This is about more than food.
Sun & Swell has always been a company that stands for quality, organic, whole food that is free from heavy processing and harmful ingredients like preservatives, added sugars, and other chemical additives. Our journey started with a desire to make it easier for people to eat whole, real food - but it didn't stop there.
We've always wanted to be more than just a food company - we've wanted to stand for something. That led us to formalize our commitment to making the lives of our employees, community, and customers better by becoming a certified B-Corp and joining 1% for The Planet in 2017.
...But everything completely changed for us the day we discovered compostable packaging.
This is about fixing a broken system.
Over the years, our company had grown and our team was having increasing concerns over our use of single use plastic packages that end up in our oceans and landfills. Like all other brands found in the grocery store today, we were primarily purchasing and distributing flexible packaging (stand up pouches) made from plastic that is NOT recyclable and remains on the earth for hundreds of years after it is used. This is a little known issue for consumers, but widely understood by the packaged food industry - though it is considered acceptable because it's viewed as the only way that packaged food can survive the trip through the distribution system and a multi year shelf life in distributor warehouses and on store shelves. Plus, "it's what everyone else does".
We've never viewed things that way.
Today, our world is facing a massive trash crisis, particularly because of the way we mass produce and dispose of single use plastics. Our oceans and wildlife simply cannot survive much longer under the weight of the current system. Even our recycling system has recently begun to break under the massive pressure consumers are putting on it. To us, the only answer is to create products with their end of life in mind. As brands, we must have an answer the question: "What happens AFTER the consumer uses our products?".
We believe the answer is compostable packaging - packages that turn back into soil that can be reused on farms within months of entering the waste system.
In 2018, we put compostable snack food packaging on the market for the first time. We learned a lot of tough lessons, but we also realized that we needed to adapt our business to the needs of compostable packaging if we wanted to start pushing change forward in a meaningful way, not the other way around. This meant opening up our product line to include pantry staples for our customers and putting a larger effort into selling directly over our website so that we could avoid the traditional food distribution systems that require products to pass through many hands and have extremely long shelf lives.
Together, we can do something much larger than ourselves.
We're willing to put forth extreme effort to make these changes because it's about more than just food to us. This is about a massive problem that needs fixing. This is about taking control of that problem as farmers, manufacturers, and consumers. This is about fixing a broken system that's gone on broken for far too long. This is about saving the things we love in life. This is about passing those things onto our children. And ultimately, this is about beginning to change the course of the human race by fixing the way we consume. It can no longer be acceptable to ignore the last stage of a product's life and continue to fill our planet with trash that will outlive several generations of humans to come. We must commit to being better than that and we must do it today. Where there is not a path, we will make it and where there is not a system, we will build it. To us, it is the only option.
We know we are just one small family company and you are just one consumer, but we've got to start somewhere.
Thank you for standing up with us and being part of this journey. Together we can do something much larger than ourselves.
Kate, Bryan, and The Sun & Swell Family