Sustainable Sourcing

At The Dispensary Shop we are keen to stock products which have been sustainably sourced wherever possible.

Here’s a little bit more about what a selection of our suppliers are doing to help sustainability

Amour Natural

We stock a wide range of aromatherapy products such as essential and carrier oils, diffusers and aroma-jewellery from Amour Natural.

Ethically Sourced Raw Materials

They work with suppliers who source ethically traded and sustainably sourced raw materials. Some raw materials are also wild harvested, for example the frankincense essential oil. However, wild harvesting is not always the best option due to sustainability concerns. For example sandalwood is now endangered so Amour source Sandalwood from a plantation in Australia therefore protecting the species from extinction.

Glass & Plastic

Amour uses glass packaging for the majority of its products, but uses fully recyclable plastic bottles for larger quantities to reduce breakages, reduce extra packaging material necessary to protect glass and for lower cost delivery.

Packaging

They use biodegradable potato starch chips for their packing material. They can be placed in a bucket and water added so they disintegrate into a mush and then put on the compost heap or in a bin. They also use recycled paper to wrap the bottles.

Recycling & Upcycling

Amour recycle everything they can. They recycle all cardboard boxes that come into their warehouse and we pay a local person to take the majority of their non-recyclable oil drums and up-cycle them.

A Vogel

We stock a wide range of herbal medicines and food supplements from A. Vogel.

Environmental Sustainability

A.Vogel products are manufactured using methods that are as close to nature as possible. At the heart of their activities is a sustainable approach to natural resources.

Among the key features of A.Vogel products are the use of certified organic raw material grown in healthy soil, and the use of extracts from freshly harvested plants wherever possible.

Nature provides us with everything we need to safeguard and maintain our health. It is up to us how we use these treasures.

Alfred Vogel, founder of A. Vogel & Pioneer of Naturopathy (1902–1996)

A.Vogel websites powered by sustainably-produced electricity

A.Vogel websites are already in operation in 12 countries worldwide.

To keep the resources required for running the A.Vogel websites as low as possible, A.Vogel makes the best possible use of existing resources (CPUs, memory). When choosing hardware components too, maximum efficiency is the guiding principle so that as little electricity as possible is wasted as heat.

All of the websites’ servers can be found in one of Switzerland’s best computing centres which, as a member of the organisation known as “The Green Grid”, offers high standards of energy efficiency.

A.Vogel is supporting ecologically-produced electricity from PurePower Graubnden which generates its energy from water, sunlight, wind and bio-mass.

What has always been a matter of course for their herbal remedies and food products is now also being used for the globally-operational websites: the sustainable harnessing of natural resources lies at the heart of everything they do.

Weleda

We stock a range of skincare and toothpastes from Weleda.

Environmental Sustainability

A tradition for more than nine decades, Weleda’s careful and thoughtful approach to the environment and its resources draws on the anthroposophic ideas of Rudolf Steiner and is indispensable for Weleda. But their environmental commitment does not stop there. It ranges from issues of biodiversity, through procurement of raw materials, use of natural resources and sustainable packaging, to water and waste reduction and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable use of raw materials

Weleda uses about 1,000 raw materials for medicinal and natural care products and they know that how they source and extract those raw materials has a significant impact on biodiversity. At the same time, they appreciate that only intact natural eco-systems provide soil and conditions of high enough quality to produce their natural raw materials.

That’s why more than 78% of the raw materials they use come from certified organic or biodynamic farming, or from controlled wild collection, a figure they continuously work to increase. This dedication to biological diversity is of the greatest importance to Weleda – without biodiversity there would be no Weleda products.

Environmentally-friendly use of natural resources

As with every company, water and energy are needed in the manufacturing process at Weleda. Their employees are committed to treat these resources with respect and they undergo continual process improvements such as re-using condensed water, which is fed back into the water cycle. Overall, the water consumption per kilogram of the manufactured product was reduced by a quarter (25%) in 2013.

They also work hard to reduce the company’s energy consumption. They can do this in direct and indirect ways – by optimisation of cooling and ventilation systems, reduction in floor and office area, better utilisation of available machines and other measures which improve efficiency. At the same time Weleda is increasing its use of renewable energy. 50.7% of their direct energy and 94.3% of their indirect energy came from renewable resources in 2013.

Biodynamic agriculture

The company’s own methods for the biodynamic cultivation of medicinal plants remain strongly traditional at Weleda. Biodynamic agriculture means that farming, livestock breeding, seed production and landscape maintenance are carried under anthroposophic principles.

At all their garden sites – in Europe and around the world – they implement these biodynamic routines to produce excellent quality raw materials at the same time as replenishing and maintaining the land and its numerous living communities, from microbes to wildlife.

Sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging has to satisfy a range of requirements for Weleda. Of course it has to keep the products safe, but it must also be manufactured from sustainable materials and be recyclable once its packaging life is over. There is currently no ideal solution which meets all of those requirements. While they continue to research future solutions, Weleda endeavours to use packaging which is as sustainable as possible.

In 2012, they founded a cross-departmental team to create new packaging solutions. This resulted in a number of decisions which they implemented immediately – to use as much post-consumer recycled material as possible; to use Forest Stewardship Council certified boxes as much as possible; to switch from metallic foil to colour printing. They are also looking into replacing their iconic blue glass bottles with low environmental-impact plastic which is easier to recycle and more environmentally-costly to ship because of the package weight. Through regular discussions with packaging manufacturers and experts, the packaging is constantly being improved.

