Committed to Fair Trade and Integrity
At Gathering Place Trading, we are all about values! Rather than subscribing to the “business as usual” model, our family-run company takes great pride in doing things differently.
This means, when it comes to making business decisions, we let our hearts lead. For us, kindness, respect, and integrity are interwoven with deep care for the environment and support for the communities where our food is grown.
This is the first in a three-part series about these bedrock values that influence all of our business decisions.
Right From The Start, Partnering Only With The Best Farmers and Partners
First up: Integrity and fairness! Wondering what this looks like in practice?
Locally Grown and Made in CanadaIf a product grows in Canada, we’ll source it here! And if we can’t find it in Canada, we will only work with family-owned or cooperative farms. This direct connection to our farmers means that we actually know them by name and call many of them friends!
Choosing Farms following Sustainable Farming PracticesWhen we are selecting farmers to partner with, we look for values that match ours. To ensure a relationship is a good fit, we created a rigorous vetting process. Stewardship of the earth, sustainable farming practices, fair trade values, equal pay for men and women, and incredibly high quality products are a few of our top criteria. Some examples of the sustainable farming practices we look for include multi-cropping, mulching, composting, and even the use of biogas digesters. What’s that, you ask? Rather than letting methane gas escape into the atmosphere, biogas digesters process waste and convert it to an energy that can be used by humans. Many of the farms we source from in South India use their cow dung (from their highly revered herd) to create a biogas that is delivered, via tube, from their barn to their kitchen. They then use the gas to cook. What a closed loop system – no fracked gas in India!
Offering Organically Grown, Hand-Harvested, Sustainable Tea, Herbs and SpicesWhen we are choosing products to offer our customers, we search high and low for the best flavour and the most vibrant colours. The incredible quality of our products is, hands down, the thing our customers really notice and rave about. For example, we searched for years for a direct family source for our Paprika and Smoked Paprika, rejecting commodity offerings from unknown sources. We were so pleased when we found a family business in Spain run by four sisters, who produce incredible paprika products. Their smoked paprika is slow smoked over oak for at least two weeks and has a deep rich burgundy colour. You can taste the quality!
Investing in Global Communities and Providing Fair Employment and Treatment
We take great pride in giving back to the communities where our food is grown. Supporting good work in the communities we source from feels like the right thing to do. In fact, hand-selecting projects is one of our favourite parts of the business! We donate 1% of gross sales of each product back to the country where the food is grown. Read about all of the communities we support.
When it comes to our employee team, we make every effort to create a safe and happy work environment, offering a 4-day work week, extended medical benefits, living wages, and perks such as a $5/day C02 credit for commuting by bike or by foot. We’re a family business, so we want the people who work for us to feel they are part of the family!
We love leading with our heart and honouring the values of integrity and fairness in all of our company’s decisions. We love taking care of the people and communities that make up our business. And we love that you care about this too!
In part 2 of this series, learn about environmental stewardship and what it means to us!