Waste Reduction Strategy
Conservation has always been a passion of mine, so I looked into ways I could affect change on a larger scale, especially through the manufacturing process. I made a conscious effort to choose glass jars despite plastic containers being cheaper, not breaking as easily, & are lighter for shipping because glass is
THE GOOD BEHIND WHAT YOU EAT
Waste Reduction Strategy
Conservation has always been a passion of mine, so I looked into ways I could affect change on a larger scale, especially through the manufacturing process. I made a conscious effort to choose glass jars despite plastic containers being cheaper, not breaking as easily, & are lighter for shipping because glass is sustainable, can be reused forever, repurposed, & easily recycled. I knew I wanted to encourage my customers to join my efforts so I offer 10% off their next jar if they returned an empty glass jar or showed me how they’re repurposing it.
Similarly, from the start using ugly produce has been at the core of my business model. Food waste is huge. I read that the UN Food & Agriculture Organization estimates a 1/3rd of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion tons per year. I see it as an injustice to the people who lack access to food. There’s no reason to go hungry in the 21st century. Food & water waste happens in every step of the process from growing, transporting, processing, & selling which likewise impacts the use of our croplands, fertilizer utilization, labor, energy, & greenhouse gases. Markets have conditioned people to look for perfect produce & will avoid anything that doesn’t measure up to specific appearance standards. However, the growing process is far from perfect with uncontrollable weather, temperature, & soil conditions. This is where the B-grade, ugly produce comes in. Farmers can’t sell those imperfect goods to the general market, but as far as we’re concerned like most things in life, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. We’re going to lovingly cut, crush, & blend the fresh delicious produce to be cooked into jam, so misshapen appearances, bruises, & discolorations do not matter. The farmers still make a living & nothing goes to waste. It’s all about small changes from contentious individuals making a difference in global issues.
We are mindful of our storage & cooling facilities so that nothing spoils under our watch. We have an efficient inventory management system to trace raw materials & components throughout procurement, production, & sales. We keep close track of our inventory, our system processes, & the supply chain to ensure we have the right quantities for the correct timing & to be sure that we can locate & move stock faster. If it does look like our fruits & vegetables are ripening too quickly, we cut, label, & freeze them for future use. Everything we produce for our regular line of preserves is freshly made, but we’ll be asked for special orders of things that aren’t in season & that’s when we let our customers know that we can do a just-in-time limited run for them with the produce we had stored away at the peak season that way nothing goes to waste.
One of the reasons we use the small-batch approach is to create less waste through quality control because an error or defect is caught immediately & the problem can be fixed before it affects other parts, moreover minimizing the expenditure of time, money, effort, & overproduction. Plus, we have made some recipe modifications to cut down on as much waste as possible. We have a variety of seasonal apple jams, jellies, chutneys, & butter so we were having a great deal of peels we didn’t want to waste. We tested a bunch of recipes & came up with what we initially called Scapple Jelly where we made juice from the peels & turned it into jelly. The name didn’t stick, but the jelly did & it became one of our best sellers. Furthermore, instead of buying pectin try to get it from our apple & citrus peels. We aren’t at the stage of having our own organic farm yet, but we do have little gardens at home so we compost the green food waste that can’t be repurposed & use it to grow our community gardens. Additionally, have started looking into waste exchange programs with local farmers to use our produce scraps to help feed their pigs, goats, & chickens.
In addition, there are some little things we do to reduce waste as well as such as print on both sides of the paper to reduce paper wastage, use recycled paper for our letterhead, email as often as we can, use a dishcloth instead of paper towels in the kitchen, avoid buying items that are over-packaged with foil, paper, & plastic & buy products in bulk to reduce excess packaging, purchase durable goods that are well-built & carry good warranties, & gently use, maintain, & repair as much as we can versus harshly using & immediately replacing equipment. We use energy-efficient light bulbs & appliances. We try to standardize as much as possible. We ask our major suppliers to cut down on packaging to only what is absolutely necessary. When we ship our preserves, we use air packs & as many recycled materials as possible for our cardboard packaging & at events, we give inexpensive canvas or jute tote bags instead of plastic bags to our customers. We have recycling bins set up throughout the premises & as part of our event booths. We reuse & repurpose wooden pallets.
We strive to properly layout, label, & organize to reduce wasted time. Our workflows, standard operating procedures, & training help with that as well. We monitor, audit, & adapt.
The final thing we hate to waste is the time & creativity of the people who work with us. We ensure everyone is seen & heard & all opinions & suggestions are taken equally into consideration regardless of their position or time with us. We encourage open communication, transparency, respect, & honesty & reward & publicize their efforts & ideas.