As part of our 'From Farmer to You' series we continue to chat with independent zero-waste shops up and down the country. We discover their missions to reduce waste, to revive the high street, and to support the local community.
Next up is Kelly Moylan, owner of Zero Waste Pantry in Wrington, and we discuss how supporting smallholder farmers can help create a sustainable, transparent and ethical food-future.
SM: What inspired you to open Zero Waste Pantry?
KM: My journey started about three years ago when I began looking at the amount of unrecyclable packaging that we were inadvertently bringing into the house. One of the main things that were causing me the most concern was food packaging and the inability to purchase only what I needed. After being inspired by 'Earth, Food, Love' in Totnes, an opportunity came up to open a shop in my village; I had to give it a try.
SM: What advice would you give to those wanting to start shopping more ethically?
KM: Advice that I would give to those wanting to shop more ethically is first to do what is manageable for you. Starting small and slowly helps to cement the permanent changes that we need to make for our world to survive. I research everything before I buy it now from clothes to cleaning products, even my toaster when that broke. I personally think that as consumers, we need to look at the products we're buying to understand the true cost of things. For Farmers and Producers to get a fair price for their products, this is the only way to be sustainable long term for all involved.
SM: Is it important for you to support smallholder farmers in Africa?
KM: For me personally and for Zero Waste Pantry I like that Storimarket is working directly with smallholder farmers in Africa. If we are to eat products that are not native to our country, then we need to know where they are coming from. We should want to see how the farmers' are being treated and whether the money we are spending is being fairly distributed. I would always rather pay more money for a well-produced product that tastes amazing and know that I am helping to end poverty in communities.
SM: What do you like about what Storimarket is trying to achieve?
KM: I really like that Storimarket is bringing the products they supply to life and that you offer transparency within the supply chain. It is also important that you make sure the products are ethical, and you support smallholder farmers directly. I enjoy seeing and sharing the stories of the farmers on the Storimarket social media sites and talking to my customers about why the products are so much better ethically than the alternatives!
SM: What do you and your customers think about our products?
KM: My customers love the products; the mango is particularly popular with the pineapple and passion fruit the next favourite. They always comment on how much nicer and fresher it tastes over other products they have previously bought. For me, personally, coming from Darwin, Australia, the mango takes me back to my childhood. I've not had dried mango that is so true to taste since coming to the UK! I am so pleased to be stocking as many Storimarket products in our Pantry as possible.