Being environmentally friendly has always been part of our family. Turn the lights off when you leave a room, put on a sweater if you are cold, have quick showers, recycle, etc was always heard around the house as kids. It is part of our lives and it is only natural that it extends into our business as well. Over the last few years we have made plans to do whatever we can do lessen our footprint and look after earth. It is our responsibility in the industry (perhaps as trendsetters) and we must do what we can. At Meadow Creek Sausage & Meat Ltd we have taken steps ranging from packaging and processing, to green energy sources in order to do our part in respecting the environment.
When you are in the meat department of your favorite grocery store you will find most sausages and meats packaged with a foam tray, equipped with a soaker pad, plastic wrap and a colourful glossy label. It looks nice but it has a tremendous environmental impact. On average, the waste created is approximately 40 grams. Meadow Creek style packaging consists of a white label and a vacuum seal pouch. The waste created in only 6 grams. That is 6.6 times less waste than traditional packaging. If a family of 4 only consumes 2 package of sausages per week, it would save approximately 3.5 kg of waste annually. That is a enormous number especially when you multiply that by the number of families in your town, city, province and country!
Another big advantage for you as a consumer is that you don't have to pay for all the fancy packaging when you purchase Meadow Creek Sausages. Hence our slogan, "Simply Sausage."
The less packaging we use means we will save you money in the future. Measures are being taken to charge consumers for waste. In Europe for example, the black/green/blue bins are weighed as they are emptied and the owner is charged accordingly. It is only a matter of time before that process will be adopted here at home. That makes our packages at 6 grams way more attractive for you than the traditional packaging that weighs 40 grams. Extra money in your wallet means you can spend that on other family needs and that is very important.
We use white thermal labels for our packaging. It is not fancy, colourful or glossy but there are many reasons behind this. Thermal printing means that we don't use any ink. That is a plus for the environment. Our labels dissolve quickly and easily in water. The quicker it breaks down, the better it is for our earth.
Our sausages are packed in bags that can stay in your freezer for up to a year. You don't need to repack it for the freezer when you get home. It saves you time, packaging material, less waste (and therefore money).
When we ship product out to our customers, we use a box that is made from recycled materials. The more we recycle, the better it is for the environment.
In 2019, we will be introducing green refrigeration technology into our production facility. We live in Canada and we have a colder climate at least 6 months a year. We want to use what Mother Nature is giving us. As a production facility, we need cold temperatures for food safety. Why not use outside air to cool down the production facility? It lessens our need for electricity and lowers our carbon usage. By using technology to our advantage, our facility will become more environmentally responsible.
Why stop at green refrigeration technology? In 2019 we will also be commencing our solar power project. On average, Claresholm has 330 days of sunshine annually. That is an opportunity that can be taken advantage off that will result in decreasing our environmental footprint.
We are also looking into a biodegradable product bag that is currently in the research phases in the EU and North America. It is a project that is utilizes chicken feathers (which is considered a waste product in the industry) and extracting keratin to produce a biodegradable bags for meat products. There are still challenges ahead with this project but these will be solved. It is estimated that in 2020 the product bags will be available and once they are, Meadow Creek Sausage will be making the switch immediately. Of course this new packaging will be substantially more expensive and affect our bottom line. However, our customers will not be paying more at the cash register for this decision. We truly believe that the environment is more important than the bottom line.