Contender for Best Juice in World – Again!

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World Juice Awards

Thanks Orchard & Vine for reporting on our amazing journey these past few years. We have returned from Germany and we placed second in the category "Best New Nectar or Juice". But the wonderful thing was that the other company that won was a Canadian company as well - Haskapa from Nova Scotia which is truly a new juice with the haskap berry. It was so great to have two Canadian companies standing together in the top two for the award and even more exciting for Tabletree being the second time that we stood on the world stage having won “Best Pure Juice Product” last year for our Black Cherry juice.
The awards were presented at the World Juice Conference in Cologne, Germany. Among the attendees were close to 350 participants from 55 countries from many of the top juice companies in the world and those corporations and agencies that support the juice industry - it truly was the world of juice.
Of particular note, was the concern expressed during the conference in presentation after presentation of what would appear to be a worldwide problem of the decreasing numbers of farmers that the world is losing due to their inability to make a decent living. Last year when we attended the conference in Spain we were disappointed that they didn't focus on the farmer and their supply chain and this year it was evident that the tides had turned and not only was North America experiencing the demise of the farmer, but the world as well. Many of the participants were eager to talk to us and we were used as an example during one of the keynote speeches during the conference.
Round table discussions were held wherein solutions to the supply chain problem were discussed. Sitting at our table were leaders in the industry – many multi-million dollar processors from Spain, Chile, Denmark, and India, senior representatives from the worldwide Fair Trade organization, and senior representatives from U.K Walmart and others from all over the world. We were in awe just being able to sit next to these people in a room , let alone have them be interested in what we had to say. “The world” listened intently to us as we answered their questions. They wanted to know about our experiences and reasons for stepping up one rung in the supply chain ladder from farmer to processor, and they recognized our story as being one of desperation to save the family farm. We asked them to produce what the public is looking for - healthy quality juices and to pass any price increase down to the farmer. We asked them to invest in agriculture and more specifically, the farmer themselves, to ensure that the farmer is profiting and thereby giving back to the economy of their respective countries.
One large processor from Spain stepped in and stated the solution should be more large corporate farms and the streamlining of operations through these large entities. It was so refreshing and hit close to the heart to hear all but one of those major players at the table speak out in defense of the small rural farmer and the need for countries to support the small farmer and not the corporate farms.
One wonderful man from India after hearing our presentation and then the executive from Spain, spoke up and said that India paid their farmers first. He said that the dairy farmers in India were the poorest in the country - that many could not even afford to have their own families drink the milk they produced. But little by little, they formed a service that picked up the milk from the farmer and the farmers with even just one cup of milk would come out with it and they would pay the farmer and take the milk and chill it or turn it into cheese and they would sell it. These farmers flourished and soon became the richest in India and India’s production of milk and cheese increased significantly and most importantly the economy of the country improved because the farmer was giving back to the community they lived in by the purchasing of goods and services. And this was all from supporting the farmer. Could it really be that simple? – one would hope so.
Another topic of major concern was the shortage of water in many countries. It was suggested that the next wars could very well be over water. One of the key-note speakers noted that Egypt had built huge air conditioned facilities for their cows which required water for their operations as well as water for fodder for the cows. As their water levels can be measured from the ground, it was suggested that because of these huge massive facilities use of water, that where there was once hundreds of years of water, there is now only a century of water left. Saudia Arabia is not building any more factories because of their decreasing water supplies as well. Some countries, such as China, that are currently experiencing bad air and water quality are looking to the future and purchasing large tracts of land in other countries . It was reported that China is buying up large properties in the Ukraine and here in Canada in anticipation of possible future problems.
From that, it seemed obvious to us that we here in Canada need to protect what we take for granted - our water – and that we need to protect it for our future generations. Our most valuable resources our children and our water.
Gary & Susan Snow

Gary & Susan Snow more than 6 years ago