Prioritizing Responsible Sourcing Practices

12 min listen

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Intro: (00:06)

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[Moderator] Agathe: (00:38)

Hi everyone. I'm Agathe from the product development team here at fresh and today on the fresh take we welcome Lara Kuritzky, who is going to talk to us about the importance of responsible sourcing. So hello, Lara and welcome.

[Guest] Lara: (00:54)

Hi Agathe Thank you so much for having me. I think it's really important that we actually give the definition of responsible sourcing, well, responsible sourcing. I'll give you an example that we think about every day. I think I mentioned to you that I got a coffee this morning on the way here, and we think about often where the coffee beans come from and you might see on a coffee package in the supermarket that the beans are from Columbia or Ethiopia. And the idea of responsible sourcing in that example is that the coffee company in that case is making sure that the, the lands, the water and the people, all who are involved in, in growing the coffee are taken care of. And then looking at that source from the word sourcing all the way from the farm in that case to your table or your coffee house and to your cup. And that's really what responsible sourcing is that you're looking at that all the way from where it's grown at the source to the cup or the table or where you are as the purchaser.

[Moderator] Agathe: (02:21)

So I guess it's not only applicable to food, right? Like responsible sourcing goes beyond the food industry.

[Guest] Lara: (02:29)

Yeah, absolutely. Responsible sourcing can be in any industry. So we think about it a lot in food because we put it inside our bodies. But another example that, that we might be well aware of is paper, right? So you think about, oh, is this paper recycled? And that is outside of food, but no, your paper comes from wood or pulp made from wood. And that comes from a forest.

[Guest] Lara:: (03:07)

And so responsible sourcing in the case of your paper products, your envelopes and your office paper and your cardboard and your packaging, we're all receiving all these packages. Now it's really in that case about how the forest is taken care of and do they harvest sustainably or is it recycled? So sometimes it's recycled and other times it's from a forest directly. It's the first time that it's been made into something, but that it's, that that forest was well-managed and that they are cutting the forest in a sustainable way. So that's a non food industry. So now you come to beauty and you think, oh, okay, well, a lot of the ingredients inside beauty products come from plants and that's absolutely true. You have all these botanical plants and it might be the leaves or the stems or the roots, or the seeds where you get a special oil and these plants are grown or collected, and there are farmers, or there are pickers and there are landscapes. In some cases, there are beautiful, important landscapes around these plants. And we have to take care of those lands and those communities that are involved in growing or collecting those plants that make it into our skincare.

[Moderator] Agathe: (04:50)

So this is, uh, you're you're, you're, you're describing fresh here. We are friends, uh, that is based on nature. Um, efficacy, our products are all nature inspired, and we want to make sure that we do not deplete.

[Guest] Lara: (05:08)

Yeah, exactly. It's, it's so important to think about where these materials, raw natural materials come from and that they are connected to landscapes important ecosystems. And to, in a lot of the cases, local communities, local people all over the world, and many of these people count on the income from picking or farming those plants. And so that's, that is where our work with you is coming in is to ensure that we're taking care of the land, the water, and the people that are associated with these natural raw materials or botanical materials.

[Moderator] Agathe: (06:08)

I've read one of the UEBT studies that is about biodiversity. And it turns out that apparently today, only 26% of Americans are able to give a definition to biodiversity. So as you're an expert, could you please tell us what biodiversity is?

[Guest] Lara: (06:29)

Biodiversity kind of complicated word, but really, it just means the diversity of life on earth. So that includes wildlife. So animals, birds, plants also. So trees, shrubs, and then it also includes us. It includes humans. We are part of the diversity of life on earth. And then it also includes the soil. We don't often think about our soil when it's healthy, is alive, it's alive with all kinds of microorganisms. And that's what allows things to grow and to regenerate and for there to be a healthy landscape. So that's biodiversity, it's, it's all the living things on earth in all of their diversity.

[Moderator] Agathe: (07:29)

Could you explain to us how a company can ensure to preserve it to conserve biodiversity?

[Guest] Lara: (07:38)

Yeah, absolutely. There's so much talk today about how we have to take care of biodiversity because we're losing some of our biodiversity on earth and we need it for health and we need it for all the things that we get from the earth. So not just food, but also plants go into all sorts of products that we use such as, you know, beauty and wellness products, but also medicines and things like that. So, so we talk at our organization at UAB T about two types of caring or respecting biodiversity, and one is conservation of biodiversity and the other one is sustainable use of biodiversity. So I'll explain those with two quick examples. So conservation of biodiversity is that accompany. So the company that is taking these plant materials, for example, to put in a skincare product, that they are looking beyond the area where the plant is farmed or picked.

[Guest] Lara: (08:50)

And they're looking at the wider landscape, the wider ecosystem, and making sure that not, they're not doing harm to anything such as if there's a river nearby or there's an important forest area nearby that there aren't pollutants and that they're taking care of that. And then sustainable use of biodiversity is about the actual picking or growing of those plans. So for example, I think fresh, um, for example, you're sourcing roses from this very important area. I think it's called the valley of the roses in Bulgaria, where people have grown these roses in a traditional way for generations and they're hand picked. And it's a very, um, beautiful landscape there. So the idea of sustainable use would be that for example, they're being picked in a certain way so that the plant stays healthy so that it regrows, and it's not diminished too much over time.

[Guest] Lara: (09:51)

And that might mean that you're not using chemicals or you're reducing chemicals, if you are using chemicals or that your looking at the pollinator, the bee population on the farm and ensuring that that is being taken care of also that the plants can be healthy. And so that, that actual collection area or farm, um, is something that can go on and, and, and those roses will be there for generations. And you're not going to have, uh, a depleted farm that's, you know, nothing is growing in anymore. So those are two of the things we really focus on.

[Moderator] Agathe: (10:34)

Thank you so much for explaining what responsible sourcing is. And thank you so much for your time. Well, it's been a pleasure. Thank you. Join us for another episode of a fresh take to continue learning about responsible sourcing.

Outro: (11:04)

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