We are writing this story because we wanted to share with you, the journey towards receiving organic certification, known as CAAE. To say shouting from the farm rooftop, is a massive understatement! So, what is CAAE and why did Pretty Greens do it.
How it all started
We never dreamt that we would be huge believers and supporters of the organic industry. However, when Warren was faced with health issues, we both decided to change our lifestyle, which is when we discovered organic, healthy and ethically sourced food.
From the outset, we decided that we would only make organic wheatgrass juice. The first wheatgrass seeds that we planted on our balcony had to be organic ones. Having both had many discussions and heard different views on organic versus non-organic over the years, that it is a very thorough and tough process to become an organically certified business.
Exam day or rather the Inspector Calls…
From the moment Pretty Greens applied for certification, little did we know how difficult and time consuming it would be to achieve? The documentation to provide was exhaustive and had to prove Pretty Greens were following all the correct rules and regulations, which took several different inspections. Now looking back, it puts minds at peace about the authenticity of products with the CAAE label, that people purchase for their family consumption.
It took several months to prepare the whole package of paperwork, from health and safety inspections to the organic provenance of all our suppliers. Very excited but at the same time a bit nervous when we were advised of the date the inspector was coming to check out our little farm. The inspector’s job was to be very thorough, slightly intimidating, to say the least, but nonetheless very polite, We now know how a restaurant owner must feel when Gordon Ramsey comes to eat, you just never know which way it will go! With butterflies in our stomachs, the day was like being back at school in a science exam, showing the whole process: of soaking the seeds, growing, juicing and packing, all under the beady eyes of the examiner! No pressure at all!!!
The man from CAAE says YES!
We cannot describe how over the moon we were when the inspector announced we had passed!!! It felt like getting an A* at school!! We were so happy we just wanted to hug Maria and Alexandro from CAAE to say thank you for all their support during the whole process. It’s not easy but definitely worth it!
The organic certification journey made me realise that the purpose of this industry is to make people healthier. Making the food free of pesticides, genetically modified food, growth hormones and antibiotics. It is also about making our future sustainable and environmentally supportive. Yes, it is more expensive but there is a reason for this, one that we welcome our customers to come and see for themselves at the farm. Like most luxuries in life, they are not mass-produced and come in small packages!
There is a very limited amount of organic land left now, all the original seeds grown there are highly valued because of this limitation. With more people supporting the movement by changing their habits and buying more organic food, can help local farmers to bring the cost down. This will, in turn, make ‘organic’ more affordable to a wider range of consumers, not just those with an above-average weekly shopping budget. So pass this on to your friends and family to raise the food standards for those you love.
Learn, share and make the change for a better future.
Next time you see an item with the CAAE Organic mark, think about the care and attention that has gone into that product, to ensure you and your family consume only the best products available.
If you would like to visit the farm and see how our organic wheatgrass is grown, from seed to sip, drop us a line and book your visit, after all, we love talking to the grass but talking to our customers is even better!