Post by April Fulton, The Salt at NPR Food (11/11/13)
Who knew Prince Charles started one of the first organic and locally-sourced food companies in the world over 21 years ago?
Not us, until we got a pitch from his public relations outfit, inviting us to "entertain like the Royals" this holiday season with "Duchy Originals from Waitrose."
It turns out the company quietly markets a variety of finely-textured, subtle tasting cookies (biscuits, if you're a Brit) at specialty stores and online. The organic biscuits have only been available in the U.S. since 2012; they're part of a line of fancy jams, cheese, eggs, meats and vegetables sold exclusively at the high-end Waitrose grocery stores in the U.K.
Two decades ago, the heir to the throne of England foresaw the potential and value in organic agriculture. Prince Charles' estate farm, called the Duchy Home Farm, went organic in 1986, at a time "when most shoppers cared only about the low price tag on suspiciously blemish-free vegetables and unnaturally large chickens piled high in supermarkets," as Time magazine describes it. The farm supplied barley, beets, carrots, milk, mustard, oats, parsnips and wheat to Duchy Originals, the company the price started in 1992.