We care about providing environmentally and socially sustainable solutions

We advocate for earth-friendly packaging and total transparency in our choices. It’s important to us to carefully weigh the pros and cons when choosing every aspect of our packaging, from our reusable glass jars to our 100% compostable labels.

In our efforts towards more sustainable packaging, we chose to work with experts in this crucial area of our business. To that end, we hired the amazing consulting company Regenerative Waste Labs to help us improve our packaging and production practices. They analyzed our packaging needs from top to bottom and came up with hands-on solutions, multiple resources, and varied ways to improve our packaging.

In this complex equation, here are some guiding principles that lead our choices

Avoid fossil fuels and tree-based packaging products as much as possible

Minimize our carbon footprint

Work with local/BC-based service providers in as many aspects of our packaging as possible

Minimize our waste at every stage of production and packaging

Our eco-minded packaging initiatives

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Reusable and recyclable glass jars

One of the many great things about glass jars is that they are easily sanitized and reused again and again. While we haven’t (yet!) created a full jar return program, you’re welcome to bring your finished jars back to us. Rest assured, we will reuse them.

Alternatively, you can bring them to us at our weekly farmer’s markets or to our facility in Port Alberni. Also, feel free to check with the retailers who sell Forest for Dinner products to see if you can bring finished jars back to them, where we will collect them next time we deliver our goodies!

Fully compostable labels

Our labels are made from 100% compostable cane fibre, use water-soluble adhesive, and are certified compostable (for industrial composting.)

To remove the label for composting, simply soak your finished jar in warm water for 10 minutes and let the magic happen. The label will loosen and come off in one piece. After that, discard the label in your compost bin and reuse your jar again and again and again!

Food grade poly bags

Plant-based poly bags are now becoming more available, but it’s been a struggle to find local suppliers who offer plant-based options for both frozen and fresh products. As soon as effective plant-based poly bag options become available, we will make the switch!

Stand-up pouches

We’ve been unable to source plant-based compostable stand-up pouches from a BC supplier with some flexibility in terms of lower order quantities for our wide range of products. Due to the nature of our seasonal and hand-harvested small batch products, we need the option of low minimum order quantities. Current options for compostable pouches aren’t quite there yet.

In the meantime, we opted for fully recyclable stand-up pouches that our customers can bring to their local recycling depot under the category “other flexible packaging.” Admittedly, this is less than ideal, so we’re in contact with multiple suppliers to make the change to more flexible compostable options as soon as they become available.

Shipping boxes

We use post-consumer cardboard whenever it’s available. Unfortunately, there’s currently a significant demand for these materials and barriers in terms of price and access to resources for smaller companies like ours. We hope that will change soon.

Molded fibre and paper berry baskets

While we wait for better basket materials options like sugarcane residue fibre to become more accessible, we’re using compostable berry baskets made from tree fibre. You can compost them in your backyard compost or at an industrial composting facility.

Business cards & collateral marketing paper

Our business cards and collateral marketing papers are made from sugarcane residue fibre, which gives the bio-product another use and helps create another closed loop in the waste system.

Sample testing

We are using certified compostable sampling portion cups and cutlery for all our sampling.

Ask our suppliers for accountability

We ask our suppliers about their commitment to sustainability which creates dialogue and awareness around packaging. We also inquire about proof of certification where and when that is required. All stakeholders share responsibility, and it’s essential to ask for accountability at every level. We invite you to ask us for more information about our suppliers.

Local first

We work with local suppliers whenever possible: Vancouver Island first, BC second, Canada third, and the rest of the world last. We do this because we believe in the power of creating a more resilient, localized economy not only in the food chain but in all aspects of our lives.

Zero-waste option

If you wish to purchase our products free of packaging, we invite you to come to us with your own container(s). We will be more than happy to accommodate. We encourage anyone to do so for the good of our planet.

Please keep in mind that there may be a few exceptions for our processed goods, and some organization may be needed for other products, like our dried goods. Feel free to get in touch with us to find out how we can accommodate zero-waste purchases.

Open dialogue

Part of the sustainability framework that drives our decisions and operations is always to remain open to feedback and dialogue around improving our eco-mindedness, packaging, and practices. So please don’t hesitate to ask for more information and share your ideas with us. 

Thank you for supporting us in our evolving sustainability mission and commitments.

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