30 Years ago we made our way to France. We were looking for wineries that gave as much importance to craft and organic farming as we did. Because good wine is created in our eyes with nature, not against nature. Luckily we found what we were looking for, so on our trip home we had a small selection of French wine in our luggage. So it happened that in 1988 we founded a small wine trade called „VivoLoVin“ in Bremen.
Three decades later, the small wine trade has become a versatile wine importer and wholesale specialist for organic wines, and the small assortment has become one with 500 wines from all over Europe.
VivoLoVin, the Quinta do Romeu winery (since 1874 in the Douro Valley) and Fairtransport, a company that transports goods across the oceans with zero-emission sailing ships, have joined forces for the project „Westerlies – sailed Wein“.
Fairtransport is committed to emission-free transport. Andreas Lackner, one of the three founders, describes their idea as follows: „For 5,000 years merchandise was transported by sailing ships and then in the 19th century the engine was invented and thwarted the whole concept of sailing ship traffic. We wanted to use the environmentally friendly effect of transporting goods only with wind power without oil-powered engines. All we had to do was find a way to make it profitable again. “
Most of the freights are organic or naturally produced, traditionally produced and / or fairly produced – such as olive oil, wine and rum from small craft businesses. Emission-free transport makes sense and is consistent. In addition, Fairtransport aims to raise awareness of sustainable goods traffic, especially in the modern shipping industry.
We have been working closely together with João Menéres, the winemaker of Quinta do Romeu, since 2015.
We already implemented the „sailed Wine” project in 2017.
The idea of Fair Transport is supported by Vivolovin and the Quinta do Romeu. Why? VivoLoVin stands for: sustainable and ecologically produced wines, fair and partnership-based trade relations with winemakers. Quinta do Romeu, in turn, operates a certified organic farm. The Menéres family has been working organic since 1997, has been fully certified since 2000 and and since 2012 in biodynamic farming. In addition to the deliberate renunciation of ‚chemical aids‘ João Menéres follows a holistic, social and fair idea in dealing with inside and outside the company.
With our project „Westerlies – sailed Wine“ we transport again on an old route wine emission-free to Bremen. Quinta Do Romeu and VivoLoVin want to set an example for sustainable goods Trading. A return to old transport routes and the fact that the Hanseatic city of Bremen has been a traditional wine capital for many centuries.
How did this idea of working with Fairtransport come together? „I got to Fairtransport making friends, which is the best way to get anywhere.First I met Anton Mann (wine importer and mentor of the project Port O’Bristol) through a winemaker and good friend who was my table neighbor at a natural wine tasting in Porto.
Anton, his wife Lela and I became good friends in the meanwhile. They have a very free spirit and are very active members of the Sail Cargo Alliance. Their moto is “MADE BY REBELS, SHIPPED BY PIRATES, DRUNK BY HEROES”, although we all know Fairtransport are the exact opposite of pirates I guess many “land people” imagines them having a kind of “piratyish” atmosphere on the sea and like to see themselves as the heroes in the end.
Anton was the first one who asked me to sail my products and shortly after I was loading my first cargo of olive oil and wine to the Nordlys to go to Bristol.
The Nordlys and Tres Hombres (sister boat of Nordlys that sails across the Atlantic) are coming to Porto every year and that’s how I met first Captain Andreas Lackner and afterwards Captain Lammert Osinga, from the Nordlys. I started to hang out with Lammert and his crew when she was moored in Porto and a friendship has started from there. Lammert also came and stayed with us at Quinta do Romeu, experiencing in loco the flavors, human warmth and nature with his six senses.
I got contagious with the sailing spirit and, realizing how it is a real change, created the Westerlies to bring to the bottle wines that reflect this natural, wild and energetic character of the sea. We never sold a single bottle of Westerlies that didn’t go aboard a sailing boat.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I had to talk about this with VivoLoVin and Kai Schamar, who I knew to be a sailor himself, a hunter of characterful wines and very conscious of the impact of human behavior on the fragile balance of nature and the world’s sustainability.
