The Sustainable Seven
Now Open - 13 Castle Square
We know it sounds a little grand, but these are our founding aims;
We aim to provide a meaningful, sustainable, alternative to mainstream food shopping. To do that we aspire too;
Trade ethically, treating our customers, suppliers and neighbourhood with respect and decency.
Work to create a different choice to Supermarket shopping by finding sustainable alternatives to each food and non food category where possible.
Source as much of our food locally and work to promote local food networks.
Be an advocate for a world where we actively tackle the climate emergency we are living through.
Build long term relationships based on principles of co-operation and equality.
Work to link together our shop, the Sustainable Weigh, and our smallholding to create an entity capable of meaningful local impact.
Our guiding principles -
The Sustainable Seven
To bring our aims to life we need a practical checklist to work with on a dailiy basis. Simply put everything that we sell in our shop has to be there for a reason and those reasons are the 'sustainable seven'.
There is no universal definition of sustainable or sustainability so we've done our homework and come up with a list that we can use to help us decide what to stock. Sometimes products will contribute to more than one item on the list, sometimes two criteria will be in conflict. For example, we may choose to stock a local product even though it comes in plastic packaging. These are judgement calls that we'll make as we go along and it's not a precise science. We'll always welcome your feedback to help us make the best choices we can.
You'll see this list in store and colour coded information on the shelf edge will help you understand how each product can help you make a more sustainable choice.
The Sustainable Seven are:
1) Locally Sourced.
Locally grown and produced food helps cut food miles and the emissions associated with them. Strong local food networks also contribute to food diversity and help create stronger communities.
2) Contributes to reducing packaging.
Excess packaging drives waste and pollution. We all need to reduce the amount of packaging we either throw away or send for recycling. It's no longer enough to feel we're doing our bit by putting waste in our blue recycling tubs. We need to not generate it in the first place.
3) Offers an alternative to meat or dairy products.
Emissions associated with farming are a major contributor to global warming. In particular, farming of ruminants (cows etc) is a major source of methane. We're not here to tell people to go vegetarian or vegan, but we do believe that as a minimum, we need change our attitude to meat and dairy products and try and use alternatives at least some of the time.
4) Offers a Fairtrade or similarly ethically sourced alternative.
Fairtrade has made a huge difference over the last 30 years in helping to create more ethical, sustainable, supply chains. A lot of that work is under threat as big retailers and producers try an abandon Fairtrade and substitute their own, less opaque, schemes instead. It's vital we keep Fairtrade alive so we have a widely acknowledge standard consumers can believe in.
5)Provides a palm oil free option.
Palm oil is everywhere and it production contributes massively to the destruction of sensitive habitats in places like Indonesia. Currently it is not possible for us to offer a wide enough range of products that are totally palm oil free, such is it's ubiquity, but we'll work hard to find options that are free it.
6) Helps reduce food waste.
Food waste is a massive issue in the UK. Much of it occurs during the supply chain before it even reaches our shops but that doesn't mean that we as consumers don't need to make change as well. By buying only what we need, when we need to, we can help reduce the level of waste and emissions associated with wasted food.
7) Helps you Make it, Bake it, Grow it.
We all need to buy less. One effective way to do this is to make what we need. We'll be looking at items that help you make it or even grow it, to reduce our combined footprint. Even better, growing food, or learning new skills can really help with our mental health and sense of well being. It's another win-win!
And we have an aspirational eighth...
Comes from a source using sustainable water practices.
This is a long term aspiration for us. Water use is going to become much more of an issue in the years to come and we as consumers need to understand the impact our purchases are having on what will be an increasingly rare resource in many parts of the world. Currently the information just isn't there for us to make these choices but we will work hard to start to change that over time.