Store Cupboard Essentials

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We stock a small range of cupboard basics that are organic, fairtrade or preferably both. We research the companies and look for justice before price, although we are trying to keep at or below supermarket prices.

For years, supermarkets have distorted the trading of our basic necessities of life, giving us abundant choice and low prices but at a huge cost to the producer, the planet and to common sense.

It is time for us to understand that our monetary transactions have a moral cost. If a product is not fairly traded, then why would we buy it? There are, of course, many complexities that we need to be aware of. For example, organically-grown products that don’t have full certification, and fairly traded goods that likewise have not applied for the logo. The best that we can do is be constantly aware and that is what the St Marys Market is committed to being and doing.

When we buy the things we need from the Market, we are trying to ensure that our brothers and sisters who have grown the product for us are receiving a fair wage for their effort and the land that they are tending—as part of our common earthly heritage - is flourishing.

Remember this… If you are getting something ‘cheap’ - then the grower/maker/producer is getting less. Their work is undervalued.

In the face of climate change, rising diet-related ill-health and widespread declines in our wildlife, the need to produce healthy food, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and protect wildlife grows more acute by the year. There is no magic bullet to tackle the challenges that face us, but the buying  decisions we make every day are a simple but powerful form of direct action.” – The Soil Association

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Suma Wholefood Cooperative

Suma is the UK’s largest independent wholefood distributor. It specialises in vegetarian , fairly tradedorganic, ethical and natural products. Now under its own brand it also has a wide range of food and non-food products. Taking an ethical approach runs to very heart of what Suma is about. For foods, this means that you can expect great taste and value plus an ethical approach in every decision. For example, products containing eggs use free-range eggs; organic and speciality-diet alternatives are stocked whenever possible; and vegetarian really means vegetarian, with no animal or fish derivatives used in production. Non-food products are subject to the same strict conditions, so our cosmetics and household products must be cruelty-free and environmentally friendly. 

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Equal Exchange Coffee and Chocolate

In 1979 three aid volunteers returned from Africa. They had seen how small-scale farmers were plunging themselves into debt due to the  appallingly low prices they received for their products and buyers’ lack of transparency.

At the same time, coffee consumption was growing in the UK and yet the people drinking it had no idea that the farmers were not even covering their costs or that they had no other choices. Throwing money at the problem was not the only answer – direct, fairer trading would make a real difference.

The team imported coffee from Tanzania and Nicaragua, launching Campaign Coffee Scotland. In 1990 Campaign Coffee Scotland re branded as Equal Exchange  and became a workers’ co-operative, reflecting the values that we still believe in today.

We now work with a wide range of farming communities to make the world a fairer and more transparent place. Equal Exchange no longer just focuses on coffee; we import a range of products from honey to nuts.

Together with our producer partners, we share a passion for producing the best quality coffees, cocoa, honey, sugar, butters, nuts and oils that are worth every penny and our products are all fully traceable

As a Fair Trade pioneer we believe that Fair Trade can and should do more, which is why we are always searching for new ways of connecting with our producers, such as our Grown By Women project, and our values influence every bit of our business. This means that you know, and we know, that Equal Exchange products are  always fair, sustainable, and delicious.’

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Gilchesters Organic flour

At Gilchesters, on the site of a Roman fort, we work with nature, growing and milling our heritage grains alongside herds of rare-breed cattle to combine a balance between farming and wildlife conservation.

Our choice of heritage wheat grains as well as our rye, spelt and even older Emmer and Einkorn cereals is the result of painstaking research into organic crop husbandry on our farm over the last ten years. Our organic farming methods allow us to produce the food people want in harmony with our surroundings

Here at Gilchesters, the rotation of crops and animals on each field is designed to ensure the soils are never depleted of naturally occurring minerals and nutrients.

There is an on-going conservation programme, now in its tenth year, of replanting hedgerows, creating ponds and habitats for ground nesting birds as well as hunting strips for owls. We have two new ponds, five acres of winter-feeding sites for birds, four new woods, fourteen kilometres of uncultivated field margins and nearly eight kilometres of new and improved hedges. The first of these hedges will now be laid this winter.

