Imagine a supermarket chain, comprising over 300 stores, offering fresh produce grown with cutting edge technology to ensure maximum shelf-life and superb flavours. This same nutrient-dense food would also contain higher levels of the antioxidants and the phytonutrients that determine the medicinal value of food. Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine made the statement, “let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”, but we have largely ignored his directive in the pursuit of cheap food produced by an extractive, industrial agricultural system with little regard for nutrition.
The CEO of Woolworths in South Africa obviously imagined a new direction involving the delivery of healthier fresh produce as he attended the four-day NTS Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture course presented by CEO, Graeme Sait, in South Africa several years ago. In fact, he did not dally at the completion of the course when he approached the presenter and asked that he return with his agronomists to train the Woolworths growers. Mr Sait describes the situation:
“He was immediately intent upon change when he realised the potential of influencing the future of his company and his country. He called together all of their growers and announced that they would complete the NTS course and pass the associated exams or they would no longer be Woolworths growers. It was as simple as that, and over the next couple of years we returned to South Africa several times to train their growers”.
Nutri-Tech Solution (NTS) are an Australian company that has led the world in the biological approach to agriculture for almost two decades. Biological agriculture differs from organics in that it has a much greater emphasis upon producing nutrient-dense food with forgotten flavours, extended shelf-life and enhanced medicinal qualities. There is a strong educational focus and growers learn a whole range of hard science-based strategies that promote the reduced use of farm chemicals via production of more robust and resilient plants. This involves mineral balancing (with soil and leaf tests), microbial inoculums, foliar fertilisers, humates and bio-stimulants to improve both crop quality and production.
Over 12 months ago, Woolworths in South Africa launched an initiative they have entitled, “Farming for the Future”, where their fresh produce is produced with this approach. The 47 million people of that country now have a choice and they appear to have embraced the initiative. Graeme Sait describes his recent return to South Africa for a nationwide seminar series:
“It was wonderful to check out Woolworth’s stores throughout the country. They are providing some of the best fresh food I have seen anywhere in the world and the flavours are back in the fruit and vegetables. I only wish our Australian supermarkets would adopt a similar approach. It is obviously working well in terms of capturing market share, because every one of my seminars were attended by staff from the other supermarket chains playing catch-up”.
Nutri-Tech Solutions have now trained over 20,000 farmers around the world in what we call Nutrition Farming® and are currently consulting one of the world’s largest food producers to assist them to convert to a biological approach.