The personal relationship and knowing and trusting well the others’ work, plays a very important role in this partnership with Fairtransport and VivoLoVin. It makes all the difference and, by getting back to basics, marks a departure from the rhythm dictated by trendsetters and high finance that is often followed by most modern production and trading activities.” João Menéres.
The arrival of the „sailed wine“ is planned for the end of October. This year we not only ship red Westerlies, but also a small edition of white Westerlies, as well as olive oil in small bottles as well as in 3 l tins and Portwein Quinta do Trovisca. All wines and olive oil come from the Quinta do Romeu, are naturaly handcrafed and organically grown. The only product that does not come from the Quinta do Romeu is the Portwein. Of course, this product is made just as much under the biological aspects.
The goods are shipped with the „Nordlys“, the oldest cargo ship in the world to the “Gläserne Werft” of the Schiffergilde e.V. in the „Neuer Haven“ to Bremerhaven. Westerlies are the prevailing winds blowing from the west in the the north of the Atlantic Ocean, the driving force for sailing ships on their way across the Atlantic to Europe. Even the „Nordlys“, without any engine aboard, relies on this wind power. The „Nordlys“ and the sister ship the „Tres Hombres“ are operated by the Dutch shipping company Fairtransport.
This year, we do not just want to transport more wine and olive oil, but we will transport the goods from Bremerhaven with the historic Weser ferry „Franzius“ to Bremen and from there, so it is planned, with cargo bikes to individual retail customers and restaurateurs – Bikes will be also carrying the wines to our main warehouse at Bremen Neustadt.
By sea transport, the transport with the traditional Weserkahn and the use of cargo bikes in Bremen, we want to make Bremen, in a joint action with the various actors involved, Bremen’s trade, port and shipping history come alive. At the same time, the project is an exemplary reference to the risks and solutions of current challenges. As a port, logistics and trading city, Bremen was and is dependent on being able to react flexibly to any change. No matter if the environmental conditions change radically or if technical or regional and international coordinates change. The Weserkahn, Bremerhaven, the Lower Weser and the city Bremen ports represent this adaptability of Bremen. Wine and olive oil are traditional Bremian merchandise, which established the reputation of the city and continues to this day.
Thus, the project „sailed Wine“ combines central themes of the Bremen harbor and commercial history with the current challenges of progressive climate change and the necessary reorientation of urban logistics and mobility concepts.
When you choose to do business with Fairtransport Shipping Company, you are not just moving your cargo; you are investing in the idea of clean shipping and you are investing in the future and yourself. Shipping with Fairtransport reduces your carbon emissions during transportation by 90%. Move your cargo today! Learn more: http://fairtransport.eu/shipping/ or email email@example.com
We are navigating our way from Den Helder to the southern peninsula of Europe.
When you are sailing the North Atlantic waters in the early months of the year, the weather conditions might be sometimes a bit rough.
Fortunately there are nowadays good weather forecasts for the first days to come. The depressions developing on the Atlantic Ocean are moving northeast over the continent and bring us the southwesterly gales. Keeping a good eye on the forecast can be life saving. With this in mind we had to make a stop in Brixham and another one in Douarnenez.
While we were there and waiting for fair weather, we were able to do maintenance on the ship, we tested our new anchor winch and worked on sail training. Provisions for the ship came from local farmers.
Fellow sailors, shipwrights, local merchants and friends came by on the Nordlys. Creating a stable market and expanding ideas for the Fairtransport enterprise.
We departed from Douarnenez on a shiny sunday morning and tacked our way towards the Atlantic Ocean. The Bay of Biscay is well known for its rough seas and has to be avoided in the certain weather conditions.
With a ship like Nordlys you will need about four or five days of fair winds to cross this bay. This brings us to were we are right now. We are sailing southwards on the Atlantic swell about 150 nautical miles from Porto.
On board we are nine crew, so eighteen hands to handle the sails, ropes and rudder, preparing food and so forth..
As a team in the rhythm of the sea.
Porto will be our first harbor where we charge cargo of all kind. The hold will be filled with organic products from the Douro region. We will bring these products by wind and sail to the northern countries of the continent.
