Updated: Jan 2, 2021
For a long time, customers have been picking goods off the supermarket shelves based on price with cheaper products ending up in shopping baskets with no questions asked on whether the ingredients used were sustainably sourced or not. Not sourcing sustainable materials may lead to lower-priced items that the market traditionally demanded but at what cost to the planet?
Greenpeace recently exposed the plight faced by orangutans due to excessive deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations. In Indonesia, forests are disappearing at the rate of one football pitch every 25 seconds, with over 100,000 orangutans having lost their lives in the past sixteen years. This shocking news has led to consumers waking up to the fact that we can no longer accept goods made with unsustainable ingredients, and shoppers are actively seeking food and drink products that offer supply chain transparency
It should be fundamental to always source sustainable ingredients from reputable farmers across the globe. Start-up and early-stage companies should have this mindset as a prerequisite, to cultivate close relationships with fair trade and certified farms to make sure that every step of the production process is ethical.
Supporting local communities where producers live and work, by providing on-going training for labourers is important. By investing in technologies and practices that prioritise a more sustainable way of living, it will mean that general advancement will filter down in all production chains, and the materials used to make them will be less harsh on the planet whilst also providing greener sustainable jobs.
We, as a company, help promote the use of sustainable materials, from stevia, organic dried fruits to Red Tractor approved milk are just a few ways we develop goods for our clients. In fact, we are so strict on who we accept as our partners that we regularly audit the suppliers we work with to ensure that they are compliant with every aspect of our tight guidelines – from safeguarding the workers and their rights to securing animal welfare, and protecting the environment.
The food and drink industry has a duty of care towards people's lives, and the use of sustainably sourced ingredients has to be considered a must for today’s manufacturers. Knowledge and extensive connections to finding trustworthy suppliers are no longer a daunting process and will help businesses who may have struggled in the past to make better choices that will benefit us all.