This coming Tuesday the people of Exeter in South West England will be treated to a new fresh food indoor market. Foodeaze, however, is not just a market, it is also a café, an educational centre and a food academy. Foodeaze is taking sustainable food shopping to a new level, addressing issues surrounding food production, food miles, and food selling with unparalled dedication. It will focus on sourcing regional and seasonal produce, providing fair prices to the farmers and educating both staff and customers about food provenance. ‘If a product can be grown, farmed and fished in the region of the store to the highest quality, and 92% of our products are, then it will be sourced for the store.’ The market will be an interactive space where you can do your grocery shopping, watch food being prepared in the kitchen, have a meal, whilst also learning about where you food has been grown, who has produced it and how many carbon miles it has taken to get it to the store. Foodeaze haven’t left anything out of the sustainable equation, they have been researching packing options and are confident that all of their packaging is either compostable, corn starch or recyclable, P.E.T. They plan to turn all their milk bottles into shopping trolleys, baskets, planters and furnishings in the educational centre. This 500sq ft centre will host seminars, lectures and workshops for producers, suppliers and in house chefs. It will also be available free of charge to the local educational authority during term time. ‘This way we can offer children as young as five, the chance to experience a whole host of food related topics from bread making and nutrition to marine conservation and soil erosion.’ The education program will also continue in-store as each staff member will be offered a place in the Foodeaze academy. This is structured as a three year on the job certified training program where the staff can gain a deep understanding of food, it’s production and it’s relationship to the environment.
But hold up what about the energy cost of all this? No they’re not going to be caught out there either. Foodeaze haven’t forgotten about their carbon emissions. All their vehicles will be run on bio diesel and in warmer months on 100% bio fuel, provided by their own kitchens of course! The store will run on a combination of solar panels and a wind turbine. They say that less than 5% of the food comes from abroad and whatever does they will be offsetting the resulting co2. One product out of that 5% will be chocolate and we are excited to say that one brand that Foodeaze will be selling is Kallari. Kallari is an Ecuadorian cooperative that we wrote about last year, which produces organic fair trade chocolate. They are one of the only fair trade cooperatives that go through the whole chocolate making process themselves, from bean to bar. This self sufficient production increases the income for the cacao farmers and the Kallari Association. This shows the positive side of chocolate production that unfortunately is all too rare in the industry, as was shown by the Bitter Truth article this week.
TreeHugger would like to congratulate Foodeaze on creating such a strong, thorough and well thought out food shopping experience and we wish them success in the implementation of all these ideas and for their opening next week.
:: Foodeaze, St George’s Market, Exeter, UK. Opening: Tuesday February 6th 2007.