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Speak out on olive oil ban

The simple, wonderful fruit of the olive6b

Have you ever bought premium olive oil on tap?
In five weeks, from December 13, you won’t be able to any more.

Please – everyone in the UK who loves premium extra virgin olive oil and has enjoyed the quality, value, ease and more environmentally-friendly way of buying this remarkable fruit juice on tap from a fine food specialist shop, please add your voice.

PLEASE SHARE THIS so that everyone knows that the Government is banning the sale of “on tap” olive oil from December 13.

Not all oils, you understand not even infused olive oil, just olive oil.
Not only is the ban unjustified and ill-conceived, it is also discriminatory, punitive and unfair.

All on-tap oils are susceptible to the same potential health and fraud issues yet the EU and DeFRA are just singling out and banning the extraordinarily healthy and delicious fruit juice the world knows as olive oil.

Customers go to fine food outlets they know and trust and use olive oil from producers like us who they know and trust. How is that different to any other food if everything is properly labelled and detailed in a way people can clearly understand and trust?
We have to lobby the British Government and the EU to make them see how wrong this discriminatory ban is. With your help we will try and do so. Tiny as we are.

To put this as simply as possible…
We very much welcome new stricter rules regarding labelling as the EU seeks to counter food fraud. There has to be full provenance on all foods and far more clarity. We at Mother’s Garden give more information than is required, including the pressing and bottling dates (vital yet still rare information).
BUT, based upon a 10-year- old ruling by the European Court, the UK Government says it must now comply with a ban on “tap” sales of olive oil. This includes bag in box.

Part of our business is supplying our premium olive oil in bag in box to health food stores and delis and farm shops and, hence, on to thousands of customers nationwide.
We contest that the clean, simple bag in box method is the best way to preserve the olive oil from light and air contamination. A bag in box cannot be refilled and resealed, and it gives both customers and small businesses a wonderful way to source the best olive oil at sensible cost.

Less weight, less transport impact, less waste, better quality, lower cost. Everyone sees the sense and value of this, the goodness and health benefits.

Look at it this way.
Under this ludicrous new rule the following applies…
UNLAWFUL – our olives are picked and pressed in the village cooperative mill, then the bag in box is filled at the mill and sent to fine food outlets via our family’s UK farm, fully labelled. The age of the oil is also clearly defined.
LAWFUL – olive oil from a host of different locations and countries is taken in tankers by major corporations, mostly to Italy, where it is stored and blended, then bottled and shipped to a distributor and on to stores in the UK. The age of the olive oil is not defined.
We do not say other ways of supplying olive oil should be banned, of course not.
But why regulate against the simplest and most efficient way of bringing this essential food at a sensible cost to the British public?
It is NOT a luxury, and premium olive oil should be affordable and at the heart of every meal.
So we ask – what is wrong with the fully labelled, non-refillable bag in box method, also used for soft drinks and wine?
And how can any government or court justify such discrimination against one food product, one oil?
So, please share and help us spread the word.

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Our fresh olive oil now on tap in Kent

We are delighted to tell you our award-winning fresh olive oil is now tap at the lovely NUTMEG DELI, 3 Sayers Lane, Tenterden, TN30 6BW. Contact Grant and his team on 01580 764125.

Have you ever tried fresh olive oil? What does that mean? Olive oil is simply a fruit juice with the water content spun out of it. Freshness is vital for all the flavour and extraordinary goodness, and when it is fresh the taste and scent it amazing.

So how do you know it is fresh? All olive oils will have a best before date on them, sometimes very long, but do the labels tell you when the fruit was picked and pressed? Almost certainly not.

Mother’s Garden always tells you the harvest and bottling dates so you can be sure of the freshness. And we also tell you about our award-winning village cooperative mill, so you are in no doubt about the the provenance and quality.

That is why our olive oil is a multi-gold award winner in the Great Taste Awards.

We believe passionately in fresh quality olive oil, and do not think this essential food should cost the earth. It is not a luxury but a vital part of the diet.

Check out our online shop – or see below for delis and health food shops that are offering our fresh olive oil on tap, cutting waste and price. These are places full of wonderful foods.

