You never know what actually happens to your food. It happens everywhere; lying and cheating and messing around. A cherry farm is no different. The cherry season has ended, but the cheating continues. The cherries all go through a quality check, but if it didn’t pass, there was always a solution or the quality checker was asked to close her eyes.
“Test this box. Is it better?”
“What about this one?”
“O well, it’s all we’ve got, so just lie about it.”
A few days later I am asked to re-sticker some 1kg boxes. We pull of the old ones and replace them. So what has changed? The production date is suddenly three days later, indicating fresher cherries, and the size of the cherries has grown from 28mm to 30mm.
There are a lot of cherry varieties. Some days we get a lot of different kinds through the machine. So what is left at the end of the day is a few half filled pallets with cherries. The supermarkets expect one variety per pallet. No problem! We will get some new lids with different stamps and magically the Vista is turned into Stella.
Since we don’t get any new cherries (the picking has stopped), we have to make do with what’s left in the cool room. We’ve got one pallet with all the stuff we didn’t sell in the past two weeks. It is a mess with different varieties and mostly cherries that are too red, so not mature enough. So when I finally have time I put on my gloves and start stirring through the cherries. Some boxes have cherries with hair on them. Others are falling apart and look rather brown. Yet others are mouldy. I take all the ugly ones out and put the rest in a box. I still have to try to sell these cherries. With a discount, but still…