Monday, 3 November 2014

Pats on the Back don't pay the Bills.

Wow November already, only 12 harvesting days left of this years harvest.So what's been happening, well we have just harvested our intercropping trial and the results where as I expected, not overly fantastic yield wise,however the soy's didn't really get much of a chance. Still have to see what went on below ground though, still awaiting those results. Our chopper drum trials after some initial results look very promising showing a significant reduction of juice loss during the process of cutting, more results are in the pipeline. Had numerous visitors to our farm to look at the farming system that we have adopted, we had a Brazilian miller who had 4 million tonnes, who brought a professor from his local university to look at farming systems for him to take back and implement on his farms in Brasil.Also had a couple from Zimbabwe visit for the same purpose, they are looking at developing 40,000 Ha of land into sugar cane for ethanol production, so they are wanting to have a low input sustainable farming system. The most interesting visitors though were brought up here by Wilmar Sugar, these girls worked for an international independent environmental accreditation company called "Proforrest".These guys have been commissioned by Nestle to see how the sugar they source, is produced on sugar cane farms,they are looking at environmentally sustainable farming practices amongst other things. Wilmar has seen the value in marketing the clean,green,aspect of the sugar that they produce from people like me.However they can only say that due to the investment ,both in dollar terms, and man ours, that we have put into our farming system. I asked these guys where is the value for me , where is the recognition that they( Wilmar ) can say look we meet certain standards that people like Nestle are looking for,and how does the value if any flow back to the farmer, that made it all possible? These girls were great ,and only doing there job, and were very complementary on our farming practices and the work we have done to get there, however, " Pats on the Back don't Pay the Bills"

1 comment:

  1. It would be great if companies like Nestle would not only fund groups like Proforest, but then also leverage that funding to market products that are "Proforest Certified" for a slight premium. And that premium would roll down to producers.

    It might a niche market, but I bet there are enough consumers out there who are willing to pay a little more for a responsibly grown product that it would be worth doing, even for a mega-corporation like Nestle.