Last Wednesday (31st June) I was very fortunate to be involved in a workshop with Professor Paul Clarke, the co-founder of the Pop-Up-Foundation.
“Pop-Up-Foundation addresses one of the central challenges of our time: decoupling human progress from resource use and environmental decline. Bringing sustainable living to people in a simple, accessible form, focused on results, Pop-Up-Foundation encourages eveyone to participate in the changes and create and share solutions. In this way, all these small changes can connect, consolidate and have a bigger compound effect. This is how Pop-Up-Foundation uses its local perspective to address global ecological challenge – how to live our lives sustainably.”
During this workshop we did an interesting exercise. At our tables we had a packet of Carmen’s Muesli Bars and another muesli/breakfast bar. This exercise required us to examine the packaging and look for information on the following…
- Packaging (recyclable?)
- Evidence of certification/soil association etc?
- What is it claiming/saying about itself?
- Can we identify where it is from?
- Fair Trade/ direct/ ethical trade?
It was quite eye opening from the perspective of what is not on the packaging. In particular, where are the ingredients sourced from? There is nothing on packaging that identifies who the farmers are (and yes I realise there is limited space on packaging but you will find the majority of companies do not even have that information available on their websites). Another point that was made, for something to be labelled “Fair Trade”, only 1% of the ingredients have to be sourced as fair trade. Astounding!!! Well actually it’s a joke to be honest.
Another point of discussion was on one of the many projects that have been undertaken by the Pop-Up-Foundation. The “Happy Bean Coffee Company” is a fantastic project and really does embrace the concept of “Think Glocal” – Think globally and act locally. I believe this concept is a more realistic way of understanding concepts of food security, food miles and buying or acting locally in a world that is more connected than ever.