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Jersey shops opt to go plastic-free

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TWO Jersey businesses have joined a growing movement across the world by committing to become the first plastic-free shops in the Island.

John Hamon at Vermont Farm, which has been in his family for generations

With concerns growing about the pollution of the oceans due to single-use plastics, a new organic food co-operative is planning to sell plastic and waste-free produce from Vermont Farm Shop on Rue du Coin, St Brelade.

Meanwhile, Islander Sonya Lavery is planning to open a grocery store called Mini Mall in Hilgrove Street, which will focus on selling sustainable produce that will not be packaged in plastic.

Vermont Farm is managed by organic farmers John and Margaret Hamon, who provide vegetables, eggs, chickens, pork and lamb for the local market.

The farm shop is due to be reopened in September and become managed by a new organic food co-operative, which will focus on reducing the use of plastic and supplying ‘healthy and responsibly farmed food at affordable prices’.

Mr Hamon, whose family have farmed at Vermont Farm for generations, said that the new business model would help give the shop a ‘new lease of life’.

‘I am an organic farmer already and this fits in beautifully with what we were doing, which is ensuring that we are looking after the environment,’ he said.

‘All our produce will be sourced locally and we will be wrapping the produce ourselves in the measures that are requested. There will be no pre-packaging and we will not be using any plastic.’

Mr Hamon added that his business uses a range of organic farming techniques, such as gathering leaves for use in compost.

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Ms Lavery plans to open Mini Mall at the end of the month as a ‘one-stop shop’ for the Island’s ‘conscientious shoppers’, where they can buy sustainable products, including bulk-buy whole-foods and local organic produce.

Kaspar Wimberley, of the Morning Boat, an initiative exploring the impact of agricultural and fishing practices on Islanders’ lives, said that the expansion of plastic-free shops is consumer-driven.

‘In doing this, Jersey joins a growing movement, with no-waste and plastic shops opening up across Europe and the United Kingdom, as we start to realise the implications of our shopping habits and pay more attention to the foods we eat,’ he said.

‘Consumers are taking the lead in changing the way things are produced, processed and distributed, fuelling the demand for more responsible and sustainable supply lines,’

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A gathering is planned to take place at Vermont Farm on the 17 June for those interested in finding out more about the organic food co-operative, the aims of which are:

1. Supporting and encouraging local organic farming practices, by creating a market and demand for the produce.

2. Supporting and encouraging no/low waste food production and consumption.

3. To make good quality responsibly farmed and processed food more affordable and accessible.

4. To make the shopping experience enjoyable and grow a community that can sustain the aims of the co-operative.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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