Storimarket didn’t set out to be a supplier to zero waste shops. We set out to bring consumers food with a story of social impact and sustainability, which would provide a fair market for small farmers and producers in Africa. However, along the way we realised we couldn’t talk about sustainability without tackling the biggest issue of our time: plastic waste. We’ve already blogged about our simple choice about packaging, but by working with zero waste stores such as Zero Green in Bristol we realised we could do even more!
Think about your typical food supply chain. Farmers sell to small buyers, small buyers to larger buyers, larger buyers to exporters, exporters to wholesalers, wholesalers to retailers...and finally from retailers to you. At each stage, your food may be unpacked and repacked. Of course, the unnecessary plastic packaging we get from supermarkets is obvious (and we applaud Greenpeace for their continued - and thought provoking - protests against such waste). However, what’s less obvious is the amount of waste in the supply chain.
Zero waste stores likes Zero Green are not just removing the waste that we see, but also the waste we don’t. They are asking their suppliers about their supply chains and asking them to take back and reuse any packaging used in delivery. And this is where zero waste becomes exciting for Storimarket and something we’re starting to look at for all our products.
Take our delicious dried mangoes from Kenya, now available at Zero Green. From the farm to Azuri Health’s drier, rice bags such as in the picture below are used - and reused again and again. Once dried, Azuri Health packs them in recyclable aluminium foil. And that’s it! The very same foil protects the dried mango from Kenya until it reaches Zero Green’s shelves. As we said, we didn’t set out to be a supplier to zero waste shops, but now want to work with them to remove waste from all our supply chains.