Who are The Ethical Farmers?
The Ethical Farmers was formed in March 2016 as the result of the amalgamation of Egganic pastured eggs and Grass Roots Urban Butchery GRUB. Egganic was founded by Jim & Jacqui Steele in 2008 and GRUB was founded by Dominic and Ali O’Neil in 2010.
Due to a similar passion and belief in real food our paths crossed and a working relationship was forged with egganic supplying GRUB with amazing eggs produced ethically and naturally.
Over the years we had many conversations concerned about unethical farming practices and misleading labelling of food in Australia. We felt a change in the system was required and so we decided to join forces and form The Ethical Farmers . Our farms are located in Somersby and Mangrove Mountain one hour north of Sydney.
Our vision for The Ethical Farmers is to produce and supply real food grown the way nature intended. All lamb and beef is grass fed and finished selected from sound genetics and produced on some of the best pristine grazing land. The poultry, eggs and pork are pasture raised in paddocks ensuring the animals have healthy and happy lives.
What is The Ethical Farmers food philosophy?
Food from healthy animals means a healthy you! As well as animal products, we believe that plant-based foods which are grown naturally and produced free of chemicals and artificial preservatives, will be more nutritious and less damaging to the environment.
Every product available here online is consistent with our beliefs. We only supply organic or grass-fed and finished meat from a pasture based environment without the use of growth hormones or sub-therapeutic applications of antibiotics. It’s our guarantee that all of our beef, lamb, pork and chicken are raised ethically and sustainably.
As well as being a meat supplier, we also stock a large range of organic and wholefoods for your pantry including vegetables, cheeses, spices and teas. There is everything from coconut products to olive oils and dairy.
Whether you are buying eggs or a grass fed steak, you can be sure you’re getting an organically grown and/or pasture raised product from a producer committed to ethical practices.
We invite you to check out our range online and order any products from our extensive range for delivery within the Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra and Wollongong area.
Grass Roots Urban Butcher - Our History
Our Real Food journey started in 2008 when I met with the trainer Aaron McKenzie from Origin of Energy to help me heal a neck injury. He introduced me to eating whole foods and how this would help me with not only my neck injury, but my overall wellbeing. My wife, Ali, accompanied me on my next visit and together we began the food journey eating organic fruit and vegetables, pasture raised poultry, pasture raised pork and grass fed and finished beef and lamb, the way nature intended.
This was a big lifestyle change for us and we found ourselves getting very fussy about where we would source our food (our friends will attest to that!). Over these last few years we have learnt a great deal about conventional farming methods and the health implications of eating these products - it’s more than a little scary the more you research this area. The way the animals live, what they eat and how they are treated made me increasingly sensitive to where my food came from.
Naturopath, Anthia Koullouros, of OVVio Organics in Paddington also played a huge part in the learning process. She helped us to understand the effects that food has on our bodies and on our minds. The thing is, good, reputable information is available; we simply need to choose to read more, be better informed and decide for ourselves.
Fortunately, I found Farmers and suppliers who had the real deal available. However this 'real food’ was not readily available for us as a family, as it meant travelling to different places to buy it. With two young kids, this drove my wife and I crazy - it just wasn’t practical or sustainable. So, this is what led us to open our retail butcher Grass Roots Urban Butchery in Vaucluse. We had the shop for six years and recently sold the retail premises just after we amalgamated with Egganic pastured eggs to form our new company The Ethical Farmers. We decided that having a retail premises no longer suited our business model. We have moved our business online, focusing on home delivery and we look forward to providing you our customers with a much better service of the freshest best produce delivered to your door.
Egganic - Our History
Egganic was established in 2008, near Orange in NSW and our chooks now reside at Somersby an hour north of Sydney. We moved to be closer to our customer base and the climate is a little more consistent and we no longer have the cold harsh winters which we endured near Orange. Here's how we began!
Frustrated and confused by labelling of eggs and the lack of truly fresh eggs when our six backyard chooks went off the lay, in 2007 we set about researching running chickens on a larger scale in a true "pasture raised" existence.
One night brainstorming we came up with the name Egganic which reflected the egg idea and the organic standard in which we wanted to raise the chickens. We would source organic feed and allow the chickens to roam freely - just as our backyard chooks had always done!
In early 2008 we re-fenced the entire property in order to fox proof it. Jim built custom mobile sheds to house our first flock of 500 birds, modified some sheep feeders to suit poultry, and built the water troughs.
Our first pullets arrived in August 2008 - we were on a major learning curve and so were our birds! They needed to be taught how to perch. Many chooks are bred and raised on the ground in very large sheds so we spent nights putting them up on the perch until they got the message. Sadly they had lost that instinct but after much patience and perseverance they regained it.
Within 6 weeks our first chooks began to lay fabulous, fresh eggs with yolks that were a deep, rich yellow. Truth be told, we hadn’t anticipated the quantity so it was time to market the eggs! We began locally in Orange and fortunately there were farmers markets which were a wonderful spring board to commence our sales. As the eggs kept coming we recognised the need to go further afield. So with tables and gazebo in hand we travelled to Sydney on a weekly basis and attended a number of Sydney farmers markets. The response was wonderful and we quickly gained many customers who still buy our eggs today.
In February 2009, the Eveleigh Farmers market started. We got in on the ground floor and it was a wonderful experience. Because it was weekly market, our eggs were completely fresh. We realised we had a premium product because we were so stringent about the freshness. We didn’t want to store an egg for anymore than 5 days - and less whenever possible.
Since being at Eveleigh, egganic has flourished! We have stayed true to our beliefs and our customers are wonderful people who in many cases have had the experience of chooks somewhere in their childhood and remember what a real egg tastes like. Wow! Had we not come up with egganic could the real taste of a farm fresh egg have been lost forever?
We currently have 5,000 chickens, six maremma dogs, and three full time employees because our system is very labour intensive.
We're pretty happy with keeping Egganic as a family operated business, ensuring that the welfare of our hens, and the pasture raised organic environment in which they roam and the quality of the eggs they lay comes above everything else.