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  • Madi

How we promote sustainability in our lil' old business!

Updated: May 21, 2020

The Crafty Pickle Co. selling live fermented sauerkraut and kimchi at markets
The Crafty Pickle Co. Market Stall

Food waste

Reducing as must food waste as possible is key to our business values. Our tagline wouldn’t be Ferments Fighting Food Waste without it! We’re at the very start of our business so we have a long way to go before we can say if we’ve had any kind of meaningful impact. But, we're firm believers that even small acts can add up to something powerful!

Right now we can’t guarantee that there will be rescued food in each and every jar that we produce but we're working our asses off to get there! No-one told us that it would be quite so hard to create a network that redistributes food so that what’s currently wasted can be re-purposed. But we're not letting it stop us.

We're absolutely committed to doing whatever we can while we grow. For example, in our kimchi we use often wasted cauliflower leaves which means that when we produce our piccalilli we have zero waste from all the luscious cauliflowers we use. Just fyi, cauliflower leaves are delicious – thinly sliced they're great as part of cauliflower cheese, in stir-fries and even just steamed with a Sunday roast.

The charity Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE)
Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE)

We also would be nothing without our partnership with the awesome charity CFINE who do incredible work here in the North East of Scotland helping to end food insecurity. One of the million things they do is take responsibility for distributing surplus produce delivered by Fare Share to food banks and communities in Grampian. This means that a chunk of the extra food in our food system (of which there is LOTS) gets to the hungriest people. Sometimes CFINE get delivered a shit tonne of fruit and veg in one go; when they've saturated the Grampian area they let us know so that we can take some off their hands and use it in our production. Thanks CFINE!!

I’m also an ambassador for Olio, a community food sharing app that allows people to share and pass on food they’re not going to get round to eating. Arthur and I are also food waste heroes (we didn’t name ourselves that I swear) meaning we collect from Pret a Manger at the end of the day once a week and redistribute it through Olio to hungry, grateful people. Volunteering with Olio is hugely rewarding, especially since you can see exactly how much you’ve saved. Just in the last few months of collecting from Pret we’ve saved hundreds of pounds worth of perfectly edible food from the bin.

Sandwiches and food rescued from Pret a Manger via the food waste app Olio
Food rescue from Pret using Olio


Wherever humanly possible we use second-hand, upcycled or borrowed materials for our production and selling. We believe that there is enough ‘stuff’ in the world and we’d like to help make better use of what we already have by taking a bit of extra time and getting down with our creative side.

For example, our market stall set-up is made from 100% re-used materials. Our friend at FitLike art even completed 3 beautiful signs for us using the ends of spray paint cans, pallets, traffic cones and even an old seat from Pittodrie stadium. Talk about keeping things local!

We also reuse our jars and bulk containers so if you see us at markets or events come and bring us your old jars! We'll even give you 25p off your next purchase, how kind are we?!

One of the reasons we love fermenting is that it’s a very low-energy process. All it needs is human energy (plus a little help from our electrical friends - because chopping kilos and kilos of cabbage is hard work you know?!), bacterial energy to breakdown the sugars in food to create delicious, tangy ferments and occasionally a little warmth to make sure fermentation happens as efficiently as possible, because well, it gets cold in Scotland alright. This means compared to other types of preservation - heating, freezing etc - it's pretty good environmentally. The process actually creates so much energy that we've even heard of sauerkraut factories using the energy created by microbes from fermentation to power small villages!

How many more reasons do we need to love fermentation?!

Over to you...

If you can help us gain access to fruit and veg that is being wasted unnecessarily or diverted out of the human food chain please help us out and get in touch!!

07403896800 or 07563081957

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