Meet the Sydney-sider that’s digging deep for our local farmers

“By going local we help our own communities thrive, we create jobs and services, encourage innovation, diversity and make an ethical choice that is of benefit for our environment and the whole supply chain, including ourselves and our hardworking farmers.”

Murat Keskin is a champion for sustainability and importantly, a champion for our legend, local growers. He knows a thing or two about challenging the status quo, remaining steadfast on his morals, running a thriving business, and having a keen eye for detail. For those who don’t know Murat, he’s the brains behind Ooooby Sydney, a business based out of Sydney’s inner west. Ooooby stands for Out Of Our Own Backyard and it’s dedicated to delivering organic, sustainable and locally produced fruit and veg to our doors every week.

*Read on to find out how you can WIN a month’s worth of fresh, local produce delivered to your door.  

What drove the passion

Murat’s story didn’t start with some grand epiphany (no fun in that anyway.) Rather, his passion was stumbled upon when trying to complete a university assignment for his business degree. IMG_8572“We were asked to come up with a business plan around the idea of incorporating farmer’s markets into one of Australia’s leading shopping centre chains.” To anyone else (including myself) this might sound relatively simple, but unfortunately as Murat recalls, it was anything but.

“I realised how damaging the whole concept was. I was sitting there trying to make something so holistic and beautiful such as a farmer’s market, fit into a place that is strategically set up to merely make money and had no consideration for what the farmers are actually going through.” So, like any entrepreneurial extraordinaire, Murat saw a gap and strived to make a positive impact after exploring the many food related issues and delving into the life that farmer’s typically lead.

Why we should choose local

He makes such an effort to put an incredible perspective on what a lot of us take for granted, opening our eyes to things we, out of convenience-generated habit, often don’t think twice about. While we run down to one of the big supermarkets with our enviro-bags (praise be for no more plastic), the true value of food, and the impact it makes on the farmers doesn’t regularly cross one’s mind.

“After taking into account your time and fuel needed to get the food to your home around 70 per cent of the value of the food is sucked up by the supply chain. As a result, the farmer is typically paid less than one third of the retail value. This is just enough for a small-scale farmer to scrape by.”

Ooooby Boxes_08This is where sourcing out and supporting local farmers and their produce makes a massive difference (and so much sense.) Doing this essentially means supporting the local economy, all while playing a part in driving the creation of economic diversity.

“The reduced transport, handling, packaging, warehousing and merchandising costs of local food generally means a better deal for everyone in the supply chain, from the grower to the customer.” Everybody’s a winner, really. “By going local we help our own communities thrive, we create jobs and services, encourage innovation, diversity and make an ethical choice that is of benefit for our environment and the whole supply chain, including ourselves and our hardworking farmers.

By extension, we as a community will also get to experience a whole range of produce variety, as local businesses base their products on the needs of the local consumer. You want donut peaches? You got them (yes, they exist.) Want a whole selection of different flavoured nut cheese? Look for it locally and you’ll get what you want (just a sneaky lil’ tid-bit for you.)

Taking steps to be sustainable

“A sustainable food system is one that views food as a human need rather than simply a commodity,” says Murat. As consumerism and our need for convenience continues to grow, it’s vital we continue to educate ourselves on the most effective way to live a sustainable life, and of course, have our farmer’s backs in the process. Ooooby, being the champs they are, have gotten the ball rolling on making this happen.

“We run seasonal dinners called Ooooby Eats showcasing the produce of our growers with our growers. We also run gardening/permaculture workshops called Ooooblitz in private Sydney backyards, which are not just a big garden overhaul for the host, but a great learning experience.”

From packing just twelve Ooooby orders in his living room, to delivering over seventy-six thousand boxes of fresh, sustainable and organic produce (the majority of which is locally sourced) to date, there’s no doubt Murat will continue to champion a future for us that’s local, sustainable and ethical.



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