Posted: 12 September 2013 7:33 pm Edited by: Ellen Couzens
Twenty one years ago, a biscuit baked from the oats of the Duchy Home Farm in Tetbury made its debut. Today, that biscuit is part of a wide range of organic products from the Duchy Originals brand that has, over the past two decades, raised £11,000,000 for a wide range of charities.
Prince Charles was met with opposition and naysayers when he introduced his Duchy Originals line of organic products created on his very own Highgrove Estate. The media was not kind to His Royal Highness’s initial foray into the organic food industry. Many claimed that this was a project based on ego. Others continually published negative and disparaging pieces in which it seemed they wanted the Prince to fail.
When the idea came about, organic farming was not as popular or conventional as it is today. As a few years passed, people began to realise the benefits of buying organic. Now, “83 percent of UK households still buy organic products, with dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables being the most popular organic products,” according to a report published in January 2013 by the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
Fast forward twenty-one years later and Prince Charles can bear witness that the Duchy Originals product line spans over 230 items, is available in 30 countries, since 2009 has been a partner with Waitrose in the UK, and is by far one of the most profitable endeavours ever undertaken for charity!
The Prince of Wales is an ardent supporter of organic farming. Prior to the introduction of Duchy Originals, he transformed the Duchy Home Farm into a wholly organic farm. Along with Duchy Originals, the Home Farm is also a sustainable and efficacious business. One of the Prince’s greatest accomplishments at the Home Farm is that of the Vegetable Box Scheme. This project provides locally produced fresh organic vegetables and fruit to well over 140 families in the area.
As they strolled in the grounds of Clarence House yesterday, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall welcomed purveyors and patrons to the 21st birthday celebration. Guests along with Their Royal Highnesses were provided with samples of many of the products created from Duchy Originals ingredients. “The Prince of Wales has a close relationship with all of us,” purveyor and pig farmer James Keith told The Telegraph.
Singing Happy Birthday and enjoying birthday cake, Prince Charles reflected to The Telegraph and crowd at Clarence House, “When you start something like this, you never think it’s going to last longer than five years, and when you launch the first product you wonder if anyone is going to buy it.”
Cheers to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Duchy Originals and all those involved, to many more years of producing their products.