Heidi Spurrell | 21st September 2023 | 4min read



The Future Green team with Members at TABLE

With autumn approaching and the harvesting season drawing near, Future Green is hosting its first post-summer Members Monthly Meetup. In the cosy interiors of TABLE by Sandy Keung, Members gather together for a long-awaited reunion to discuss this month’s theme: Support Fair Farming. Welcoming guests in is a thoughtfully-curated assortment of bite-sized treats: beetroot pomegranate puttanesca tartlets, pesto chrysanthemum scallion testaroli, and many more. 

Nibbles and drinks for guests to enjoy


Contemporary food supply chains are long and complex, which can lead to ethical issues such as lack of transparency, child labour, and corruption. Research has indicated that, by 2050, viable agricultural land will have halved due to a combination of climate change, diseases and soil degradation. Moreover, farmers around the world retain only a small percentage of products’ final sticker price. Of the 200 million tea, coffee and chocolate farmers depending on these crops for their livelihoods, many receive as little as 6% of their produces’ value against the final price sold.

The Fair Trade movement has gained traction worldwide, and available certifications now range from Fair Trade (for coffee, chocolate, spices, etc.) to Bonsucro (sugar) to LEAF Marque. As Heidi, Future Green’s CEO, explains, it is important to prioritise certified ingredients when purchasing items with social and environmental risks, or at least know your farmer’s practices (as some farmers will not be able to afford getting certified).  

Fabrizio sharing illy’s social responsibility and sustainability initiatives 


To gain insight from a seasoned coffee connoisseur, we invite Fabrizio Aquè from illy to shed light on the company’s coffee sourcing practices. Defining sustainable coffee as coffee that is responsibly grown and marketed, Fabrizio introduces three main coffee certifications: Organic, FairTrade and Rainforest Alliance. In 2021, illy was the first Italian coffee company to obtain the B Corp certification, proving its commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability. In 2008, illy also launched the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award, which recognises the dedication of coffee growers and rewards quality and sustainability. 

With a global outlook, illy has launched numerous social sustainability projects. Casa de la Algería promotes education in Costa Rica by providing assistance to the children of indigenous Panamanian coffee pickers. On the environmental front, illy is dedicated to supporting regenerative agriculture. It has also funded Viveiro de Atitude, a programme contributing to biodiversity conservation and water source protection in Brazil’s Cerrado region. 


Punam sharing SpiceBox Organics’ sourcing philosophy

Next, we invite Punam Chopra, founder of SpiceBox Organics, to share her perspective on this month’s theme. Founded in 2012, SpiceBox Organics is flourishing with 4 stores in operation in Hong Kong and India. A go-to market and café for gluten-free, vegan, keto and organic selections, SpiceBox Organics is dedicated to responsible, sustainable product sourcing. At SpiceBox Organics, 95% of products are certified Organic and the company encourages fair-trade practices among consumers and suppliers. The company’s meticulous review process involves researching suppliers’ raw ingredient sourcing philosophies, visiting suppliers in-person when possible, and ensuring that there is a transparent production process throughout the entire life cycle. 

Future Green CEO Heidi, Punam Chopra from SpiceBox Organics, Fabrizio Aquè from illy Coffee and our host, Sandy Keung from TABLE.

Currently, SpiceBox Organics is taking steps to prioritise ingredient sourcing from local suppliers. If there is a need to import from supply chains abroad, the team does its due diligence, importing directly from the supplier instead of using third-party distributors. Take SpiceBox Organics’ Bulk Grains, Legumes, and Spice Supplier, a network of over 40,000 organic farmers. Ingredients are sourced directly from the origin and complete traceability is ensured from procurement to distribution. The company has also met face-to-face with its herb supplier in India, visiting remote farms and helping to enhance the lives of farmers through fair-market wages, access to healthcare, gender equality programmes and infrastructure improvements.  


As our monthly Meetup comes to a close, guests mingle once again, nibbling on delicious seasonal treats whilst catching up and exchanging new ideas. Big thanks to TABLE for hosting this month’s Meetup!

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