Earlier this year, NSW wine and olive oil producer Sam Statham recieved a phone call from a committed vegan.
The caller was seeking an assurance that animals weren’t used to graze the olive grove and vineyard. But the Stathams regularly agist sheep for exactly that purpose, and as a natural source of fertiliser.
“I had a sudden realisation that some people, not only do they not understand where their food comes from, they also might not understand what an ecosystem is or how nature actually works,” says Statham, who runs the family farm Rosnay Organic near Canowindra in the state’s central west.
It’s the main reason Statham now offers farm tours at Rosnay, which is certified to Australia’s national organic standard. He tries to provide clarity to visitors around the meaning of terms such as organic and regenerative, which are increasingly used to promote supermarket products.