Kicking Off The 2015 Jozi Real Food Revolution…

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My first newsletter of 2015!
Welcome back fellow Jozi Real Food Activists.
I can’t say enough how great it is to be back. I realized that I’m in the right space in life when I attempted to take some leave and found myself missing our store like crazy and having to go in and connect on day 4!
We’ve seen so many of you coming back especially towards the end of last week, bronzed, relaxed and re-stocking your fridges and pantries with real food.
Watching you come back and back is such a joy. I sometimes have to pinch myself to absorb that this is real, that we have somehow managed to open our first shop and it’s getting supported and hasn’t fallen over!
Most of us got children back to school this morning, the first day of the return to some semblance of normality. The school parking was packed silly this morning with what seemed like lots of littllies tumbling out of vehicles looking dazed and disoriented with too big clothes on:) Sweet mights and parents looking a little shell shocked.
I came back fully into the store on Monday and within 3 days there is already so much to be excited about. I’ll give you just a quick snapshot of what we’ll be getting up to in the first quarter
So the year has begun. I mean to take no prisoners this year in getting the store stable and turning more attention to The Jozi Real Food Revolution place of community. I mean to connect you more meaningfully this year to other establishments and artisans that contribute to this revolution, we will be launching a Jozi Real Food Activist Consumer Community Club before the end of March. Watch this space for more detail, but in summary the broad stroke idea is that as a member you get in-store discounts, you get invited to get togethers where we discuss new farms, debate sustainable farming issues, assist us with reviewing farms, help us devise the principles and guidelines for our guidelines about what we will and won’t accept, check out new suppliers, get first option to taste new products, visit our member farms and get discounts with associated restaurants & businesses who join the Jozi Real Food Revolution by offering food from some of the sustainable farms. It’ll be like a loyalty program on steroids, it’ll be so much more than that.
I want this community to become actively involved in participating in the decisions concerning what is stocked in the store and how the Jozi community grows. So that’ll be silly exciting. It means I can get you to make decisions with me, between us we can source new farms and you can help me review and visit them and find more partners and recruit more restaurants to stock your favorite food. We can get more supply in then as for now I’m obviously limited to farms that I can travel to and being only one person means I can only do so much. If we create a community of loyal active customers, we can all do that and you can help us develop a larger and larger collection of great farms. Stupid excited about this actually.
We will also be inviting some of the most powerful and green consumer protection groups and activists to work with us and you, talking about how farms are run, debating sustainable terms and campaigning for change.
We will be signing an MOU with the consumer led transparency program TOPIC today, committing to transparency. I will bring you news of this and how you can join and contribute to TOPIC. They have released their first newsletter already checking out the most voted for nominations from consumers to test claims. The first was to check claims made by Wakaberry that the dairy is organic and free range. In their first newsletter you can see the results of their findings. Topic will be checking the claims of organic, free range and similar labels to help us all identify those minimizing this food revolution with fraud. It means we can be assured of those we trust and monitor the mis-use of green terms in the food industry. There is much more to talk about on this issue, I’ll bring more news of this shortly once we’ve finalized the MOU and our relationship with them. Join TOPIC and commit to transparency in the food system, they work on customer donations so it’s a great initiative to help you have a watchdog on your side. See TOPIC. 
The online store opens for 2015 today! Remember that orders placed before 12pm will be delivered the same afternoon, if received after 12pm the following afternoon. Please note that we are not able to deliver before 12pm as that is the time we are focused on collecting supply.
The team are all back in store. Michael will leave tomorrow for a well deserved 2 week break, he held the fort so well over the December period.
The stock levels are slowly coming back to normal, we’re on a mission to re-stock now. If there is anything that we have missed that you are looking for, please ask the guys to order it for you. Sam is the one focused on ordering, but Cassandra will pass on the message to him if he’s out.
We are waiting to finalise and receive our first order of the Midlands pastured chicken from CT Organics, this is the only ‘pastured’ chicken farm I have ever seen in the country and has no GM-feed in the mix either.
I do not refer to the Free Range Food Company chickens that we have in-store as ‘pastured’ because although they are put outdoors every day and free to peck about, the feed is made up by Nigel the farmer.
They are not getting the predominant calories off the land per se.
There is a very specific method of farming required to raise chickens on ‘grasses’ in a way that the grasses get rehabilitated, this is what is being practiced by CT Organics – the Joel Salatin mobile chicken tractor method. So the term ‘pastured’ means they are being raised predominantly outside eating ‘pasture’ which at CT Organics is a mix of herbs and shrubs. They do have to supplement this feed with some additional food but it is GM-free and makes up a small percentage, not their main diet. The Free Range Food Company makes up feed from his own home grown lucerne, oats, barley and sorghum but they’re not feeding off the land as their primary diet. We will be releasing a buyers guideline shortly that explains what all these terms mean and what our labelling policy is and discerns between what WE mean by free-range, pastured, grass-fed, organic etc. You can trust that I am the most strict with my definitions. I have walked away from countless ‘free range’ chicken farms where free-range means nothing less than ‘cage-free’ and I won’t sell it as it’s not in line with what I believe in. I will be drawing up these guidelines in association with the Greendock portal and will invite the strongest consumer activists who are creating great change in the space to participate in this process. It won’t be my definition alone.
On that note, please follow some great food activists this year that I’m going to be collaborating with a lot – Grass Action Consumer Group, TOPIC and elabelSA for starters. Follow them on twitter @GrassAction, @elabelsa @topic_sa and me, @DebbieVLogan.
Just to give you an idea of the type of a difference activism can make – Grass Action Consumer group politely asked a Cape Town eatery to remove foie gras from their menus because of the cruelty involved in producing it and the restaurant apologized, agreed and removed it! 🙂 Please let @Cafecafechic know how much you appreciate this type of responsiveness to consumers and support them if you are in the Cape – see Cafe Chic. 
I will be doing 2 new blog articles shortly, one on Glen Oakes, the pastured pork farm run by farmer Charlie Crowther and the other on the Midlands pastured chicken farmer – CT Organics, more closer to the time we get the produce in store.
On that note, we are awaiting our first lot of bacon made by charcuterie King and Head Chef at Bread and Wine, Franschoek made with Glen Oakes pork, I will shout from the rooftops when it is in. We will only be stocking the wild boar Richard Bosman products going forward as he is no longer using pork from Glen Oakes for his bacon and charcuterie sadly. Neil Jewells will send us up the best of what he has every month, can’t wait to get the first lot in.
The store is stocking up fast – the delight of the new season is organic blueberries – these have a short season, so enjoy them in abundance while you can. Mid-Summer is a gorgeous season for fruit, it is mango and avocado season too.
All your favorite stock is rolling in, let’s get back into this!
I must love and leave you now, I’m heading off to meet a leader in the sports field to talk about a collaboration between them and Jozi Real Food, I’m hoping they will keep some Jozi Real Food endorsed stock in their gym deli so that you have another place to access it and offer some discounts for training to Jozi Real Food members.
This will be a place of connected community this year. 
This is my focus. Strengthen through collaboration with like-minded, committed and authentic people. 
It’s going to be exciting.
I haven’t even told you a 10th of the news I have! I’m going to have to do a second newsletter this week….
Please like our FACEBOOK page where you will get short sound bites of store news and food revolution articles and follow me on twitter @DebbieVLogan to keep abreast of what I’m up to.
Right, I must love and leave you – I’m off to meet a super fit man!
Poor me, the things I do for you….:)
Enjoy your first week back and I wish you the greatest year yet of life, love, nourishment and everything in between…
 
Love as Always, Debbie

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