1% for the Planet
Just 3% of global benevolent giving goes to environmental causes.
As a brand it is important to the Cameler Spice Co team that we build with credibility. It is fair to say that we want to deliver beyond great taste and aesthetics. 1% for the planet was founded by two infamous global philanthropists’ Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies (fishing flies) and Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia (clothing brand). The 1% for the planet brand has a set of 7 values that we believe encompass our very own values, mission and purpose as to the path we wish to lay.
As Co-founders, Myles Grennan and Halle Faraj, we have been committed in our search for a global environmental body that would support our vision as to where we want to get to. A year on from first discussions’ we chose the body “1% for the planet”. All too often certain words and phrases such as sustainability, impact driven and carbon footprint lose credibility because of lip service. Environmental causes can struggle with traction due to consumer fatigue, as a result of apparent green washing. It truly is something as co-founders that we feel passionate about. It is one of the many links to the chain in the foundation of our business that we endeavour to make a success. Sustainability, and carbon footprint initiatives are part of the cornerstone in brand building alongside great tasting, natural spice blends built upon heritage.
We have always adhered to the principles of “starting as we mean to go on”
It is easy to stand on our soap box preaching how we mill and blend our spices of the world with green energy. However, what exactly does that mean, we hear you say? Effectively it means that our gas is fully carbon offset and our electric comes from 100% renewables’. Our fully carbon neutral energy plan is thanks to our utility supplier ‘Octopus Energy Group’. It is important to note that we recognize that this is by no means something to be too vocal about as this can be considered as hyperbolizing green claims. Nevertheless, we don't want to sell ourselves short either. Fundamentally, as a business this might be more prevalent when we wish to peruse being carbon neutral, in which case we would probably rather have our own onsite energy solutions.
When it comes to our packaging, our precious cargo is housed in brown glass jars under aluminium lids. This has dual purpose. The brown glass jars protect this precious commodity for longer, in fact traditionally apothecaries sold spices in brown glass jars for this exact reason for centuries. Arguably the more considered benefit promotes the ease of recycling the glass jar and aluminium closure materials. However, we recognise that more can be done.
When you consider that one of the worlds oldest commodities is often harvested by a woman for a very low wage, and then shipped across the world on big diesel ships, you might say that we should all give more reverence to spices. Historically, many spices have been more expensive than the most precious of metals, gram for gram. Cinnamon, clove, cardamon, vanilla and saffron are just some examples. There is a reason why cardamom is known as green gold and the queen of spices. Unfortunately, we are all guilty of using certain spices once, which inevitably end up in the spice graveyard. “Your cupboard” before playing a small role in contributing to the 45% United Kingdom food landfill waste. We believe more can be done to educate the consumer, and believe us when we say, we too are guilty of some of this critique.
Can you imagine a world without spice? They often play a pivotal role in medicine, cosmetics, beverages, food products, colognes and candles, to name but a few.
Regrettably, spices are not unique to climate change. It can be a case of drought that can cause a low harvest to heavy flooding that can wash nutrients away from the soil and thus proving challenges in returning yields to a positive deficit. Spices come in the form of roots, bark, berries, and seed. It is the leaves and flowers that are considered herbs. Albeit the herbs can often get incorporated into the family namesake of spices. Spices and herbs are an important part of our eco systems especially for many insects who play roles in pollinating. However, aphids and moths are insects that are not favoured in the world of spices or other fruits and vegetables. These tiny creatures are a result of climate change where they thrive in climates that are warmer for longer. It is suggested that pests and diseases can cause a 40% yield loss every year.
So why 1% for planet?
This global environmental body encourages businesses and individuals, “that’s us” to commit to giving at least 1% of their annual sales or income to support environmental causes. It allows us to have accountability and credibility to back up our mission. The organization connects businesses and individuals with a network of vetted non-profit organizations working to protect the planet and helps to amplify their impact. Since its founding in 2002, 1% for the Planet has grown to include thousands of members in over 60 countries, who have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental causes. The organization also advocates for policies and practices that support environmental conservation and sustainability.
The Solutions can encompass the following.
- Protecting land, forests, and water: This includes efforts to preserve natural habitats, protect wildlife, and promote sustainable management of natural resources.
- Advancing a circular economy: This involves reducing waste and pollution by designing products, processes, and systems to reuse and recycle resources.
- Addressing climate change: This includes efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energy, and support climate adaptation and resilience.
1% for the planet are building an ecosystem matrix that is interlaced with 6 core issues that have critical links between each other, which are areas that Camelēr Spice Co feel equally passionate about.
- Climate change being the most critical of all headline topics in today’s world. Freak storms, coast erosion, melting ice caps, and drought to name but a few. This is already having detrimental effects on the spice trade. Fragrant flavours can often outpace supply when it comes to certain spices because of consumer demand. Sadly, extreme weathers are already increasing market challenges and creating volatile pricing in the trade of spices.
- In a world of increasing population, food security and sustainable offerings are a critical part of the eco system for human health and planet. Population displacement is a result of famine, natural disasters and conflict. Often certain developed countries can frown upon economic migrants that have no choice because of the afore mentioned. A cruel statistic for those even more unfortunate is that the average refugee will spend 17 years in a camp because of displacement.
- Land husbandry, soil nutrients, crop rotation, education, conservation and protecting the rights of indigenous communities are often challenges created by political turmoil and big corporations. We only have to look at the issues of deforestation and issues around Palm oil plantations. It is said that an area the size of Wales is deforested in Russia every year. Our forests and woodlands are the lungs of the world and often many of the spices we love are part of these ecosystems.
- Pollution comes in many forms. As a start-up brand we too are guilty of contributing towards pollution. Spices are most likely shipped around the world on diesel ships like lots of other items in the food supply chain. Factory carbon emissions from manufacturing and processing are some of the many and awful results of pollution.
- Water as an element is almost like the skin of the human body. It makes up 71% of the earth’s surface, the biggest organ. The simplest of all human basics is having a great strain on ecosystems and economies. It could be in the disguise of pollution or it might be a short supply in the form of drought. Having grown up in Saudi Arabia, our founder Halle states “you only have to grow up in the desert to appreciate how precious water is”.
- Wildlife plays an unequivocal role in sustaining a healthy planet. Watching David Attenborough documentaries, “blue planet and planet earth” one might get a grasp as to how important wildlife is to the ecosystem. Conservation and protection of a changing landscape and challenges to the planets wildlife system is critical to maintaining a healthy biodiversity that survives all human life.
Our message is simple. It might be a little jar of spice, but the spice industry amongst so many other industries need love and reform. Once again just ask yourself, can you imagine a world without spice? Even the humble peppercorn. Camelēr Spice Co believe that our spice blends give added value, thus paying reverence to the planets oldest traded commodity. Come and ride the camel with us as we pave a new surface for the spice trade as to how we as consumers innovate on the lore of heritage. Check out our spices of the world collection.