There’s no denying that single use plastics are increasingly unpopular with consumers as awareness grows surrounding their environmental impact. There are even some consumers who’ve gone or are attempting to go completely plastic free. For a business, cutting back on plastics is no easy task and can’t be achieved overnight. However, by making a few simple switches and some smart supplier choices you can start making a difference. Here are a few of the Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors helping you to do just that.
Cling film, a staple of many food businesses, has traditionally been tough to find an alternative for, that is until Natural Wraps came along. Natural Wraps make handmade beeswax and vegan-friendly rice bran wax food wraps as alternatives to cling film. They are reusable, easy to clean and last around a year, after which time they are fully compostable – making them a perfect addition to any farm shop, deli or garden centre.
BIDBI make branded cotton canvas bags as an eco-friendly, fairly traded alternative to plastic carrier bags. Their high quality, 100% natural cotton bags act as a sustainable marketing tool or ethical accessory for your business or event. It’s a simple, sustainable switch any business could easily embrace.
Premium frozen food specialists, Field Fare, were eco-trailblazers 40 years ago. Today they continue the quest for zero-waste by actively pushing their stockists to offer Bring Your Own Container options on their loose serve lines. MD, Karen Deans, tells us why:
“Sustainability has been a central Field Fare concern for over 40 years, and in 2018 we began a proactive push to encourage stockists of our loose frozen lines to enable their customers to bring reusable containers to fill with our fruit, veg, fish and baked goods. We were already offering branded, biodegradable bags, but the scoop-and-serve business model that we’d introduced back in 1987 was ready made for taking the next step towards zero waste, buoyed by a 5,000-strong Iceland survey revealing that 80% of shoppers would welcome a plastic-free shop.
Uptake was initially hesitant but is now growing exponentially and the fringe benefits for our stockists have been surprising and wonderful. As a unique offer, many report that it has created a destination point out of their shops. It has given them a reason to talk meaningfully to their customers, whether through social media and shop signage, through discounting offers for those bringing their own containers or through their local press. And as most of our 400 stockists are independent garden centres and farm shops, it has underlined their connection with the environment, with farming and the local community and has vicariously provided a ‘responsible and forward-thinking retailer’ rubber-stamp. Precisely the gold dust results that the multiples are currently chasing, in fact.”
The team at Inkreadible Labels tell us that the printed labels used on food product packaging generally have a lamination to them and this means they are durable and can have a variety of distinct finishes. However, they are not often biodegradable. For brands contemplating biodegradable product packaging and labelling, it’s well worth chatting to the Inkreadible Labels team about their offering. They provide biodegradable and compostable labels that are uncoated, wood free printing paper composed of 95% sugar cane fibres and 5% hemp and linen, that are specifically designed for complete packaging that should be biodegradable. The adhesive used also conforms with EN 13432 specifications and is therefore considered to be compostable and biodegradable.
Two Farmers are the first hand cooked crisp brand to launch in 100% compostable bags. The bags take 26 weeks to compost in a home composter and 12 weeks in an industrial facility. However, their eco-credentials don’t stop there. The company uses award-winning potatoes grown on their farms in Herefordshire, never more than 2 miles away. They proudly slice and hand-cook in small batches before flavouring them in the finest locally sourced ingredients. Their Lightly Salted crisps are flavoured with Droitwich Salt which is harvested by hand just 40 miles away from Two Farmers at Churchfields Saltworks. Two farmers also use renewable energy produced on their farm. If you’re looking for a unique, sustainable product with low food miles, compostable packaging and provenance flavours – a visit to the Two Farmers stand is a must.
These are just a few of the sustainable brands exhibiting at The Farm Shop and Deli Show this year. Register to attend the show to discover new suppliers who could help you achieve your environmental goals.