The Nutmeg Deli, 3 Sayers Lane, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 6BW. 01580 764125

The Larder, Cobholm,  The Medicine Garden, Downside Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3LU.   01932 989649

Minkies Deli, Chamberlayne Rd  London NW10 5RQ. 020 8969 2182

All Natural Health, 30 High St  Sheringham, Norfolk NR26 8JR. 01263 825881

Back To The Garden, Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7JJ. 01263 715996

Mmm.. 12/13 Grainger Arcade, Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF 0191 222 1818

Do you know a good deli, farm shop or health food store that might like to work with us? Get in touch.

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Winter cooking tips for our new harvest olive oil

NEW SHIPMENT LEAVING SOON – ORDER NOW

A new shipment of fresh Mother’s Garden olive oil will leave next week for deliveries in early February so if you would like some please get in touch as soon as you can.

Do winter and the best olive oil go together? Oh YES. 

And if you need some tips CLICK HERE to read cook Stuart Buck’s latest blog all about our olive oil.
“When you get oil as fresh as a daisy it has a spicy, grassy taste that’s really pleasing in winter cooking.”

We advise everyone to follow this foodie blog, particularly if you are in Norfolk where Stuart is based.

Meanwhile let us know what you would like to order from the shipment. There will be the usual selection of 500ml bottles (in cases of 6), 2 litre containers, 5 litre containers and 20 litre bag in boxes (as some food cooperative groups, ie our hubs, are now appreciating).

New labels are being printed but we will not use these until all the current ones have gone – why create waste?.
So we have also decided to delay the 2013 price rise for now too.

All olive oil now being offered is at 2012 prices – £39 for 6x500ml bottles, £17 for 2 litres, £35 for 5 litres and £140 for 20 litre bag in box.

SO HURRY WHILE LABELS LAST!! Click here to order or contact your hub if you are part of one.

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Rush for New Harvest Unfiltered Olive Oil

Our annual NEW HARVEST UNFILTERED olive oil shipment has now landed in England for Christmas feasts – and 90 per cent has already been sold!
Every year demand for the freshest, finest olive oil grows as, thankfully,  more and more people appreciate that freshness is as equally important as provenance and a guarantee that the olive oil is 100 per cent extra virgin olive oil. That is why we always tell you where and when the olives were pressed and bottled.
If you have ordered this potent new harvest unfiltered oil, alive with fruit particles, it should be enjoyed within six months maximum.
But if you missed out, don’t worry, we are taking orders for a January shipment so get in touch (click here). This will be filtered new harvest olive oil that will be packed with flavour and goodness, as always from the groves that won the highest award on the 2011 Great Taste Awards – 3 gold stars. Get in touch.
And we can announce today that Mother’s Garden olive oil is now available in Canada.
We are working with Dos Cielos in Toronto where Maggie was born – a fledgingly business run by a family who have stayed at Mother’s Garden. As with our UK supplies there is a choice of larger containers (5litres) and 500ml glass bottles. If you are in Canada or America and are interested to learn more please drop us a line and we will put you in touch.

The olive harvest here on the farm has been early and a little disheartening. A very localised April storm crashed in from the west and pummelled the olive flowers, robbing us of all but a few precious fruits on our trees. Other growers have had better fortune – groves just half a mile apart tell different stories – and the cooperative farmers we work with have more than enough wonderful fruit for our customers, thank goodness.We gathered what we could, then shared in the harvest at our neighbours Marta and Benet, taking with us friends from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, all members of the Prendergast clan.
As we savoured the sight of the youngest picker, toddler Mina, sitting with legs splayed on the nets, it was easy for the eye to drift to the autumn colours of the adjoining vineyard. The hues this year have been more warming than ever and the pastel days refused to yield.

Record sales for April fresh olive oil shipment

Our April shipment of 92x5litres, 24x2litres and 102x500ml glass bottles has sold out in record time! Thank you to all our customers across Britain –  we will be back in the mill next week organising bottling for a May pallet, so place your orders now by clicking here to send us a message.
As many of you know, our aim is get the olive oil to our customers as fresh as possible, from bottling to your kitchens within weeks not months. This is obviously key to the fast growing popularity of our premium Mother’s Garden arbequina extra virgin olive oil. For details click here.
Also, in the coming days, we will announce details and prices of arbequina olives in jars – simply with herbs and water, really delicious. Perfect for summer.

