper) on how we can improve efficiency and grow the business as we move forward.
After lunch we moved out into the paddock, where one of the highlights was board members, Dirty Clean Food staff and farmers mingling in smaller groups out in the paddock - these one-on-one impromptu discussions are often where the gems of inspiration are unearthed.
Warren gave an introduction on the Mulloon Rehydration Project underway on his farm, including the tools that he uses for monitoring, such as Maia Grazing, soil mentor and downforce technology mapping. We looked at the seedling establishment of the tree planting earlier this year, discussed the interception contours and the reasons for them, pin weirs and scald areas, and looked at the improvements being made in physical infrastructure on the farm.
The day rounded off with drinks and a BBQ back in the shed, where many laughs and constructive conversations were had - phone numbers were exchanged, and we had great feedback on how bringing everyone together has helped to grow our relationships and align our visions for the future.
From my perspective, it feels so wonderful working for a company so invested in the relationships with their farmers, and to see us all come together, talk through the highs and lows, resolve any issues, and forge our way forward together to continue regenerating Western Australia’s landscapes, and providing the best tasting produce to WA families.
Ryan from Scarvaci’s IGA in Hamilton Hill sent the farmers home with the very generous gift of a dry aged steak he has been trialing using Dirty Clean Food beef - these were very much appreciated, and we look forward to feedback from the producers on the end product!