The prestigious organisation, which works to save endangered species from around the world, has been accepted for the 44 different varieties of fruit and vegetables grown at its on-site farm. It currently produces 20,000 tonnes a year, with crops ranging from apples, tomatoes and runner beans to the more exotic tamarillo and Cape gooseberry, all of which are fed exclusively to the animals. The Trust hopes to sell any surplus to the public in the future, at which point the Genuine Jersey logo will be used on the packaging.
As well as providing food that’s guaranteed fresh and chemical-free, the farm saves the Trust about £20,000 a year in animal food bills. It grows about 70% of the total fruit and vegetables consumed by its endangered residents each year.
“We are delighted to be associated with Genuine Jersey and look forward to working together,” says Leanda Guy, the Trust’s head of marketing. “Our membership highlights how important the farm is to us but also underlines that we are very much a part of Jersey. In fact, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is also trying to gain Soil Association accreditation so that we can become a Genuine Jersey organic member in future.”
The success of the farm, which now includes a showcase where visitors can see small sample crops, could pave the way for selling surplus produce to the public one day. “We’re not ready yet because we’re never sure exactly what will be left over, but we are certainly looking at this for the future,” says Leanda.
Ken Syvret, chairman of GJPA, says: “It’s a great credit to Genuine Jersey that we are continuing to attract new members and we are especially pleased to welcome a locally-based charity as well-known and popular as the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. We hope to be able to support the Trust in its incredible work here in the Island.”
Five other new members have also joined GJPA. Vers Les Monts Organic Farm has been admitted for organic vegetables, eggs, chutneys and jams. Le Marinel Farm has received membership for pork products, chickens, turkeys and eggs and Le Pepiniere Farm for free range chicken and duck eggs as well as dairy fed pork.
Two of the new members are from the artistic community. Sheila Birch is a photographer specialising in Jersey scenes and Jersey flora, and jeweller Jacki Braid produces hand-made pieces including ‘guardian angel pins’.