There are always little buzz-words and catch-phrases that can tell you, in retrospect, just which time-zone they were in. Remember fibre? These days it’s low GI. Remember low-fat? Now it’s 97% fat-free. (Thanks, Catherine Saxelby, for those updates.) There is a new word in the food business now; the word is provenance. With the advent of mad cow disease and foot and mouth disease, people are anxious to know exactly where their food was coming from. Who bred the beef? What pastures were they grazed on? This is something that makes Farmers’ Markets so popular – we like to know we’re speaking to the man who grew the potatoes, tomatoes or cherries we’re buying.
Although we don’t grow the herbs and spices we produce – we’re not farmers – we hope you feel that a Herbie’s product carries the provenance you want, because of the trust you have in us. Some spices, like coriander, cumin, pepper and mustard, are commodities in the world market, while others, like grains of paradise and file powder are niche products that take some finding. Then, always, vanilla and saffron stand apart; many traders have product to sell, but with enormous variations in the quality offered. Over the years we have become familiar with many sneaky little tricks of the trade, to disguise poor quality or fake products. Our job is to seek out the best we can, wherever in the world it comes from, and to make it available for you. Our integrity is your provenance.