These past 18 months, around the world, as well as from home at Lemon Lily, have been unprecedented. When the pandemic started, we were worried about our business. You all helped us to get through retail, café and restaurant closures (80% of our business going into 2020) by purchasing directly from us online. We thought the greatest benefit of this would be the added sales, which have been exceptional and have allowed us to have our best year yet, however, the real value has come from the direct feedback we get from our customers.
As part of that feedback, you’ve wanted more local ingredients. You’ve wanted more Canadian and North American influence in our blends. Local lavender, local ginger, local flowers, herbs and spices and even Canadian-grown tea! Our challenge has always been to provide as many local ingredients without sacrificing our core value of being 100% organic, which we’ve backed up by annually renewing our Certified Organic certification.
While the Organic Certification has always been a source of pride for Lemon Lily, over the past year, we’ve found that it started to hold us back from working with ethical, local, organic compliant farms who either can’t afford organic certification or need to wait the multi-year period to achieve this status. We’ve also been restricted in bringing you new blends as the turn-around time for adding products to our certification has taken an average of 4+ months.
So, effective October 2021, we have decided to withdraw our renewal to be Certified Organic. We will continue to order only 100% organic ingredients, as well as certified organic ingredients, keeping all of our supply chain in place, yet allowing us to work with exceptional local farms like Ontario Lavender Farms and Canadian-Grown Tea companies that are starting to emerge.
The last several years have been very exciting for us. Since the move to our new facility, we have been able to concentrate and invest in several of our production areas. The expansion of our new facility has allowed us to make significant investments to improve our ability to efficiently process our products to meet the growing demand, and we are committed to the continuous improvement in our food safety management systems.
Safe Food for Canadians
We are Safe Food for Canadians certified. What is safe food for Canadian regulations? The Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019. The three main components of the SFCR are: licensing, traceability and preventative controls. Licensing: most food businesses require a licence to import, export or send food across provincial and territorial borders.
At Lemon Lily, we are aware that all of the decisions we make on a daily basis have an impact on our environment, and we want to ensure that our impact is a positive one. We do this by ensuring that our daily operations are in a manner consistent with the best environmental practices. We believe in the preservation of our planet, and for a healthier, cleaner world for generations to come. We reuse all of our label sheets, turning the backs into shipping labels, we employ eco-friendly couriers, reducing the carbon footprint by as much as 70%, and we are on our way to becoming a B Corp Company because of our environmental practices.
Our new facility has exceptional natural lighting combined with the use of only 4 energy efficient lighting panels. Since our products are handcrafted, our equipment and energy usage is limited to energy efficient blenders. Everything else is done by hand.
We are committed to reducing our energy consumption levels, and we have replaced our lighting with new low-energy units. We've also added sliding windows and screens to reduce the need for air conditioning and heating.
Recycling and Waste
Our objective with our waste management program has been to maximize our recycling efforts and effectively use our materials, including minimizing our waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have been recycling much of our waste for years, and in 2015 we implemented a new, very comprehensive recycling and waste management plan, and began to thoroughly measure and track what we recycle and send to the landfill. We are pleased to now recycle 99% of our waste.
The major factor in our reduction of paper use has been going digital with all of our order processing. We no longer print order and work off of paper. When we do, it's reusable sheets of paper. We also invoice electronically by email to further reduce paper usage.
Packaging and Packaging Materials
Our objective at Lemon Lily is to efficiently use packaging materials (whenever possible) made from renewable materials, that are recyclable and biodegradable. We recycle all cardboard, paper, glass, and recyclable plastic in our facility.
We have clearly marked containers in work areas for all RECYCLABLE materials including:
All copy and printing paper, including all of our product and shipping labels
Cardboard Boxes (all are recyclable, reusable, biodegradable, and compostable)
Interior packaging materials including packing paper and bubble wrap
We reuse 95% of the boxes we receive in shipments when fulfilling orders, reducing waste. We recycle the remaining 5% which are marked up entirely with supplier branding.
All of our drums and containers are reusable. We clean and organically sanitize everything before reusing them.
We donate our wood pallets to a local company which turns them into furniture for impoverish families and small businesses.
All of the printer ink cartridges we use are recyclable, and all are recycled.
If working, they are often donated to various schools or to our employees and their families. If they are not working, then we work with the e-waste recyclers to ensure proper disposal and/or reuse.
Our green clippings and any tea consumed within our facility in tea bags are donated to a local business who uses it as part of their mulch to grow fruits and vegetables raising money for after-school programs.