In October the engine-less classic sailing ketch Nordlys (built 1873 on the Isle of Wight) shipped 1000 litres of olive oil into Newhaven, from Porto, Portugal. This was the culmination of many months work, connecting us via the sea with our wonderful growers, the Reigado family, and bringing their delicious oil to the homes of our sail cargo pioneers – people who pre-ordered 5 litre tubs. This allowed us to pay the Reigados a fair price upfront, 40% of the sale price. We offer full transparency, with each tub including a breakdown of where the £10/litre goes. We have some oil left, in 750ml glass bottles (£10) and 5litre plastic tubs (£55) which you can order here… 

To make all this happen Sail Boat Project (a community sailing school) set up Sail Cargo South East, a partnership to look at establishing sail cargo routes using our own sail training vessels for potential cross channel routes, as well as Nordlys and other boats working longer passages. We are part of a wider network called the Sail Cargo Alliance, which brings together sail cargo vessels, growers and brokers. We are calling this way of working ‘community supported shipping’ and we are already looking at a second shipment into Newhaven around April 2018 with this year’s olive harvest. This will hopefully include: olive oil in wine box style cardboard packaging; whole olives, almonds and dried fruit; sea salt; Portuguese wine and port!

We’re looking for people to get involved with promotion, port logistics and planning and ideally sourcing a river boat to trans-ship the cargo into the heart of Lewes on the Ouse. So if you’re interested in putting Lewes on the map as a Sail Cargo Town and working towards zero emissions transport we’d love to hear from you!

Nordlys arriving at Newhaven


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