Compostable coffee packages go for a ride! Photo by Level Ground Trading
This Saturday is Earth Day. At The Little Market, we recognize our responsibility to protect the environment. Many of our fair trade products are made using eco-friendly practices.
We are proud to work with Level Ground Trading, a wonderful organization that is based out of British Columbia. Founded 20 years ago, Level Ground Trading works with thousands of farmers spread across 10 countries including Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. We partner with Level Ground Trading to sell coffee and tea that are hand-harvested by farmers. In every aspect of operations — from the supply chain to packaging to the work environment — Level Ground Trading takes strides to reduce its environmental footprint. Read about Level Ground Trading’s admirable eco-friendly practices below.
This article was written by Robyn Barchen, the marketing coordinator at Level Ground Trading.
When a group of people collectively strive to tread lightly on Earth, the takeaway should be: “those people care.”
Earth Day is a time to reflect on and celebrate the global connection we have to this Earth. At Level Ground Trading, we trade with 5,000 farmers in 10 countries, and along the way we’ve learned a lot about how to be thoughtful stewards of the land.
Coffee farmer Luis poses with his face on a package of French Roast coffee. Photo by Level Ground Trading
Growing organically is a three-way win for the environment, farmers, and consumers. When prices reward farmers for being chemical-free, the effects flow down through the entire supply chain. Growing organically means soil, water, plants, and animals remain uncontaminated. Farmers are then able to work in a safe environment, without exposure to harmful chemicals. And the most advertised benefit — healthy food! As a result of caring for the land and farmers, consumers get to enjoy healthy food.
What can we do as consumers?
Take the time to know where your food comes from. Buy local when you can. Align yourselves with companies that take the time to care for the farmers they work with. When organizations advocate for the rights of farmers, farmers can have increased capacity to care for their land.
Hugo, co-founder of Level Ground Trading, rides his bike that’s filled with freshly roasted coffee. Photo by Level Ground Trading
Ride your bike. Use your legs. Carpool with friends.
Thoughtfully commuting to work each day is a simple way to make a large environmental impact. Choose to ride your bike, or even walk if the distance permits, and cross a workout off your list on the way to work. Carpool with a friend and squeeze in social time too.
So what do eco-friendly practices look like for us as a business?
At home in Victoria, B.C., being environmentally conscious has always been a priority. We take responsibility for our packaging. For years we’ve reclaimed our unrecyclable packages and upcycled them into tote bags, turning waste into function. More recently, we pioneered a compostable coffee package. It hasn’t been an easy journey, as the waste industry isn’t prepared to manage the longer composting time required for all compostable packaging, but it is still the right thing to do. We’re committed to standing up for the environment, even if we’re a little early to the party. But it doesn’t stop there. Our facility is proudly zero-waste. We divert what would traditionally be trash into 13 streams of recycling. Everything is carefully sorted, stored, and recycled into something new.
We pay our staff to commute thoughtfully. From carpooling and mass transit to biking and walking, we financially incentivize staff to get to work with a lighter footprint. And it works! Just last year we saved 25,010 miles with our staff of 30 employees.
Stacey, co-founder of Level Ground Trading, hangs out with a pile of shredded compostable coffee packages. Photo by Level Ground Trading
The Little Market is proud to have Level Ground Trading as an artisan partner. We hope Level Ground Trading’s commitment to eco-friendly practices inspires you. Head over to our fair trade shop to see our collection of their coffee and tea.