Last week we got some disappointing news.
Over the course of the last two years our farm and business has been turned on its head. We took on a new venture in Dublin, we have expanded the land area of our farm, we have grown our Galway business by 30%.
Since we have taken over the old “Absolutely organic business” the number of you guys getting our boxes in Dublin has quadrupled.
The process has been fraught with up’s and downs’s and it is easy to look back and tell a really good story, and in general the story is very good but it has been a difficult journey.
Everybody on the team at Green Earth Organics has worked phenomenally hard to grow great food, to pack and deliver that food with a service that is unsurpassed, and all of this has happened while the business has undergone unprecedented growth.
Over the past 6 months we have changed gear again and thanks to you our amazing customers we are bringing a phenomenal lease of life to a more conscientious way of growing and sourcing food.
Winning the National Organic Awards for best direct organic retailer in November 2016 was the pinnacle to a tumultuous year.
In order to sustain this growth and to maintain the quality and service we had planned to build a new packing facility here on our farm. A new custom designed eco-building, with photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate electricity and rain water harvesting tanks to collect the water we could then re-use.
The Department of Agriculture came on board and authorised a substantial grant, which was a huge vote of confidence in us. A vote to develop an organic hub on a farm on the West coast of Ireland with the ability to support local jobs, support our own farm, other Irish growers and a thriving and growing business across our island.
So far so good.
But as anybody who has approached a bank recently for money to invest in a business will know the reality of what they are saying and what is happening can be two different things.
So after a point blank no from our own bank “Ulster bank” and after months of negotiation with AIB, they finally did us the courtesy of turning down our application last week, 4 months after the initial conversation had began.
I wonder who coined their “Backing Brave” mantra?
We do not now have the money to invest in our business that has doubled in the last 12 months, that provides 23 people with employment, that is focused on sustainable food production and has been given a massive thumbs up from the Department of Agriculture and provides hundreds of you guys with a weekly supply of great food.
How can small businesses expand and create more jobs if there is not the ability to borrow to invest? It seems clear to me that the times of excess are now coming to bear on businesses that are making legitimate investments, businesses that are real and have potential to grow and create jobs.
I am disappointed in the bank’s decision, I will appeal their decision.
But now more than ever we are committed to the vision of our farm and business “to grow and bring sustainable healthy food to all”. Awareness around what we eat, how it is produced and where it comes from has never been higher.
We may not have our big eco-packing shed just yet, but regardless, we intend to grow more, to produce more, to bring more great food to your homes from our farm each week, in those famous words.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
After a momentary lapse, we are coming out fighting, here’s to fantastically great sustainable food.
Thank you for trusting us with your health each week
www.greenearthorganics.ie to place a home delivery order now