Meet the Honest Farmers

Meet the Honest Farmers, search the Honest Farmers directory, to find out more about our Honest Farmers and their bountiful produce.

Drop into the Forbes Visitor Information Centre to find out which of the Forbes Farm Gate stores are open to visitors, Farm Gate stores are seasonal. You can also look for the Forbes Honest Farming guide to local grocers and restaurants.

Local Produce Season
Grapes Sep-Jan
Blended Wines All Year
Milk Year Round
Peaches Oct-Feb
Plums Oct-Feb
Cherries Oct-Feb
Wheat Sep
Honey Year Round
Lamb Spring
Beef Year Round
Chickens Year Round
Eggs Year Round
Olives Year Round
Woolerina Year Round

Farm Gate Branding

In order to have transparency in farming Forbes Honest Farmers have developed Farm Gate brands. Farm Gate brands allow customers to track their produce back to the farmer and the farm. Their Honest Farming Practices are published, registered and accredited. Honest Farming Farm Gate brands empower the customer to choose produce that is healthy and protects our Honest Farmers against cheaper, less principled food imports.

Some of our Farm Gate brands include:

Forbes Honest Farming Lamb

Forbes Honest Farming Beef

Forbes Honest Farming Peaches

Forbes Honest Farming Olives

Forbes Honest Farming Wine

Forbes Honest Farming Wool Garments

Drop into Forbes Visitor Centre for a list of Forbes Honest Farmer's, Farm Gate brands.

Honesty in labelling

Honesty in labelling means not only full disclosure of the ingredients that impact health and well being of the consumer but also the management of misleading information. Forbes Honest Farming is not only about taking responsibility for honest labelling but also to take a role in educating the consumer on the interpretation of labelling. Our Honesty in labelling approach helps customers read a label for its environmental, health and well-being credentials.

Some tips to look for Honest Farming Produce

Check the country of origin, Australia has the highest standards of food production.

Beef - Look for Forbes free range beef.

Fruit - Buy Australian, especially Forbes produce, for low intervention produce

Grapes and wine - Look for the areas without industrial pollution, such as the wine produced in Forbes clean valleys.

Wool - when you buy Australian wool you are buying wool from sheep that have been grass fed and live a free-range life

Honest Farming - Cereal Growers

Today's cereal farmers are not working the ground like days in the past. A typical cereal farmer may till two to four times a year achieving a minimal till with a narrow point. A minimal till means nature does more and the farmer does less. Safe herbicides have allowed less mechanical tilling saving both on fuel and resources.

Minimum till is based on GPS technology where farmers can pinpoint their sowing activities sowing on previous sows. The pay off for Cereal Farmers is they need less burn off of crop stubble which is also a plus for the environment. In dry periods the top soil is retained by the stubble. When there is nothing to hold the soil down it is blown away. The stubble holds the moisture in it is also good organic matter going back into the soil reducing the need for added fertisilier.

Honest Farmer Grass Fed Cattle and Sheep

Like most livestock in Australia the cattle and sheep are grass fed in Forbes. While they are all grass fed throughout their life some of the cattle are brought into feedlots to fatten them up before they are sold to the market.

The cattle that go into a feedlot go for a period of around 30 days with the intention to put on a kilogram a day to fatten them up for export. In feedlots the cattle are fed 10% grain and protein while the rest is a mixture of straw and other food like orange peel. Feedlot farming is a very specialised practice, based on a precise nutritional science in line with high animal welfare standards with only the most highly qualified people taking cattle into their care in a feedlot.

Consumer Education

Economic sustainability in the changing fortunes of agriculture has also been important to Forbes Honest Farmers. Their high integrity farming has meant industries such as fruit and vegetables struggle against cheaper imports from less regulated countries. Education of the consumers has been vital to the economic sustainability of Honest Farmers. Today Honest Farmers have loyal markets with discerning customers who value not just the nutrition of the food they eat but the environmental integrity of the farm it was grown upon.

There are more trees on the farms than there was 20 to 30 years ago. The Honest Farmers know how to plant trees to create the best outcome for farms and biodiversity. Trees are valuable to stock as shade and for the cereal farmer trees protect the farm from wind which can blow seeds and topsoil away.

Trees on farms are also important wildlife corridors moving through farms to link one wilderness area to another. These wildlife corridors and the water points, such as small dams on farms, attract native animals. They are important escape routes for native animlas in times of drought and fire. Many Honest Farmers choose to leave the dead native trees on their land to encourage nesting by native birds.

There are many emus, wombats and kangaroos on the Forbes Honest Farms. In fact it is one of the best places to animal watch in NSW. In the past the Aboriginal people fired the land which provided grass in the understory. Today the bushland is not fired, making the country impenetrable in places. Animals often can no longer survive in the bush because they can’t run through it so the animals are attracted to the grassy farms.

Forbes is the start of the real country in NSW, with wide open spaces, where visitors often see the six foot plus giants, the Big Red Kangaroos, Eastern Greys and Emus. Riding on the back of the ute with binoculars gives the animal lover uninterrupted views of herds of native animals darting across the landscape.

Forbes farms are a great place for bird lovers. The lakes, river, dams and wetlands attract an abundance of native birds. The farm’s gum trees often house a flock of 20 white cockatoos at once, ducks regularly circle in to rest on dams and everyday visitors will see tiny sparrows feed on grain and weeds on farm floors.