With a chef’s diploma and several years’ experience in the restaurant industry under her belt, Joburg resident Kerry Maher is an avid believer in organic produce. But when she moved to Northcliff several years ago, she battled to find this kind of food anywhere nearby. The result is Farm Table, a new sustainable grocery shop in nearby Linden that stocks a range of organic vegetables, skincare products, hormone-free dairy products, pasture-reared eggs, natural household products and other everyday items. As Kerry puts it, Farm Table is a “one-stop grocer” for everything one needs to live a healthy, more natural, more sustainable life.
What’s your take on the market for organic and sustainable goods in South Africa?
It’s such an exciting, growing market. Distribution is a challenge for a lot of the smaller farmers, but this is becoming better facilitated. New, locally produced goods that were previously imported are arriving on the scene all the time, and non-profits like 17 Shaft Organic are popping up and training people to farm organically.
What’s your take on the perception that organic goods are too expensive to buy?
It’s very hard to produce organic food to compete with government-funded producers with large-scale infrastructure and cheap, filling ingredients like refined flour and maize. However, there are many products that are more cost effective and have a multitude of uses – just look at coconut oil. When you stop eating food with a long list of ingredients, you also start to stay fuller and eat less. As the market grows and distribution channels are developed, costs should also decrease. The fast food market has also set a really unrealistic, unhealthy expectation of food costs.
Tell us about some unique products you stock.
Esse is the world’s first probiotic skincare range with the most incredible results. Developed by South African chemist, Trevor Steyn, the brand now has an international market that surpasses its local one. We also stock eggs from two fantastic local egg farms: Jo’s Pasture Raised Food and new local farmer, The Yummy Egg Co. These farmers are serious about caring for their communities and their hens.
And then Triple Orange is a really effective yet environmentally friendly cleaning range made with orange oil that’s produced just a couple blocks away from us.
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Words: Catherine Black