Clean and healthy eating is something that is becoming more ubiquitous and to keep up with these culinary changes, Robertsons have decided to make moves towards clean labelling. To tell us about this journey to a cleaner, more natural product, Robertsons invited SA Country Life to Avondale, a biodynamic and organic wine estate in Stellenbosch, to introduce us to #ANewWorldofSpices by taking us on a #SpiceDiscovery.
So what does clean labelling mean?
Clean Labelling 101
As consumers, we are becoming increasingly picky about our product choices. We’re starting to question the processing of certain foods and the inclusion of ingredients like added MSG. The clean label movement is encouraging food companies to take a careful second look at the ingredients in their products and make sure that they are more natural, minimally processed and are GMO-free.
The aim is to return our food back to the way nature intended and that’s what Robertsons has been doing with their herbs and spices.
What does this mean for our favourite spices?
To address our concerns about clean labelling, Robertsons has reworked its product range to include non-irradiation, no GMOs and no added MSG in their herbs and spices while still keeping the same flavour we know and love.
To bring this point home, we were asked to join The Spice People at Avondale and spend the day getting to grips with the clean labelling journey they have started. And there’s no better setting to drive this point home than a biodynamic farm that was once heavily dependent on chemical farming practices.
For more than three centuries, Avondale has always been cultivated in one form or another. In 1997, John and Ginny Grieve bought the farm and their youngest son Johnathan has been at the farm’s helm. Shortly after producing their first vintage, the farm was ravaged by a fire that came down from the surrounding mountains in 2000. Johnathan saw this as an opportunity to return the farm to its natural origins with the aim of creating a biodynamic and organic wine farm.
We were taken on a tractor ride through Avondale so that its team could introduce us to some of these organic farming practices. This included a stop by the egg mobile which houses a brood of chickens who are moved to a new field at 2pm every day to feast on the insects and help aerate the soil. Avondale also prides itself on its other feathered residents who help rid the fields of snails. This process is fondly and aptly named “duck patrol”. These methods along with a host of other techniques have resulted in Avondale being certified organic.
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An afternoon of wine tasting ensued as Avondale introduced us to each of its organic vintages. While lunch was left up to FABER restaurant who source all their ingredients from organic and sustainable producers (which includes Avondale).
It’s these values that made for the perfect backdrop for Robertsons Spices to re-launch its product range of herbs and spices with clean labelling. If you pop by your local store this afternoon on the way home from work, you’ll find these well-loved herbs and spices in their new packaging. Make no mistake. Their contents come with the same great taste that Robertsons have been recreating for the last 94 years, but now they’ve just made them better for you.