All of our products are free of animal ingredients (vegan). Fairfoods is vegan to respect animals and avoid the violence of animal farming. A vegan diet also has less impact on the environment.
Our kitchen is dedicated to meat- and dairy-free foods and therefore suitable for those with milk and egg intolerances.
We purchase our fruit and vegetables each week from a local fruit and veg supplier, and some from an organic veg wholesaler from Devon, as well as topping up with small amounts locally. So our menus are not fully organic, but if you would like an organic menu please ask and we can offer this.
We source specialist ingredients from Suma; Plamil; our local health food shop in Tiverton; our local zero waste shop in Tiverton; and our vegan grocery store, Seasons, in Exeter.
Our coffee and cocoa are fairtrade. Our sugar is either fairtrade or produced in the UK. Our vegan milk chocolate is fairtrade, our sugar-free chocolate is not fairtrade – not available, our plain chocolate is fairtrade when available. We order our chocolate from a vegan company (Plamil).
Environment – general
Tins, paper, card, glass, plastic bottles, most plastic packaging and tetrapacks are recycled; fruit and vegetable scraps are composted; paper is recycled or composted.
Publicity leaflets and business cards are printed on recycled card and are as small a size as we can make them without losing the information we want to get across and/or making the writing too small.
We use vegan environmentally friendly cleaners and washing up liquid. For most of these we fill up our cleaning bottles from wholesale 5L bottles. These are recycled when empty. We are currently exploring how to make our use of bottles circular, whereby we send the empty bottles back for reuse OR refill at our new zero waste shop, who use a circular system for their cleaners.
Environment – packaging
The single use packaging we use is: wooden cutlery; compostable paper plates; and compostable takeaway boxes. Compostable or recyclable paper bags and cardboard boxes.
We are phasing out single-use plates, cutlery, takeaway boxes and serving dishes. This is to cut down our waste. Although we have used ‘eco’ biodegradable plates and wooden cutlery up until now we have become increasingly aware that these still have an impact on the environment. They use carbon to produce and if they are not disposed of/composted/broken down in the correct way (usually not possible as would require specialised industrial equipment) they will give off methane when they break down.
We have sourced melamime plates, sturdy plastic plates and metal cutlery to use – where possible – instead of single use plates and cutlery. The metal cutlery and plastic plates we’ve had since we started. The plastic plates will not be replaced as they are not as sturdy and durable as the melamime plates. The melamime plates were donated, having been previously used for vegan food.
If we drop food off we provide it on re-usable melamime, metal and wooden platters which are taken back by Fairfoods for re-use. Alternatively we can transfer food straight into the customer’s own dishes. It is challenging to always do this so it is something we are introducing and fine-tuning.
Environment – food waste
In the kitchen – all our food is freshly prepared to order for private orders, which prevents food waste. For public events such as festivals, markets and fairs, we carefully monitor how much food we sell at each event. This guides us on how much food to make for future events, to avoid wastage.
We rotate stock to ensure that ingredients are used in the order of delivery and less likely to go out of date. Further, we constantly monitor food in the kitchen to check if it is going out of date. We then aim to use it before that happens. This might mean changing our menu so that we can incorporate this food and ‘rescue’ it. If we consistently have leftovers of a specific item we aim to create a new dish for it to go in. e.g. preserved lemons into preserved lemon hummus.
Clare is currently studying a food waste course run by Rouxbe and the James Beard Foundation, to help us further explore repurposing our leftover food.
Redistributing leftover food from events –
- first we offer to pack this away for the customer
- If we know the customer doesn’t want to keep the food, we find the nearest homeless shelter or soup kitchen and donate it to them.
- If we can’t do this the food is used for staff meals.
- As a last resort, food is composted.
WEB SEARCH with Ecosia
We use the Ecosia search engine. Ecosia funds the planting of a new tree roughly every second.
It takes roughly 45 searches to plant a tree. Clicking on ads generates revenue for Ecosia who then use at least 80% of its monthly profits to plant trees. Even when we don’t click on ads we’re helping to increase the number of Ecosia users, which makes it more relevant to advertisers.
So far 82 million trees have been planted by Ecosia users (viewed 2 February 2020)
Reduction for charities and campaigns
We offer a reduction to vegan-friendly charities and campaigns.
We regularly cater at ‘Welcome refugees to Exeter’ pop up meals and from February 2020 we’ll be helping to provide a monthly meal at St Petrocks in Exeter, a charity for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed. We donated food to Devon County Hunt Sabs during the badger cull in 2019.