Farmer’s Shop Mandt
The quality of food is a topic that should concern all of us. The quality process of producing and sourcing food is not more traceable. The flood of labels and standards let us not see the tree against the forest. Which standard stands for what? What is the meaning for all these abbreviations and generic information we find on package material?
Food is basic for our daily life. We do not add the right value to that topic. It is not only the fact what kind of healthy food we should eat that is supposed to be fresh, nutrient, and delicious.
Environment and social criteria shall also be relevant for our own local sourcing market. Furthermore the price should be reasonable. Transparency is important in order to assure that what we are buying is exactly what we want to eat.
Farmer’s Shop Mandt
According to the Chamber of Agriculture in Cologne/Germany more farmers convert their production from conventional to organic farming. The farmer’s shop of Karl-Heinz Mandt, Master in horticulture, is such an example.
The family business is turning over to the fifth generation. The era of monoculture is outdated. Today the farmer avoids the dependence of retail trade. Ten years ago the farmer used his very last chance. Now a lot of customers around the former capital city Bonn buy from his shop as they trust in his sustainable and reliable way of production.
The shop guarantees fresh and delicious products based on more than 40 regional seasonal crops. No transport ways, good customer service, fair pricing. Other crops such as tropical fruits are sourced from well-known suppliers.
The farmer’s shop is following up a sustainable approach: Organic methods in farming, social control by customer, and transparency throughout all stages of production – on the field, in the shop and by internet.
Quality means to our farmer that he protects its natural resources such as the soil. The loess soil in his area is well known for its eutrophy, easy land preparation as well as for its capacity to absorb water and thermal budget. That is the capital the farmer maintains together with its seasonal staff. Seasonal labourers are fairly paid. Each plant needs its special cultural management. Appropriate crop rotation is essential to protect and even improve soil structure. That is how the farmer applies landscape conversation and agrology. Strawberries, asparagus, salad and eggs are the main products. Even before Farmer Mandt has sold the last berries in September, he prepares already the soil and the seedlings for the next season. Additional, intermediate plants help to clean the soil and ban the pest. Frost is a further condition to work on the ground by machinery input in different stages. Today it is usual to grow strawberries in uplifted beds, but Farmer Mandt prefers the old, traditional way. The strawberry plant is not supplied by artificial irrigation that contains fertilizer and nutrient. The ecological balance would be in danger as he couldn’t manage proper crop rotation. The quality of the soil would be unpredictable. All crops have their own characteristics and need special treatment. Therefore Mr. Mandt feels obliged to follow sustainable production that is even more labour intensive. Have also a further look on the standard comparison.