Transport makes it possible to eat delicious olives, taste an excellent olive oil,use Atlantic sea salt for your meals and enjoy a natural wine, in for example England, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark and so forth. Products which are not only produced in a nature friendly way, but also transported so. Sometimes the work on the land is slightly harder, sometimes the transport takes a bit longer… The taste of it all is definitely better! Respect the laws of nature. And nature gives it back.
captain Lammert Osinga
Today is our first full day underway since leaving Brixham harbour yesterday afternoon. After a week in port, the crew is feeling well rested, a little broke, satiated by gallons of beer and the good times enjoyed ashore. Rearing to go, the lines were cast off and the ship towed out of harbor under the power of her yawlboat and that of a friendly local skipper, Brixham native Tony Knight.
Brixham was a fine place to spend a week while the ‚Irish hurricane‘ Ophelia and her companions blew past turning the Channel and Irish sea into maelstroms. The natural shelter provided by the tall headlands kept our ship out of the winds. During the downtime we were able to make some repairs to important ship’s equipment, refresh our provisions and eat what are perhaps the best fish and chips in the world.
A few days in, our sister ship the Nordlys arrived to wait out the weather and for some days we were able to share meals, stories and good times with our other half. At our favorite pub, musicians and revelers alike from both ships staged a foc’s’le music takeover and the barman kindly indulged us to play our music and carry on until closing.
With the weather past and all hands rearing to go, the crew dropped the tow and set the full complement of sails in a few minutes while the ship bobbed off the breakwater during a calm sunny afternoon. After a tack or two in Tor Bay to keep off the shore, the wind filled in very favorably from the south and enabled the Tres Hombres to slip out of the bay and into deeper water. Later in the evening, as if on cue, the wind switched around to the south west and we began to progress towards the English Channel and our route towards Brittany.
Name: Conor McGowan
How did you hear of Fairtransport?
Two years ago I became curious in sail- freight and did some searching on the internet. At this time I was working in the tall ship industry and my goal was to somehow eventually join the crew of Tres Hombres. I’m so trilled to finally be here!
Why did you want to join Tres Hombres?
Like many others, I have a dream that sailing ships and their culture will return to prominence in the modern world by the virtue of their power to transport cargoes across the world without the use of fossil fuels.
I wanted to see for myself the real thing in action, the logistics and procedures and craft of sail cargo, and Tres Hombres (Fairtransport) was pretty much the only operation making it a reality.
What do you expect from this voyage?
Learning to handle a ship without the assistance of auxiliary power is a true test of seamanship and a virtually nonexistent practice in our time.
I know that the demands of this undertaking will teach me so much in the space of these coming months that I could notexpect to learn on a similar vessel that runs on engine power.
I’m humbled by the scope of undertaking and eager to learn all that I can from this ship. And as Always look forward to become friends with my shipmates as we bond under the shared experiences of our voyage. The connections you forge out there at sea, on a ship, are so strong and true. You don’t easily find that kind of bond on land.
Lastly but not least, the traveling is an adventure too and I’m excited to reach new ports and add to my knowledge of the world.
Fairtransport is like a spark. It started a fire, which is getting bigger and starts spreading around. The old way and the natural way of transporting is part of a bigger movement in the modern time. More and more the agriculture is taking a step backwards and a lot of farmers are producing natural again. More and more people start using of local products again. More and more recycling is going on. More and more people are taking care of their energy use, and so forth. Altogether more and more care for „mother earth“ ; Our habitat!
Unfortunately there is still a stubborn group of people who still believe in capitalistic way of living and following the rules of the free market economy; Ruining the earth by doing so.
And a big group of people who are not really aware and just live the spoiled way of the western society.
There is momentarily however, a growing amount of protest against this way of living. We don’t want to eat gen-food, We don’t want our forests to be chopped away, We don’t want to stand in traffic-jams every day, We don’t want to breath polluted air and so forth.
We, the people, should demand back our freedoms and the more natural way of living. Protest alone doesn’t help; „Be the change you want to see“. Giving the example and inspire the people around you. I believe this is the best you can do. One moment we will reach the critical mass.
