Tesco's fictional farms - nothing like our organic farm in Co. Galway

25/03/2016 0 Comment(s) General News,


Marketing by its very nature is somebody somewhere trying to convince you to buy something. Generally they are trying to get your attention. Very much like what I am doing here. However there are two distinct beliefs I have when it comes to marketing.

1.    What you are saying should be true.
2.    What you are selling should be something that is for the good of humanity.

Let’s be fair here, most marketing stories are A. telling you something that is definitely not true and B. are trying to sell you something that generally you don’t need and it’s purchase is definitely not in the best interest of humanity.

So now that we have cleared that up, I am telling a story that builds a picture that sets out the difference and benefit of supporting our farm and business from let’s say big multinational supermarkets.

I like to think that I have built this business on a firm belief of honesty and trust and in all my dealings (and sometimes to my great detriment) I have stuck to these values. 

Our farm is an organic one. The reason for organic is simple, I don’t believe that chemicals belong on our food or on our land, they make everything worse, our health and the environment.  So we don’t use them. 

As a business we have many facets: 
•    We grow and are organic producers of many crops from broccoli to salad (when the season is right - you will get these in the boxes).
•    We have other organic growers who grow different crops for us in Ireland as it doesn’t make sense for us to grow them, such as main crop potatoes and apples. We buy from other Irish producers when the produce is available at a fair price and on a scale that we require. 
•    We import organic fruit and other items at the times of the year that they do not grow in this country.

Essentially though we have a fully functioning, working, producing farm that is crucial to everything we do.

It was with much amusement then, that I read a recent article in the Guardian relating to branding used in Tesco (hence the headline above)

“Tesco has just launched a new range of meat and fresh produce with a series of farm names, including Boswell Farms’ beef steaks and Woodside Farms’ sausages. So far so bucolic. But, it turns out, all these farms are fictional.”

It is reminiscent I think of the children’s books I read to my little girls every evening, that paint an idyllic picture of life for animals on a farm. While there are many excellent artisan producers out there that care and tend to their animals in a respectful way, the reality is most of the meat consumed comes from factory farming and this is very far indeed from the picture that these lovely books and brands paint.

Tesco and all the big food brands, want to associate themselves with this “idyllic lifestyle” they know consumers respond to it, it sounds nice. “ Willow farms”: well the chickens there must have had a great life, it sounds lovely.  And to be fair to Tesco they are hardly going to label it “factory farmed” or some such like.

To me this is very misleading marketing, it paints a picture of something that is clearly not true. The same as “farm fresh” whatever that means and a whole host of terms used to describe highly processed products that are clearly misleading!  



Picture of Kenneth at Green Earth Organics (a real farm) !


P.S. we will have the first purple sprouting broccoli in quantity next week, look out for it in your boxes!