🌱 'More Daring Than Dairy': The cheese brand challenging an industry, and how to get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight.
Featuring I AM NUT OK, Karma Drinks, Divine Chocolate, Modern Milkman and more...
On Saturday, we turned 2 years old. Whether you’ve only recently subscribed, or have been here since the very beginning, thank you for your support - we’re excited for what this next year will bring.
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Fairtrade Fortnight: What is it, and how you can get involved.
Brand Spotlight: More Daring than Dairy: I AM NUT OK are challenging an industry, and changing perceptions.
In case you missed it: 🌱 Good Karma (Drinks) starts with Fairtrade.
> Good News Last Week
🎯Punchy Drinks announced they’re carbon neutral, having worked with ClimatePartner to measure and offset their emissions. As part of their offsetting strategy, they’re supporting the development of clean energy in South Africa via wind farms.
🎯 Modern Milkman announced they’re now B Corp Certified, having worked with Seismic on their sustainability strategy.
⭐️ Olio has partnered with Impact Food Group, a school catering company, to cut food waste - already rescuing 13,000 meals.
⭐️ NET-A-PORTER REPAIR & REWEAR, powered by The Seam, was announced - helping customers extend the life of their wardrobes via The Seam’s community of specialist Makers.
⭐️ Ralph Lauren unveiled its first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold cashmere sweater, and announced its launching a cashmere recycling programme. This fits into the brands goal to implement circular principles into its design and development process by 2025.
⭐️ Lidl revealed plans to reduce the number of animal-based products on offer, and increase their range of vegetable proteins, as part of a more sustainable business strategy before 2025.
⭐️ Burberry announced that its signed a £300 million sustainability linked loan, with the terms tied to their performance towards achieving their zero and supply chain decarbonization ESG goals. The loan, which serves to refinance Burberry’s revolving credit facility, was coordinated by Lloyd’s Bank.
⭐️ Canada Goose launched their trade-in and shop pre-loved platform - Canada Goose Generations. The controversial brand has partnered with Trove to power this.
⚡️Foodsteps launched a free version of their platform, enabling any food business to start measuring and reducing their impact on the planet.
⚡️Kelpi, a Bristol-based sustainable packaging scaleup, has secured over £3M in a seed round of funding. This was led by UK-based VC firm Science Creates Ventures and Green Angel Syndicate.
⚡️McKinsey and NielsenIQ unveiled a joint study, which focused on analysing sales growth for products that claim to be environmentally and socially responsible. Products making ESG-related claims averaged 28% cumulative growth over the past five-year period, vs 20% for products that made no such claims - showing that consumers really do care.
⚡️The Environment Agency announced they’re the first government body to reach Gold level accreditation by the Carbon Literacy Trust. All 5000 staff have completed Carbon Literacy training and committed to reduce their environmental impact.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Fairtrade Fortnight: What is it, and how you can get involved.
Last June, we dug into the ins and outs of becoming Fairtrade certified in this newsletter. Now, ahead of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ taking place between 27th February – 12th March, we’re recapping how you can get involved, and which brands already are.
What is Fairtrade Fortnight?
The purpose of Fairtrade Fortnight is to raise awareness and support for fair trade practices and the benefits they bring to farmers, workers, and communities in economically developing countries. With 65% of people in the UK saying they choose Fairtrade, according to the latest GlobeScan 2021 data, this year they’re working to bring buyers even closer to where their food is from.
During Fairtrade Fortnight, events are organized across the world to educate people about the challenges faced by farmers and workers, and how fair trade can make a difference in their lives. Participants are encouraged to get involved by supporting fair trade products and using their voices to advocate for change.
How can you get involved?
This year, to mark Fairtrade Fortnight 2023, Fairtrade will launch the ‘Endangered Aisle’ on Tuesday 28 February. This pop-up in Shoreditch will be open until 2nd March, and will ‘shine a light on the supermarket staples most at risk of becoming endangered from the climate crisis, including coffee, bananas and chocolate’.
Can’t make it in person? They’re also running ‘Big Fairtrade Get Togethers’ - free, live events where attendees can hear from Fairtrade farmers and experts. It’s not only intended for individuals, but for groups and businesses too - so next time you’re looking for a fresh way to educate your green team, or engage your employees, check out their schedule and book a time to join.
