4 Things We Think About When Sourcing Sustainably

July 15, 2022
By: jesslivlite-co

When we think about sourcing products with both the people and the planet in mind, there are a lot of factors to consider. It’s not just about the packaging, but where your food comes from, the miles it travelled, the people who grew it, and so much more. 

As a small and nimble grocer, we are in a position where we can  support other local suppliers working towards positive social and environmental outcomes. 

Here are 4 things we think about when sourcing new products in a low-impact, conscious way so that you don’t have to.

1. Locality

We try, as much as possible, to source our products locally – 98% of our suppliers are based here in BC and 50% of our products are grown or produced in BC. If we can’t get something locally, then we consider the distance that product will have to travel to reach us and how we can minimise this.

Not only does sourcing locally reduce the carbon emissions from transporting goods, but it also reduces the amount of food waste which can come from produce going bad quickly after it has travelled for a long time. It also allows us to directly  invest in community businesses supporting local farmers and producers who in turn support other small businesses. (Plus there’s nothing more yummy than hand-picked produce that’s travelled a mere 30 mins to get to your plate!)

2. Packaging

As the saying goes, “practise what you preach”. So for us, understanding what kind of packaging bulk products will be received in and ensuring there’s an end-of-life solution that isn’t ending up in landfill or our oceans is key. 

We know that an entirely zero-waste/plastic-free supply chain is unrealistic without major systematic change, but most of our suppliers share our vision of significantly reducing packaging waste, and so we work collaboratively with them to improve our impact through the use of returnable containers, upcycling and other strategies. 

3. Affordability

We make sure we can offer fair and competitive pricing on each product we sell, even though small companies like ours are extremely disadvantaged with pricing on products with enormous players like Walmart in the grocery scene.

4. Diversity

We source products from a very diverse group of suppliers representing many different communities. This means we are often supporting independent intergenerational family businesses and artisan makers, who often come from underrepresented communities and take pride in providing food from their diverse backgrounds.

So, there you have it! Rest assured that our amazing product team has put a lot of thought into each product we carry so you can feel fantastic about the positive impact you’re making with your groceries.