Since I started to work with Fairtransport, I saw the amount of cargo growing, after Tres Hombres came Nordlys and also others started transporting goods with their sailingships. A group of people with an ideal and a goal. A truly greener world; Our origin,our source.
If you search for the meaning of the word „economy“, you will find words like „thrift“ and „providence“, also „careful management of available resources“ and „sparing or careful use of something“.
So lets start to live a healthy economy together.
Change is not easy and doesn’t happen in one day. Stimulate this slow revolution and live more with nature again. We are trying and doing the best we can with Fairtransport;
Cargo by wind and sail!
Captain Lammert Osinga
We are under sail again. Tacking our way out of the Bay of Biskay and heading for Fowey in Cornwall.
Two beautiful days we spend in another little paradise. At our arrival, it looked like, if almost all the people of the village L’Herbaudiere, were standing at the pier to welcome us. Assisted by the SNSM rescue boat, we could enter the harbor.
At Ile de Noirmoutier we unloaded a part of the portugese olive oil.
All the olive oil was already sold. Everybody came directly to the ship to pick up their share of this delicious oil.
This was a interesting happening with a tasting session at the quay.
Several articles appeared in the local newspaper. We were the talk of the island for a couple of days.
All this was made possible by Alexandra Geldenhuys from „New Dawn Traders“ and Alex Etourneau who imported the olive oil.
Also thanks to Etienne and his friends, who introduced us to the island, invited us for a delicious meal and helped us a lot in many ways.
Thank you Noirmoutier.
Captain Lammert Osinga
Nordlys had finished the Baltic voyage earlier this year. The ship was loaded with natural wine from France for Copenhagen, Bornholm and Rostock. From there we made a stop in Den Helder and prepared for a southern cargo trip. On our way to Porto we made a stop in Devon, a region on the southern coast of England.
Brixham is a little historic harbor in the Torbay. This is a good bay to shelter for the westerly storms.
Over here we waited till the first autumn storms passed by. Sorlandet,(a Norwegian Tallship) also bounded south,
was at anchor outside in the bay. She was taking shelter, just like us.
While being here, we could do little maintenance on the ship. Caulking, pitching, rigging work and so forth.
Brixham is the home port for several Sailing Trawlers like Nordlys. They do charter-sailing their goal is to bring the people out of the cities and take them into nature.
It was a beautiful view to see Nordlys moored together with these similar traditional sailing ships. With their crews we were able to exchange knowledge about Sailing Trawlers and spending a good time together. Our good friend Tony Knights, skipper of the Leader, was also around and of great help. We had a useful stop and a good time with the sailors from Brixham.
Last Thursday morning we set sail again, since the forecasts showed a good weather window to cross the Bay of Biskay.
Jeroen is the cook on board and providing us every day with delicious food. He supplied our stock with beautiful seasonal products from local farmers and producers. It takes a bit more time, but it is so much better than the supermarketfood. Good food which stays longer fresh, are stored in the galley now. The taste of this vegetables and fruits are just fantastic.
At the moment we are sailing southwards in the Biskay and making a good progress. Next port of call is Porto. This old town is situated on the mouth of the river Douro. Porto and the Douro were of great value in the era of sail concerning in- and export of goods for the country. We will be moored in the Douro estuary and going to charge a well amount of precious goods from Portugal.
We have Olive-oil, Almond-oil, Salt, Natural Wine and Port Wine, to fill our cargo-hold with. These wares are bound for the more northern parts of the European continent, like France, England, Germany and the Netherlands.
We will be able to tell everybody the story of the producers and their way of working.