Want a recap of which brands are part of the Fairtrade movement? These 5 are UK based, and team favourites:
Divine Chocolate - Chocolate products, co-owned by cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Karma - Cola and other soft drinks, using ingredients sourced from small-scale farmers in Africa and South America. Read our digest here.
Belu - Bottled water, with a portion of profits going to support water projects in economically developing countries. Read our digest here.
Pukka Herbs - Organic herbal teas, using sustainably sourced ingredients from small-scale farmers around the world.
People Tree - Sustainable clothing and accessories, made from organic and natural fibers.
It’s also important to remember that there are other ways to embody ‘fair trade’ principles outside of certifying as Fairtrade, and even go beyond. Check out Bantu Chocolate’s approach to beat Fairtade prices, as one example. Ultimately, whether you’re a certified Fairtrade brand or not, Fairtrade Fortnight is an interesting opportunity to raise awareness and promote the benefits of better and more ethical practices. It’s an opportunity to reflect on your modern slavery commitments, how much you’re paying your workers, and the ethics along your entire supply chain too.
Want to read on? Check out some of our previous newsletters for more inspiration:
🌱 Trick or Treat? The Green Claims Code and Bantu Chocolate.
🌱 What about your workers? Pact Coffee prioritise their farmers, so here are 6 certifications to help you do the same.
🌱 Slavery in UK SME Supply Chains: How can your business can help?
> Brand Spotlight
More Daring than Dairy: I AM NUT OK are challenging an industry, and changing perceptions.
Cheese has a pretty big carbon footprint - with the average chaddar racking up a whopping 11.8kg CO2e/kg, using ~10L of milk to make too. The bougier parmesans and ricotta can use up to 20L of milk per kg, and emit more than 22kg CO2e. But it is also a huge staple to many people’s diets, with health benefits including high levels of calcium and even links to lower risk of heart disease. It’s also delicious, and remains one of the hardest items to give up when moving to a vegan diet (80% of our team can confirm).
However, the pioneering brand I AM NUT OK, is out on a mission to break down these barriers. Founding duo Angela and Nivi, who’s love for cheese, combined with love for the planet set off on this mission back in 2017 and since then have grown to be a real presence in the cheese market - dairy and otherwise! The duo uses a mix of traditional and new ‘cheese’ techniques, to produce a range of dairy-free cheeses and butters, with the aim to excite taste buds, with daring flavours, herbs, spices and more.
Now whilst we may not all be in the fermenting industry, there are some learnings that we can all take from I AM NUT OK's philosophy…
Just because something hasn’t been achieved before, doesn’t mean it can’t. I AM NUT OK’s range of classic cheddars, pizza-worthy ‘Notzzarella’ or the G.O.A.T (no guesses which kind of cheese this one is) breaks the common perception that ‘fake’ cheeses are highly processed.
Often, sustainability is seen as a nice to have for business, rather than business itself. Or, on the other extreme, it’s so embedded in the philosophy you can’t compare - think about the meat vs meat free industry for example. I AM NUT OK has positioned its brand - through fermenting & small-batch processing, to plastic-free packaging, to competitive pricing & creative artwork - to compete alongside dairy alternatives. This approach means that their market suddenly opens to those ‘real-cheese’ connoisseurs too - an important group to win over.
“It’s not meant to replace cheese, but to satisfy the tastebuds in a way any delicious food does.”
I AM NUT OK’s passion and drive to make a product that isn’t a direct competitor to dairy cheese, but instead a product that is ‘Addictive like cheese, but even better’, puts the products in parallel. We expect to see business approaches like this, rather than the traditional ‘anti-X’ stance increasing throughout 2023. In fact, with the dairy cheese prices increasing ~50% in two months, there has never been a better time to be breaking moulds.
If you feel inspired to make the cheese-swap, or want to know more about the future of food, here are some further tools to get you started:
Browse some other alternatives to board night
Swap in some of these easy, plant based alternatives, without breaking the bank.
Take a closer look at I AM NUT OK:
> In case you missed it
🌱 Good Karma (Drinks) starts with Fairtrade.
Featuring Club Soda, Pukka Herbs, Pact Coffee and more...
> Follow up with…
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Article: What is fair trade and how does it affect your food shop?
Podcast: The future of the food ecosystem - and the power of your plate.