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March shipment of fresh extra virgin olive oil

We will be bottling fresh olive oil next week, for immediate shipment to the UK for delivery in early April. Orders are already coming in, so we ask of established clients and new customers to get in touch as soon as possible.

If you are new to Mother’s Garden and want to join the growing number of people enjoying our fresh arbequina extra virgin olive oil,  the simplest ways are to email us – mothersgarden.es@gmail.com – or place an order through our online shop. We do not action your Google Checkout payment to us until we know you have received your olive oil.

Meanwhile, on the farm, we have finished pruning the vines and our attention is turning to the olive and other fruit trees, vegetable garden and the holiday cottage. Our first holiday guests of 2011 arrive on April 2.

See our holiday page for details.

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New book and fresh olive oil tour + video

In wishing you all a cuddly, cherry-topped Happy New Year we offer the following – a parcel of ribbon-tied happy thoughts that may help to keep us all afloat in this year to come.
And in case you think I’m a bit late, we always think the bleak end of January is a good time to send smiles.
We send too you a link to the You Tube video Ella made of our recent new book and new harvest olive oil tour – click here.
We wish for everyone the fully-inflated rubber ring of humour, and in doing so remind ourselves how vital it has been here on the farm with all its hues, heavy burdens and common aches that are the consequence of the tap-dance of modern life.
As with the magnificent mirth-inducing musical raspberries that my 90-year-old father blows at anyone who has had their ready smile wiped from their hard-drive (or has had a common courtesy bypass operation) we have ways to dissolve the accumulatively seriousness of existence into a fit of the giggles.
Check out the new pictures on our gallery. The following stars of 2010 feature.
Wandering minstrels Michael Hatherly and son Jacob (they had just wandered up the track from the holiday cottage) tweaked the cord of merriment back in August with a guitar, tiny drum and precious little. Michael is my oldest friend. Jacob is my delightful godson. Their friendship is something to behold, unbelievably precious to share.
Then there was the sensation when Elvis rolled up to join the olive harvest. Words fail me.
With us for some almond bagging frivolity were Sophie and Steve from Brisbane Down Under, stopping off at Mother’s Garden for five weeks at the end of their European tour.
They have been rays of light, and stayed with our friend Annie to hold the fort, feed the ponies and keep the home fires burning while we whizzed around England during the first two weeks of December. As we trundled down the track 6ft tall Steve skipped alongside us adorning the hire truck with flower petals.
Yes, we ventured north during the bitterly cold, snowy first two weeks of December. Brrrrr.
We clocked 4999 kilometres and 10 book and olive oil events in 12 days – meeting hundreds of lovely people who ventured out to see us despite the deep bleakness of early winter.
Despite the onset of foul colds, snow storms coming in horizontally off the sea in -17 Scarborough and ice on the inside of our otherwise reliable Fiat truck, despite pulling my back lugging olive oil boxes hither and thither, we got round, signing a very significant number of books, delivering new harvest olive oil and, generally, giving the tree of life a damned good shake.
Maybe you heard me making a fool of myself on Radio York and Radio Norfolk. (I was breaking some teeth in for a friend). They allowed me to rattle on for an inordinately long time as we talked about this life, my new book Shaking The Tree and why people might want to dwell on the thought of moving abroad.
We had taken Ella and Joe Joe out of school because we wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind and, well, the trip would be an education (in meteorology as it turned out).  They also got to see Windsor Castle, Delia Smith, Stephen Fry and Norwich City lose 0-2 to Portsmouth.
Delia’s Canary Catering chefs have been using our olive oil for years now, and she’d invited us to visit Carrow Road to watch a game. So there I and the children sat, not sure at first if singing and shouting was acceptable behaviour in the directors’ box. But I let rip anyway after a few minutes, genuinely oblivious to the fact that Stephen Fry, seated directly in front of me, was filming some sort of documentary.
Poor chap. I forced a copy of my English novel Moon Daisy on him. It had been 35 years since we’d last spoken (our paths crossed as teenagers) and he was utterly charming, but I’m not entirely convinced he remembered me.
We have, needless to say, returned with more than we left with, not least heads and hearts brimming with happy memories of eyes-closed bear embraces, beaming faces and the certainty that the vast majority of people are utterly gorgeous.
Keep warm, keep well.
Sending all good thoughts from Mother’s Garden for the year we will all share. Be happy. And a present of raspberries to those who refuse…

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