As part of our sustainable sourcing strategy, the Spinneys UAE Farmers Club began in 2015, supporting a network of local farms to reduce the farm-to-fork carbon footprint of our offering, all while improving the freshness of the vegetables on shelves. Beginning with three conventional farms (Elite Agro, Emirates Farms and Emirates Hydroponic) and four organic farms (Dar Al Fateh, Al Rawafed, Organic Oasis and Integrated Green Resources), the club's members were hand-picked by Spinneys for their ability to grow produce that consistently meets international standards, and by their ability to earn a raft of international certifications.
Prior to the instigation of the Spinneys UAE Farmers Club, local produce represented less than one per cent of our fresh offering; that figure has grown to more than five per cent. For their part, our farming partners receive our weekly requirements for each vegetable at the time of sowing, and a fixed, fair price for the whole season. Thus, farmers are afforded a predictable programme to work to, while being sheltered from the traditional market price fluctuations.
For you, our customer, the benefits of being able to plump for local produce are myriad. The diminished time and distance spent in transit means that the vegetables on offer enjoy a longer shelf life and have a significantly reduced carbon footprint, all while representing the high quality of production one would expect of European or US vegetables. It is also with great pride that the ‘season’ for our locally produced tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants is now year-round, and our local produce is sold in environmentally responsible packaging.
The initiative continues to evolve, with last year’s introduction of the Naturally I’mperfect brand. Under this label, we are able to offer a product that doesn’t comply with Spinneys cosmetic quality aspects but has the same taste, nutritional values and safety standards as the ones packed under spinneysFOOD. This reduces wastage on the farmers’ side and offers even better value to you.
MEET THE (ORGANIC) PRODUCERS
Organic Oasis is a collection of three Dubai-based farms, founded by Sheikha Al Muhairy. School, corporate and social visits to the farm are encouraged and you can pick your own vegetables. We source watermelons and cucumbers from here.
Al Rawafed Agriculture Organic Farm is located just 45 minutes away from downtown Abu Dhabi. This farm is one of the biggest sources of organic products in the UAE. It’s certiﬁed by ESMA, Europe’s Istituto Certiﬁcazione Etica e Ambientale (ICEA) and Bureau Veritas. Stock up on spinneysFOOD organic ﬁgs, tomatoes, capsicums, cherry tomatoes, mini peppers, mint, coriander and parsley, all of which are obtained from here.
Dar al-Fateh was established in 2007 and grows a variety of premium vegetables on its farms in Al Ain and Liwa. The list of produce we source from the group includes organic marrows, green beans, eggplants, cabbages and green chillies.
Integrated Green Resources UAE (IGR) has been producing and distributing organic vegetables since 2008. Its main farms are located in Al Rahba and Al Khawaneej, where both open-air farming and greenhouse farming is practised. We can’t get enough of its spicy red chillies.
YOU SAY TOMATO…
We say Tamatim Tasties are some of the best!
Creating quite a stir recently are our Tamatim Tasties cherry tomatoes. Produced as a response to the question: ‘How can we bring tastier tomatoes to this region, quicker?’ these fruits are grown year-round in Abu Dhabi by Mahalli. Petite, oval and rosy red in colour, they are a tasty snack and work well in salads, soups and stews. Mahalli employs a combination of human expertise and high-tech monitoring to ensure its premium product is grown with minimum impact on resources and packaged at source in an environmentally friendly box with a resealable lid.
Keep Tamatims at room temperature. They taste much better when they aren’t served cold.