Zero Waste Month: Central Park Farms
For the month of July, the Coquitlam Farmers Market is highlighting some of the great work vendors are doing to reduce their waste, both at market and throughout their production chains.
Kendall from market staple, Central Park Farms, says making sustainable choices within her company goes beyond just farming operations.
The goal behind our farm is ‘helping our community make ethical and sustainable food choices,’ so it’s important that we focus on sustainable and zero waste initiatives wherever we can.
Central Park Farms has forged relationships with various companies in food production and supply chain so they can work together to divert food otherwise destined for the land fill. Kendall says their pigs are fed through a cleaver food waste recovery program.
We feed spend brewery grains from local breweries, cast offs from a local organic granola bar manufacture so they get nuts, honey, whey, and oats, and then fruits and vegetables.
In addition to this program, the farm now simply uses vacuum seal bags for their meats instead of using an additional meat tray, and liner. Kendall says she was a bit concerned about how customers would respond to the change in packaging.
But when I explained to our regular customers why we were changing our packaging they were thrilled. Less waste they have to deal with in their homes as well. Plus as a bonus because the meat takes up less room without the tray we’re now able to use smaller bags therefore further reducing the amount of plastic we use.
With a more widespread push to better take care of our planet, Kendall says she the number of calls from food producers wanting to see if the farm could take on their byproducts or cast offs have increased, a “bit of a snowball effect”. While many companies are trying to reduce their environmental impact, some of what she has been receiving surprises her.
It’s really shocking to see what great shape this food is in that we feed but unfortunately in many cases by the time it goes through the supply chain from the grower/packer/producer to the distribution centre and then the grocery store it will have gone bad. But when we get it, it’s still in fantastic shape. Our kids often pull perfect fruit out before it goes to the pigs and eat it themselves while they work around the farm.
Kendall says we all need to do our part to leave the world a better place for our kids and that these changes go far beyond business operations and success.
That was the reason I got into farming in the first place is I was feeling like there was so much abuse in animal agriculture to both the animals and the environment so I just want to make sure we operate in a way that aligns with my values and how I want the world to be left for my family.
Look for future sustainability endeavours from Central Park Farms! Kendall says as her business continues to grow, constantly in a state of improvement, she is always looking for opportunities to integrate more efficient and eco-friendly systems and supples into farming operations.