We’re currently in the new ‘normal’. Two years have passed since Covid-19 took a hold of the world, forcing countries into nationwide lockdowns. Now, post pandemic, we’re seemingly still on track to remain fully open again. We know how easy it can be to slip back into old habits and return to larger retailers and brands we'd shopped with before the pandemic. However, the pandemic unfortunately wasn't as kind to a lot of smaller brands than it was to larger ones.
In our last blog about other brands we wanted to show our appreciation for, we highlighted reasons you should continue to support small, especially after lockdown. However now, we want to remind anyone reading why it is crucial to support smaller brands, especially ones who put planet before profit.
Firstly, why should you support small brands and businesses?
Small businesses have a huge economic impact since they help create more jobs, particularly in local areas and communities. The more you shop with them, the more likely they will need to expand and hire more staff. This means less unemployment and more people being able to do jobs they are likely to enjoy. If the company is local, it puts money back into that same community, helping it to thrive further and improve local living, instead of going to a larger corporate brand where funds can go elsewhere.
As we said in our blog from last year, small brands are also able to provide more personable and memorable customer service experiences since they're more hands on, and will always strive to create a sense of community and closeness between its staff and customers. A smaller business or brand is more likely to remember a repeat customer than a larger business, just because they’re able to build connections with customers much more quickly and easily.
Why should you show more support for brands who prioritise planet over profit?
In the UK over the last few weeks, we went from temperatures of 19 degrees Celsius, sunshine and even a few days relaxing outside, to below 0 temperatures and in some parts, with snow! This is a result of global warming, which is the ‘long-term heating of Earth's climate system’. ‘We are already seeing the effects of climate change – with rising sea levels, melting ice and higher temperatures across the world. This will negatively affect our weather and environment, which will have a big impact on our way of living’.
At Cajuu, one of the many ways we prioritise the planet over profit, is by keeping our carbon footprint low. ‘Low carbon simply means less carbon dioxide (CO2)’ as ‘carbon dioxide is a key greenhouse gas that drives global climate change, released through lots of different types of activities, such as; deforestation, burning fossil fuels and volcanic eruptions. Therefore by lowering the amount of CO2 we produce, we are being kinder to our planet.’.
A low carbon footprint is when energy is ‘generated using lower amounts of carbon emissions such as, wind, solar, hydro or nuclear power. These alternative methods of producing energy are better for the planet as they release less carbon into the atmosphere’. For us, that means only ship freighting only, as opposed to air freight which produces significantly more emissions. We also harvest and deshell our cashews in Tanzania, then directly transport them to the UK, instead of detouring to Asia for processing like most other cashew suppliers.
We believe now it's incredibly important we try to incorporate more brands which don’t cost the planet into our everyday lives where we can.
Our first brand that recognises this is Nutcessity Nut Butter.
Not only is their nut butter utterly delicious, but they care deeply about our planet. They are ‘committed to putting it’s environmental responsibilities first, even if this has a negative effect on profit’, focusing on key areas such as using recyclable packaging such as paper labels and glass jars, as well as cardboard cases and newspaper over bubble wrap.
Nutcessity are also partnered with Frank Water, a 'Bristol-based clean water & sanitation charity founded by Katie Alcott MBE in 2005', an organisation that 'focuses on groups cut off from society by geography, poverty or caste'.
We love the work Nutcessity are doing themselves and to support others, in turn helping in the right to protect and help our planet. You can find Nutcessity at their website https://www.nutcessity.co.uk/
Our second brand is Moving Beans. The brand revolves around tasty coffee in even tastier (for the environment at least) compostable coffee pods. They discovered that plastic and aluminium used by Nespresso is badly polluting the atmosphere, and went hard to work at creating their own compostable pods that 'can decompose in a few weeks - compared to over 500 years for plastic or Nespresso's aluminium pods'.
Their pods are made from 'materials derived from sugar cane and sugar beet plants' and fit into the Nespresso machines, meaning you can still enjoy coffee conveniently but without harming the Earth. Once you've had the delicious coffee from them you can pop the used pods into your organic waste bin provided by your local council (check your local council guidelines first). T hey take around 12-16 weeks for the capsules to fully decompose (similar to the biodegradable freshness bags are cashews come in) and as the pods degrade they won't release any harmful byproducts! How fantastic is that! Their capsules have also more importantly been 'tested by TÜV Austria and have been granted the certification ofTUV-Austria - OK Compost following the Standards for Compostability EN13432'. You can find Moving Beans at their website https://www.movingbeans.com/
Our next brand is Nim's Fruit Crisps, a predominantly fruit crisp snack brand, however have just launched their new botanicals range which is definitely worth a browse. Similarly to us at Cajuu, Nim's are always working to 'improve their contribution to lowering their carbon footprint, increase their use of recyclable packaging and products and reduce the waste that they produce overall'.
Because their crisps are made using whole fruit and veg (with 95% of it being 'wonky' veg that is considered unattractive to sell in supermarkets). Nim's use everything the fruit and veg has to offer, from the skin to the core, seeds and pips so nothing is left. They also source a lot of their ingredients nearby to maintain a low carbon footprint, alongside air drying to ensure no extra fuels or such are burned in the process of making their crisps. However because of this, they recognise that packaging air dried crisps is challenging, and whilst their packaging is recyclable, it is only when taken to an industrial recycling centre and therefore don't claim this to avoid misleading customers.
We see this as taking ownership of the challenges and limitations posed to them for making healthy, planet conscious snacks, and admitting that there's still more work to be done. This is not just by Nim’s but also as a society to provide better recycling facilities to the public at convenience as well as more research into long lasting, fresh and recyclable materials. You can find Nim's at stockists such as Tesco and Holland & Barrett.
And lastly, we raise a toast to Toast Ale, our final brand as part of this blog. We've actually featured Toast in one of blogs before, purely because their beer is honestly one to try for any beer lovers. However this time we really want to recognise and share, if you don't already know, how great Toast Ale is for the planet. They use surplus bread to replace barley in their beer, so instead of harvesting more ingredients to produce their beverages they instead take bread that would have otherwise been wasted and give it new purpose. As a result of this, they use less land, water and energy due to not needing to grow anything, therefore avoid carbon emissions like other brewery brands. On their website they actually have an impact report, a feature available on their homepage to show you how many loaves of bread have been saved, as well as litres of water and metres squared of land recovered from not having to plant more resources. They are also constantly donating money to charity over shareholders to ensure they're funding systematic change to fix the food industry instead of indirectly supporting it. Toast even encourage the public to write to their local MP, providing the form and template to write to their local politicians regarding 'changes to the food system in environmental policy decisions'. You can find Toast Ale stocked in a range of supermarkets such as Coop, Waitrose and Ocado, and even some restaurants too!
We hope just looking at these 4 brands, alongside ourselves, highlights the sort of expectations and planet conscious behaviour we should be encouraging and supporting other companies to embody. Change might start off small, but once it begins to grow, that becomes a bigger change that we hope is for the better.