Do you buy produces based on the company story and the trust this company built with you; or do you only trust certifications?
Until recently I would have been confused if someone asked me this question. Duh! Of course, I want to see the certifications. Organic, shmorganic - all of them.
Now, having lived in the sourcing world of getting ingredients and products from various countries and various artisans and communities, I have a different perspective.
Imagine a farmer in the south of Egypt, growing lemons or pomegranates, irrigating his field from the underground water supply. The sediments from entire African continent come to Egypt when Nile floods and those sediments feed the land and this land feeds its people.
This farmer does not have money for chemicals or pesticides - they are too expensive, in addition to not something people in those lands use. It is not necessary, as soil is rich enough 'as is' and soil is the most prized asset of the people and entire country. When you walk the fields with people who work on the land, they are not hating their 'job', they are not complaining about how hard it is and how hot it gets. NO. They cannot stop talking about each plant and showing off the fruit of their labor, literally. All of them. All of the fruit. They are proud of their land and happy to be there, living simple lives, taking care of their land. And their land returns the favor.
Seeds and fruit from dozens of tiny farms gets gathered to make some of Katari oils. You have to pull resources from many farmers to get just a few quarts of purest of oils. But would you go to the farmer and ask him to pay a few thousand dollars to get his field certified? That's my point...
I have a first hand knowledge of all people and processes behind every Katari product. I also know that sometimes having certification means absolutely nothing and sometimes all it takes is money without actually doing a single thing to prove that the product is actually ‘good’.
Like with anything else in life, there are plenty of honest gems that have those darn certifications and plenty of tiny producers who make incredible products, the best on this planet and have no certifications at all. So, now should we all run away from them or tell them to get certifications or else?
What difference does a certification make if there is no backing of a story and a personal relationship?
Most tiny producers cannot afford to pay for and to maintain certifications. And in some countries - let me not name them right now (not any of the countries where I source products), all you need to do is pay money to ‘test’ your products. No actual products need to be present. Pretty ‘cool’, eh?
The world is rapidly changing - more rapidly every year. It is a great thing - as with this change a better, safer, and more educated world is available for those who are open-minded and who can make decisions based on facts presented to them.
Get your facts and enjoy the beautiful treasures a world that cannot afford certifications can present to you!