Gourmet News -The Business Newspaper for the Gourmet Industry Featured Alfie Oakes on the July Cover
August 2, 2022
Back to basics Florida farmer Alfie Oakes said the best way to survive the surge is to go back to basics, which is better for consumers anyway. “I know that sometimes, it gets bad before it gets good again,” said Oakes, founder and CEO of Oakes Farms.
“If the demand is there for healthier food, then people will not eat the garbage.” As someone on the starting line of the food supply chain, Oakes has been working toward making his operations as sustainable as possible – installing solar power and using natural solutions for the farm animals and crops, from pest control to fertilizing fields, so he isn’t producing what he calls “Roundup ready” food. But there’s only so much he can do when the costs of seed and gas for his fleet rise. “Fuel is the biggest cost,” he said. “I’m paying double now what I did last year, and on the farm, we use a lot of fuel.”
Oakes urges consumers to support local businesses and smaller businesses rather than food corporations. “There’s no super easy fix for this,” he said. “The main thing I tell people is always think past the surface. Where is your money going? Who is your money feeding? Think small. Think local.” ‘Dead foods’ When Oakes saw the corporations churning out products with unpronounceable and artificial ingredients, he vowed to not stock his store shelves with them. “That’s why we wanted to get away from national brands,” he said. “We started watching the drive of these products using lesser quality ingredients with limited amounts of nutrition.” Oakes calls them “dead foods.” Shoppers may ask for a certain mass-produced sauce on the custom-made burger bought in the store’s cafe, he said, but they won’t be able to take a bottle home with them. Go to link for the full article