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Doves Farm Flour

Bake Yourself Happy the Organic Way

You find yourself in the baking aisle, surrounded by shelves and shelves of flour. What’s actually inside those packets, beyond the fine, powdery substance that we know as flour, that humble of ingredients that gives us countless delicious baked goods? It is an ingredient that has been part of our culinary history since ancient times, with bread alone being older than metal, but how well do we know the ingredient that has formed so much of our ancestry and indeed, how well do we know the flour that we choose today?

Flour probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think about choosing organic. Before the mass production of flour and the word organic came into existence, our food was as it should be, created without artificial inputs and grown with very little human intervention. Once the crop was sown, it was nurtured by the soil, wind, rain and sun until it was ready to harvest, and once cut, the grain would be milled into flour without added preservatives or artificial ingredients. Today, organic flour production, and how we produce our organic range at Doves Farm, is influenced by this farming model and aims to work with nature and not against it, to encourage and build our agricultural systems and to produce grain as nature intended and as close to that of our forefathers.

But, what does this really mean for you, when you’re perusing the shelves for your baking ingredients? Why choose organic flour? What does organic even really mean? ….. Organic farming is a rigorously controlled system. Every part of the farming and production chain is measured, inspected and  documented. It means that the flour milled from organic grain has been produced with higher levels of environmental and animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides and no genetically modified ingredients (GM) or artificial fertilisers. When you choose organic flour, you are able to make a decisive choice about the journey your food has made from field to oven.

Choose what you feed your body ….. Did you know there are up to 300 different additives available for food manufacturers to use in the UK (Real Bread Campaign) and  almost 320 pesticides that can be routinely used in non-organic farming and are often present in non-organic food? Organic grain is grown using fewer pesticides - organic farmers are able to use only 15 pesticides, derived from natural ingredients – meaning that when you bake with organic flour, you choose to reduce your exposure to pesticides that can make their way into the food chain.

Glyphosate, one of the most commonly used weed killers in the UK, is one of three pesticides regularly found in routine testing of British bread, appearing in over 60% of wholemeal bread samples tested by the Defra committee on Pesticide Residues in Food, according to the Soil Association.

Baking your own bread allows you to control exactly what goes into it and therefore what you put in your body. We love to bake with organic flour because it means that we know what our food contains and that it has been produced with as few artificial inputs as possible. Ultimately, it is a great way of feeding your happy, of knowing what goes into your bakes and what food you’re feeding your family. 

Be a guardian of our planet…. Organic flour supports a farming system that works to reduce the pollution of our soil and our environment. Organic farmers rely on natural soil fertility to produce their crops, so they use crop rotations to help break cycles of pests and disease and build soil fertility, instead of using numerous pesticides and fertilisers, which can pollute our soil and water systems.

What’s more, with fewer pesticides being used to grow wheat, organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. If you care about what our planet looks like today and for generations to come, about what countryside we will get to enjoy and what wildlife we will continue to see, making a simple swap to organic flour all contributes towards this.

Revolutionise your baking Artisan bakers across the country choose to bake with organic flour and it’s no surprise why. Driven by the desire to make bread as it should be, using premium ingredients of flour, water and yeast, they choose ingredients without additives and organic flour is the cream of the crop.  When you’re taking the time to bake, to proudly pull a showstopper out of the oven that you can share with your family, you of course want to use the best ingredients you can get your hands on,  including flour.  What’s more, for the sourdough lovers amongst us, organic flour is typically               recommended for making a sourdough starter. This is because it  contains the natural microbes which allow it to ferment when mixed with water. 

Choosing organic flour then is a step in the right direction if we want to minimise our exposure to chemicals, help to safeguard our planet and bake ourselves happy in the process. As the Soil Association, the UK’s leading food and farming charity and organic certification body, have proposed, our shopping choices affect not only our own health, but what our world will look like in the future:

In the face of climate change, rising diet-related ill-health and widespread declines in our wildlife, the need to produce healthy food, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and protect wildlife grows more acute by the year. There is no magic bullet to tackle the challenges that face us, but the buying  decisions we make every day are a simple but powerful form of direct action.” – The Soil Association