Know your farmer

Ultimate transparency: know who grows your food

Meet Hetty

With the new blockchain application from Verstegen Spices & Sauces and Fairfood, you get to know the farmers behind your nutmeg - Tony, Pransisko, Hertje and Jamal for example ... From June you buy the nutmeg at Coop and you can see how many farmers they sold and whether they received a fair reward and made ends meet. When we unfolded the project, we already visited a few farmers to find out more about them, their company and their dreams. Today we speak with Rahmawati.

Interview with farmer Hetty

39-year-old Rahmawati, who also calls herself Hetty, lives in a very remote location on an, even remote, Indonesian island. While the rain is pouring down from the sky, we reach her house via numerous winding roads. Most striking is the bright blue shop, which is under construction next to her home. In it she sells - already - eggs, flour, rice and shampoo and now and then chicks, should that happen.

If you stand in front of her house, you can see high mountains rising directly behind it. The coconut trees on the mountains immediately catch the eye, underneath the nutmeg trees. On one of those mountains are Hetty's nutmeg trees - about 200. Hetty and her husband inherited the land and trees from his parents. “I come from a nutmeg family myself,” she says, when we sit on plastic chairs under the lean-to in front of her house, “so as a child I learned from my parents how to grow good nutmeg - when it has to linger and when you pick it. " The few clove trees that are still on the land will soon be exchanged for nutmeg trees. They earn more with that.

"I actually have no idea how the nutmeg is further processed, or where it is exported."

We ask her if she actually knows what's going on with her nutmeg. That part of it is shipped to the Netherlands is new information. "And do you use it for food or medicine?" When we show a video on a telephone of nutmeg being grated over cauliflower, her eyes widen: “Over it? That's very tough! ” We laugh and point out the amount of hot pepper that, on the island, is chopped over all our dishes.>She finds it interesting. We explain more about the blockchain project she is part of. She is fully committed to that. “I think it would be nice to learn more about the entire process. I actually have no idea how the nutmeg is further processed, or where it is exported. I think I can ultimately earn more if I know what you like to buy there. ”

Hetty is the proud mother of two children - a girl of 17 and a boy of 8. The aim is to keep her children in education for as long as possible - to offer them the best possible education. "Maybe just on the island, but I hope they can go to a better school, in a city on the mainland." She pauses for a moment and quickly adds proudly: "My daughter really wants to be a flight attendant."

Family situation

At the moment her daughter still lives at home, and Hetty is very happy with that. She really enjoys the days they spend together as a family. On days off, she prefers to be on the beach with her husband and children, for which you only have to walk down the street. "There we eat and drink together, and the children can swim." She enjoys the Sugar Feast just a little more - “absolutely the most beautiful day of the year, because that's when the whole family comes together”.

Hetty has a calm look in her eyes throughout our conversation and speaks in a calm, soft voice. Yes, with more income they could build a better house, and she would like to expand her shop with it. But you don't hear her complaining. "All I want is to grow old peacefully in this village." It would be nice if the children find an even better life elsewhere. "As long as they come back every now and then - at least once a year for the Sugar Feast."

Elected as the most sustainable company in the Netherlands

Verstegen was elected as the most sustainable company in the Netherlands. The award is an initiative of the Dutch foundation for carbon neutrality (Stichting Nederland CO2 Neutraal) in Driebergen. In the foundation’s search for the most sustainable company in the Netherlands, Verstegen was chosen as a worthy winner. For example, we started an agroforestry program and we help pepper farmers improve their harvests with the use of geo-data.