In this series exploring culinary conservation, our focus is on fostering connections with nature through culture and craft. Profiling the people behind companies that share a sustainable vision—inspired by tradition and impassioned by culture and craft.
Tracing the origins and values of a brand expands our understanding of the source, the heritage, and heart behind both produce and product. It restores our ability to choose consciously with appreciation for nature.
Today artisan brands have greater reach via online stores and mainstream supermarkets, which see potential to innovate their range and connect with people interested in quality over quantity.
Connect Foods is an example of this, the company was founded and developed by Tony Pountney and Barak Begleiter and launched into Woolworths supermarkets nationally in September 2014.
The brand was built with 4 pillars in mind that provide the foundation for all Connect Foods products and projects:
A desire to make healthy living accessible to all consumers.
Products to be sourced in a socially responsible way that helps local communities.
Products are to be organically grown and chemical free.
Information and advice related to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle is to be provided to consumers at no cost.
Looking at the health food market it was obvious that the price of superfoods put them out of reach of most consumers, further fuelling the view that healthy living was an elitist endeavour. They decided to do something positive about this by launching their own brand and thus Connect Foods was born. The challenge was to find a range of products that was organic and sustainably grown, that could be sold at a fair price to consumers whilst still giving the farmers a fair price. To do this Connect Foods worked hard on sourcing direct from farms and not through a chain of distributors.
Connect Foods Organic Chia Seeds are sourced from south east Asuncion in Paraguay. The seeds are part of the first Chia Fair Trade Project to ever take place. The chia seeds are harvested by hand by farmers who depend on the success of their crops to support their families and community. This region previously grew sugar cane before the global decline in sugar prices made it unsustainable. The farmers were educated on how to grow Chia Seeds and machinery was provided to them so the region could thrive again. They have been supplying Fair Trade Chia Seeds since 2014.
Organic Cacao Powder and Nibs are sourced from both Costa Rica and rural Tingo Maria, Peru, where the tropical conditions provide the perfect environment for growing Cacao. Connect Foods Organic Maca Powder is sourced from rural Sicaya, Peru, which is over 12,000 FT above sea level. Maca has traditionally been grown at high altitudes like this to give the highest nutritional content. However, as maca has become increasingly popular crops have been grown in different areas and countries and this has compromised the nutritional content.
Connect Foods Cacao & Maca farmers are paid over 1.5 times the average wage and participate in additional economic activities to ensure the farms and communities are sustainable. They are provided 5 meals a day, supported to send their children to public schools, given medical assistance and receive a Christmas bonus and gifts for all children. Supporting these communities and assisting them to be sustainable, allows them to have a better quality of life.
Connect Foods are dedicated to supplying consumers Organic Certified products. All suppliers have the relevant local organic certification, mainly USDA, and are then packed in Australia in an Organic Certified facility. This ensures that no point of the supply chain is compromised. Consumers can buy Connect Foods with the comfort that they are truly organic, containing no pesticides or chemicals.
Connect Foods is also dedicated to providing information about living a healthy lifestyle. With so many diets being preached and each camp saying their way is the best, it can be confusing. The Connect Foods philosophy of “Eat Real Food” is applicable to all consumers regardless of diet type. Through their qualified Yoga, Meditation and Lifestyle Coach, Ashley Storm, Connect Foods provides regular advice on their website and Facebook page on how to easily incorporate superfoods into daily life as well as providing recipes and yoga and meditation videos. Connect Foods supports the idea that a healthy lifestyle goes beyond simply what you eat, it is about having a healthy mind, body and soul.
Connect Foods is focused on helping Australians become healthier while knowing that they are supporting local farmers create health, happiness and stability for their own families and communities.
Nourish Your Connection with Nature: connectfoods.com.au