Sebastian Junge, Wolfs Junge
Sebastian Junge, founder and chef at Wolfs Junge, Hamburg, tell us why you consider organic certifications to be important?
– Wolfs Junge has been certified since day one. The most crucial aspect for us is that we consider the use of the soil so that we have harvestable ground for the future.
Do you miss out on smaller scale producers that cannot afford the certification?
– The question we should all be asking is not whether we are excluding or missing out on smaller producers; rather, there is a bigger question, which is why politicians do not act upon a societal level to support agriculture so that the smaller producers can afford certification. Ecological and social benefits by smaller farms must be rewarded, because it’ in the interest of the public. Here, politicians need to act in the right way. Certifications must be affordable to encourage all people to act responsibly. Why not give certificates for free to small scale farmers acting responsibly? We still buy from smaller certified producers – a label they can afford because we pay them a higher price.
What is the most critical factor in your relationships with your producers?
– The most important aspect for me is to know the person behind the produce. I want to know their story. Usually we work with produce out of the area, but also we like to serve specialties like coffee or work with spices. Eg we pay around three times as much for our coffee, and I happily spend that money because I know that the people behind that coffee are treated fairly, and they treat their soil with equal respect and love as we do with the ingredients in our kitchen.