In 1992, Jane Dick was co-founder of the Baby Organix brand. This was the first range of organically produced baby foods in the UK. Despite huge obstacles and great scepticism from manufacturers and retailers at the start, the brand succeeded, other manufacturers followed and now almost 75% of all babyfood sold in the UK is made with pure organic ingredients. These babies are the so called ‘millennials’. Now in their mid 20’s to late 30’s, they have just overtaken the ‘babyboomers’ as the biggest and most influential and highest spending consumer group in the UK and they understand and care about the environment.
Being a microbiologist as well as an environmentalist, Jane set up Fundamentally Fungus to offer a really good quality range of cultivated mushrooms to UK chefs, who had long suffered the poor quality offered by imported wholesale markets, as real sustainable alternatives to mushrooms picked from the wild, coming in from all over the world. We found chefs only too willing to experiment and develop dishes with mushrooms if consistently high quality is assured.
And as for fish, all the standards, accreditations, advice, misinformation, mislabelling and greenwash around the topic of which fish to use or not to use, is mindboggling. Not to mention depressing. UK consumers eat more fish in restaurants than they cook at home so chefs help form opinions and lead consumers in choosing fish. We know that most of our chefs understand and care about sustainability so we want to be there for them, with exciting, genuine products and simple choices that do not compromise on their needs for excellence as well as having credentials that stand up to scrutiny.
With population growth set to increase by 50% by 2050, and resources running out, the need to produce all foods sustainably is a real requirement, not a marketing position.
The Natural Marketing Institute survey 2014, of 53,000 consumers in 23 countries concluded
‘Sustainability is not a trend, it is becoming a cultural shift. All organisations will need to realise that sustainability is not just a desired activity but a necessary strategy’
Fundamentally Foods is an approved supplier member to the Sustainable Restaurant Association and a member of Slow Foods UK.