I guess we’re lucky - we’re working in a field (no pun intended) that lends itself to sustainability. Making a rational decision to get involved in an organic veg growing operation in the West of Ireland requires either a degree in lunacy or a dogged belief in doing the right thing for our planet. Maybe in fact a mix of the two gives you the ideal resume to start down this path. "Green Earth Organics", we chose this name to convey what was important to us, the Green Earth bit was "the why", the core reason we started the business 12 years ago.
Greenwashing has become mainstream and I am of two minds about it. On one hand if it forces unethical businesses to make changes that have a positive impact at some level. On the other hand a small change can portray an unethical business in a positive light even though it has made no change to its core operations.
What if this small positive action has enhanced the image and improved the business of an unethical global corporation, which means it can continue to operate as business as usual but now with a green tinge.
While it is admirable that certain global corporations have switched from plastic to paper straws in a small part of their business, this change is hardly going to change the fate of humanity. It will however have a positive impact on marine life and that’s a good thing which would not have happened without customer pressure, but it is not enough. (Don't get me - wrong single use plastics are a scourge on our planet)
What if these same companies are directly or indirectly responsible for the clearance of rain-forest to make way for massive GM-soya plantations to feed factory farmed animals. Is it ok then that they get positive publicity and are portrayed in a green light because they have embraced paper over plastic, even though their modus operandi has not changed and is being driven by short term financial gain at all costs. I don't think this balances the sustainability books, do you?
There remains the inescapable fact that climate change is real, biodiversity loss is real, humans are destroying the very thing that provides us with our way of life and it is our continued addiction to business as usual that is to blame.
If companies are serious about the environment, then deep fundamental change is required. Sadly, this seems to be rare, and that is where governments need to force change. Voluntary arrangements are just not good enough, there needs to be change at the highest level and it needs to be uncompromising change. Ever increasing consumption is just not sustainable, anybody who says otherwise needs to revisit the first law of thermodynamics. Yes everybody is selling something and we are no different and no we aren’t perfect, not by a long shot, but we have put the good of the planet at the centre of all our decisions for our farm and business.
At Green Earth Organics, we’ve a system that reduces the burden on the planet, a system that reduces the burden of packaging (and yes saying no to plastic is part of that), of reducing food waste, of reducing our and your carbon footprint, of saying no to many of the agricultural practices that damage our planet, and practicing agriculture that improves biodiversity.
We all have to eat, that is not negotiable, and we are selling sustainable food, sustainably.
Kenneth & Jenny
PS Thank you for your support, we really appreciate it. www.greenearthorganics.ie