Help combat food waste with Urban Cordial
Wasted food isn't just a social or humanitarian issue, it's a major environmental concern - if global food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US - that really puts it into perspective doesn't it? Along with the physical food waste itself, we need to think about the energy and water that it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package food. Plus, if food waste ends up in landfill it produces huge amounts of methane gas. Together we can reduce around 6-8% of our human-caused greenhouse gas emissions if we collectively work towards reducing and eliminating food waste.
As a team we're huge fans of Urban Cordial, and not just because it's our go-to refreshment on a busy day in the shop (Pear & Ginger with sparkling water please) - but because every single bottle of Urban Cordial is made from surplus fruit - but what does that really mean, and why does it matter?
Over a third of global food doesn’t even reach our plates, often just because it's considered odd-looking despite being perfectly good to eat. Founder of Urban Cordial Natasha, started to contact local farms to ask if they had any surplus produce for her cordials…and they did! As a result, Urban Cordial has helped to save over 100 tonnes of fruit from landfill, plus their entire production process is zero waste with all fruit pulp going to the local farms to become animal feed.
We caught up with Natasha (who was kind enough to have a little chat with us whilst being in the midst of her new journey, Motherhood) about how and why Urban Cordial came about, why it's important and what more we could be doing to help in our own mission when it comes to reducing waste.
Who are Urban Cordial?
We are an independent bunch who like to keep things naturally delicious by producing the best cordial out there!
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and how you ended up here?
I used to work in the city, but found it quite boring. Outside of my work life, I had an allotment on which I grew some fruit. I started experimenting with making my own cordial, which turned into a few flavours ending up at the farmer's market - which people loved! So, it was a natural next step for me to make them available to a wider range of customers - voilà, Urban Cordial was born.
Why is food waste so important?
"Waste" doesn't always mean that the food has gone bad, or has spoiled, it also includes fruit and veg that doesn't look as pretty or as perfect as we expect them to be, or as the supermarkets expect them to be. This means that a lot of the food that ends up being wasted is perfectly good and healthy for consumption. In using these "not so pretty" foods, we end up taking the strain off the environment.
What more can we do to help?
Buy more cordial ;) There are lots of ways to reduce waste and lots more solutions across the board. From refilling at your local refill store to using companies who not only do good for the environment, such as Fill Refill Co, but also use way less packaging and even reuse their packaging in a closed loop system. If everyone just did a little, there could be a huge global shift in the impact we are having on our resources.
What's on the horizon?
We want to be the cordial of choice out there and take over the likes of Belvoir and Bottlegreen...we do better, we taste better and we look better!
Do you have a personal favourite Urban Cordial?
Definitely Apple, Lemon & Fennel - it's not too sweet, is perfect in still or sparkling water, delicious in a cocktail and anything with fennel in it is a win for me.
Can you offer a few words of advice for anyone who wants to start making positive environmental changes but doesn't know where to start?
Wanting to make positive environmental changes does not have to be a grand gesture. You can start as small as opting for reusable packaging wherever possible, or carrying around a stainless steel straw (if you enjoy getting take-out drinks). Look at your lifestyle and pick one thing that you'd like to replace with something more sustainable - It WILL make a difference, then you'll be hooked!
What’s your favourite refill product?
At my local refill store, I can rarely leave without their marbled chocolate macadamia nuts!! On a more practical refill, I'd have to go for something like our fabric softener, we have a 5-litre container and it lasts us about 8 months as it is double the strength of supermarket ones - so it saves us money and packaging!
Looking to get creative with your cordials? Check out these cocktails and mocktails for some inspiration.