Spray-Free Farmacy talks to Live for Less about how you can get local, spray-free produce delivered, and what it means for your plate and the planet.
Four years ago, Brisbane locals Kristen and Trevor Ottaway, spent most of their Saturday searching for organic, spray-free food for their family. Each week they visited the farmers market, an organic grocery store as well as a standard supermarket. They were exchanging their valuable time and money in search of the best local produce.
Determined to make the process quicker and cheaper, they launched their very own business, Spray-Free Farmacy. These days they provide quality spray-free produce at an affordable price to more than 350 families and support 20 small farms.
LIVE FOR LESS: What does spray-free mean?
SPRAY-FREE FARMACY: Spray-free means the produce has been grown without the use of any chemical sprays, making it similar to organic. Most of our farmers grow small amounts of crops using homemade compost. They companion plant, rotate their crops and many save their own seeds. It’s small-scale farming the way food has been grown for centuries.
Why not organic?
Achieving organic certification can take years and be very expensive. We do use some certified organic farmers, but generally our customers don’t require the certification. This means we can provide good quality produce for less because farmers don’t need to pass on their certification fees.
Convenience is important, which is why people rely on supermarkets, so we’ve worked really hard to make sure our service is quick and easy to use.
Where do you source your food from?
About 90% of our food comes from within a three or four-hour drive of Brisbane. A small portion will come from colder climates like Tasmania. This allows us to supply things like cauliflower, all year.
How long is your fresh produce stored before customers buy it?
Almost everything is picked fresh based on our orders. For leafy greens and herbs, our customers receive their produce within a maximum of three days from harvest. There might be some other items which were picked outside that time frame, but nothing is stored for long.
How do farmers benefit from your business?
They get a better price for their produce, which means they get a fair price for their work. They also don’t have to worry about shipping it across the country.
Will I save money?
If you compare our prices to a supermarket, we are about midway between supermarkets and organic grocers. Many of our items are on-par with supermarkets, while others cost more, but have other benefits. You will save time and have access to a great variety of produce, including heirloom varieties.
What are my options when shopping with Spray-Free Farmacy?
We have pre-packed boxes of fruit and veg, or you can build a custom order.
If you decide to order a pre-packed box, its contents won’t be a surprise. We tell you in advance what you will receive, and you have the option to swap items you don’t want.
We also have additional grocery items from local businesses you can add to your order, like Kombucha, eggs and bread. We try to support local companies making good quality organic products.
How will I receive my order?
The business is built on a pick-up point model. It lessens our fuel emissions and keeps our costs low. There are 22 pick-up locations across Brisbane.
How do you give back to the Brisbane community?
We do a few things. We encourage customers to nominate someone who needs food, and we deliver a kindness box each week with a card.
We also support Joining Hands, a local organisation that gives health and wellness services to homeless and underprivileged young people. At Christmas, we also donate to the Salvation Army.