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The Importance of Sustainable Food Sourcing
Food has become a global market, no country in the world is fully self-sustaining when it comes to food. As a result of consumer demand it is possible to buy food that is out of season year-round, exotic produce that is impossible to grow in certain climates and produce that has previously been grown in low quantities. These products, whether they be kosher certified or vegetarian, are in abundance on the shelves of supermarkets as a result of this worldwide market and integrated supply-chain.
Of course, with this growing market comes the question of sustainability and green miles. People are becoming more concerned with where their food comes from, who is producing the food and how far it actually travels to reach our supermarkets and whether or not a local alternative exists.
How do we ensure sustainably sourced food and why is it important in the world today?
The distance that food travels to reach the dinner table is something that consumers have become more aware of. The environmental impact of this travel – particularly the carbon footprint – is of particular concern. Foods sourced from other climates travel great distances, so greater effort is being made to recreate these conditions in local greenhouses.
However, even if you reduce the mileage of your food it does not mean the carbon footprint is automatically reduced. Greenhouses, especially when growing produce from hotter climates, need to be heated. Which can actually produce a larger carbon footprint than sourcing from their native climate.
This active search for products that have a low carbon footprint is occurring every day. These are foods that are produced with little carbon and have been transported over a short distance. Being transparent about where your products have been sourced, the carbon that has been used in producing it means your product will be more desirable. Particularly if the carbon input is actively low.
Of course, another concern for people is that food sourced abroad can be cheaper because of low labour costs. Supermarkets up and down the country are in a constant price battle; each hoping to attract more customers by offering the lowest prices. A competition which has a far-reaching impact.
Production costs are often cut down at the source. Meaning that the farmers that grow the produce often earn low wages in dire conditions, with no breaks and long working days.
Fair Trade foods have become more widely available as a result of the wage issue. This is in an effort to aid farmers who cannot compete with large companies, ensuring that they earn a fair and competitive wage for the work they do. This way it is not only sustainable for those in the western world, but also those in the less developed countries. This helps to reduce child labour, offers safer working conditions, provides training and uses more sustainable methods of farming.
The origin and sustainability of food is of growing importance in the modern world, so being transparent about the contents of your products is vital. Obtaining kosher accreditation is a quick and easy process, and it will give you access to a larger customer base. If you have questions you would like to see answered about becoming certified, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the KLBD Kosher team today and start reaping the benefits of becoming accredited.