Organic North

We stock a range of fresh organic fruit and veg and organic free range eggs from Organic North.

Sustainability

Organic North is a member’s run co-operative, the largest and longest-established wholesalers of certified organic produce in the north. They explain that they’re on a mission to help mend our broken, wasteful and polluting food system. They’ve enjoyed close relationships with some of their farmers for over 25 years and they do things differently, with sustainability in mind – here’s how:

Low Waste

They run a unique pre-ordering system so they waste absolutely no produce and supply only the freshest produce. The majority of their produce is loose and plastic- free and they are always looking for compostable alternatives to any plastic that their growers use. They also run a return service for empty boxes so that they can be reused.

Seasonal and Local

Everything they provide is as locally sourced as possible and their import goods are almost exclusively European. They follow the seasons and if there’s a break in the supply of broccoli or green beans they don’t air freight them in from Kenya!

Baytown Coffee

We stock a wide range of beans and ground coffee from Baytown Coffee which is locally roasted near to Whitby.

Fairness and Sustainability

The beans are hand roasted and you can buy them either as beans or ground. The company puts importance on fairness and traceability and that growers are paid above the fair trade minimums, so they work directly with farmers and importers who share their values. They give an example of Coope Tarrazu RL, a Costa Rican cooperative that was established in 1970 by 228 small coffee farms. Now it’s a major contributor to the economic development of the Los Santos region of Tarrazu. Around 10,000 people work with the coop, most of whom grow coffee on land of less than four hectares. The coop looks after the interest of these small producers, providing a range of services including credit, agronomical and technical advice, sustainable prices, fertilisers and more.

Finally, there’s sustainability. Coffee’s no fun if someone is being let down somewhere along the line. So, they work hard to build trusting and sustainable relationships with everyone they come into contact with – whether that be growers, merchants or wholesale customers.

As Baytown Coffee is a local company, we are cutting down on transport costs and emissions, adding to overall sustainability.

SUMA

We stock a range of wholefoods, supplements, skincare, and household products plus much more from Suma.

Sustainability

As an organisation committed to sustainability, Suma has always taken their environmental responsibility seriously. They invest in research and development to reduce their plastic usage, whether that’s for their own products or the materials they use to deliver their customers’ orders. At times they’ve even pushed boundaries by creating new kinds of reduced-plastic packaging. They have done a lot already and will keep on doing more.

What measures have they put in place to reduce plastic?

They have a host of measures in place, from how they develop their own product packaging to how they wrap their pallets. They have designed their entire prepack range of nearly 300 products to use 20% less
plastic packaging. They use 100% compostable wrap for their paper products. They sell a number of products, including their Ecoleaf cleaning range, in bulk refill drums, which they arrange to be recycled, and they recycle the wrap for their customers’ orders.

What more can be done in the future?

Suma has consistently explored sustainable alternatives to plastic and it’s good to see that government and industry more widely are beginning to see the importance now. There is so much more to be done. For their own part they will continue to invest in research and development that will help Suma reduce plastic usage in their products and warehouse, and they will keep a very close watch on wider developments.

Why is reducing plastic usage so important to Suma?

Suma has always focused on sustainability – it’s been their mission for over forty years – and minimising plastic use is core to their operations. What’s more, this commitment is mirrored by their customers, most of whom are organisations that use them because of their thoughtful and ethical approach, so it’s vital that plastic reduction is top-priority for Suma.

Yogi Tea

We stock a wide range of Yogi teas.

Sustainability

Yogi Teas are committed to sustainable practices and explain a bit more about how they are making a difference on a day-by-day basis below.

Heal and Revive

Yogi teas are sourced from 100% ecological farms and certified organic.

Organic farming is socially sustainable as well as being environmentally friendly.

Better for the Soil

Sustainable farming leads to healthy well-balanced soils, preventing pollution from pesticides or fertilisers for example and supports the water retention of the soil.

Organic farming has a smaller carbon footprint as no synthetic fertilisers are used. The lack of pesticides also allows for greater biodiversity.

No genetic modification of seeds, plants or fertilisers

Empower and Enrich

Acting sustainably is about looking forward to the future and making long-term plans in terms of ecological and social concerns. With partners in Sri Lanka, Yogi Tea have set up a long term vanilla project which will benefit local people for years to come and allow farmers to plan ahead.

Long-term Procurement

Yogi Tea is gradually introducing long term agreements with farmers to cover the majority of their procurement for the ingredients they need. That gives their partners the ability to plan for the long-term and make sustainable investments in their farming practices.

Sustainable Spices Initiative

Yogi Tea has joined forces with other like-minded companies in the Sustainable Spices Initiative, to develop lasting partnerships and forge increasingly sustainable approaches within the spices supply chain.

Ethical Tea Partnership

Yogi Tea is part of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), the world’s leading organisation for promoting sustainability in the tea industry.

Nature’s Laboratory

We are pleased to be part of the initiative Threes Company with Nature’s Laboratory which includes other collaborators including The Beearc project, working together for a more sustainable and holistic future where we strive to balance economic, cultural and social impulses

The Natures Laboratory community has been directly involved in creating The International Forum for Sustainability of Medicinal Herbs. We stock high quality products from Beevital and Sweet Cecily’s which are both brands within the Nature’s Laboratory umbrella and both are based locally to us in Whitby, which means a reduction in our carbon footprint as orders are delivered from around one mile away! Nature’s Laboratory is a Living Wage employer committed to supporting sustainable employment for their community of workers.

Lucy Kaya

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