A lot of people are upset that Biobest is currently not updating or restocking goods. As a customer, I completely understand how frustrating it is to make a wasted journey to only have empty shelves. For a while now, Biobest has been thinking about moving to a new store location, and it appears (fingers crossed) that management will make a final decision before Ramadan. I want to also tell you that shouting abuse at the store retail person is not the way to go. He is only following given instructions and is not part of the final decision making process. For now, I guess all we can do is wait and I will update you if I hear anything sooner.
I’m currently not in Riyadh at the moment so can’t verify how empty the shelves are. If you’re planning to visit the store, I urge you to call ahead to see if they have what you want to buy, and to save an unnecessary trip.
In the meantime, Danube/Tamimi/Lulu stock limited organic foods. Watania also sells organic food and vegetables, If there’s something that you need specifically, shoot me an email and I’ll let you know if it’s available, and where to buy it.
Finally, you probably know that it’s summertime in Riyadh. This is the time of the year where there is limited fresh organic produce. The products that you see are grown in greenhouses, which bring increased energy and water costs. Organic farming is also very labour intensive compared to commercial farming, and since many expats are leaving or changing professions, there are fewer workers available. The ones who want to work are charging double or triple their previous salary. i can’t vouch for all organic farmers, but many organic farms are still starting out and are not owned by wealthy individuals. Consequently, prices of organic foods will increase slightly to reflect economic changes, and will stay like this until November.
If you have no choice but to use non-organic food, there are things you can do to remove some of the pesticide residue. For example, always soak your fruits and vegetables in a vinegar water solution before use. This also keeps the produce fresher for longer. Peel your fruit and vegetables before eating too. (I will write a more detailed post on this soon.)
Anyway, hope you all have a great Sunday. Again, I’l let you know if I hear the final decision sooner.
PS As I get this question a lot, I’ll answer it here. “No, I do not own Biobest, nor do I work for the company. No, they are not paying me or sponsoring this post.”
One more question that I’ll answer here is “will we be selling the produce for our farm?” There are rules and regulations and minimum time limits that we have to comply with before we sell our produce in stores, so for now, we can’t label or sell them as organic. But we can give them away for free, which we have been doing.