Fairtransport completes the tale, by the way these products are being transported. The cargo-hold of Nordlys will be completely filled; Almost thirty tons of beautiful products from Portugal we have to move by wind and sail. More and more cargo-owners like to see their goods being transported overseas by sail. They are also willing to pay a little more, for a better cause
Captain Lammert Osinga
“we incarnate! shipwrights to sailors, riggers to bosuns, masters to mariners, craftsmen to crewmates,
swallows to seafarers and back again, a host of hunched helmsmen huddled at the helm at the change of
the watch, tin cups and steam, Polaris pointing, dream whispering, passing over, passing on, heading? to the chart´s
edge, to the celestial horizon…we ascend to the sun on wings of tanned canvas stretched, we ascend to the sun
and sink again, woken singing from bunks, woollens, oilskins, foredeck worship, galley gathered around saucepans
and stove, gas flame and kettle with the wind sou´west now…rain off sou´wester, rain on his spectacles as
knuckles knot money for old rope at the gates of the Baltic…his hands too shall grow old and coiled and his spectacle
eyes shall knot the threads of this yarn at the gates of death…we incarnate! don´t miss us, we shall never return,
don´t lament us, we were never here, we are dancing with sails, we are dancing with winds, let us go, cast off all
lines, we incarnate and you shall find us anew, after the passage of the ship´s clock, after these circles round the
sun, after all, we incarnate!”
After a winter of hard work on the ship, we departed from Den Helder on the twenty-first of July. The cargo hold stacked with the finest organic wines from France.
Nordlys was eager to go back to sea. She has been sailing already for a long time in the Northern European waters. An old lady she is but still loaded with energy. This time we set a northerly course. The most beautiful natural wines from France have to be transported to Copenhagen, Bornholm and Rostock.
To Copenhagen we transport the wine for Sune. Together with Pontus and Sete, Sune is running a wine import business, called Rosforth & Rosforth. Since 2012 we are transporting wine for Sune. The very warm welcome was a feast for life. Delicious food prepared by Mamen, together with the best wines you can imagine.
Wednesday we were unloading the wine and labeling every bottle with a Fair Transport logo. This label is telling the story the bottle. Biological goods, transported by the sails and by the wind.
From Copenhagen we sailed further into the Baltic. Gudhjem is a little old fishing harbor on the north side of the island Bornholm. Over here Maria and Thomas own the beautiful wine-restaurant Provianten. It is located in the truly marvellous harbor of Gudjem. Again, we were having a feast for life. We enjoyed an incredible meal, combined with incredible revolutionary ideas.
The next day we were unloading the cargo, Jens was playing the violin, spectators came by to see this curious happening in this little harbor. Mystical moments we experience when we are underway; at sea and in the harbors we come.
I would like to thank you all for these truly, incredible moments of joy and love. Sune, Pontus, Sete, Mamen and everybody else from Copenhagen. Maria, Thomas,George, Jens and all the others from Gudhjem. Together we start to set the new norm. Away with fast-food chains and stinking ships !
Right now we are in Rostock, delivering the wines for Frank Schollenberger. Television was filming and lots of people came by while we were unloading the freight out of the Nordlys’ cargo hold.
At the moment a yearly sailing festival is happening; Hanse Sail Rostock. Here we can promote our project and inspire people to live another way of living. A way of living which is better for our home. Our home being planet earth.
Fair Transport is getting more and more known in Europe. Inspiring the world, for creating a better life; A life of natural beauty, instead of …… A life of being honest to our selves.
Come and transport your freight with us, right now. Let’s take one step back so we can go forward. http://fairtransport.eu/shipping/
Hold and enjoy.
This is not a story of adventures only. This is more a story of necessity.
The Tres Hombres carved the path for sustainable transport… but this is just the beginning. It is our goal to expand our cargo fleet to include many more ships working under sail. This will diminish delays in our supply chain along the entire shipping line.
The Nordlys, at 48 tons and 25m loa, was recently refitted by Fairtransport. Manoeuvered entirely by the power of the wind she is possibly the worlds oldest cargo ship (1873) still working.
She is at the moment operating in the European coastal trade. Originally a fishing trawler, nowadays she is able to carry a maximum of 30 tons of wine, olive oil, cider or other goods. Besides that Nordlys will raise awareness about the huge amounts of pollution, created by the modern shipping industry and affect positive change in the way goods are shipped around the world.
The ships in our fleet are owned by shareholders firms. This makes it possible for you to take part as an investor of Nordlys. Already 75% total of the shares are sold.
A business plan with more information can be acquired via firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form on our website: http://fairtransport.eu/shipbuilding/invest-contact-form/