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NPE19

The Clean Kilo: Zero Waste Supermarket in Birmingham has had a successful time of it in recent months, winning Best Deli/Grocer in the Slow Food England Awards as well as £20k in the FedEx Small Business Grant UK 2018 Awards.

“We were overwhelmed to win the Grocer of the Year award 2018 for England,” say owners Tom Pell and Jeanette Wong, who say the store is the UK’s largest zero waste supermarket. “Slow Food Birmingham leader Kate Smith supported us from the very start when The Clean Kilo was only a dream! This allowed us to build a large network of environmental/sustainability groups in our community.”

We will continue to work with Slow Foods to improve rural-urban links and to expand our range. This will ensure that the people of Birmingham have access to plastic-free produce from local suppliers and that our local suppliers get fair price

Until this year, the awards, which are five years old, were only open to food businesses within London, but they are now open nationally, with the winners being decided on the number of public votes received. “It is a real honour to be one of the first businesses outside of London and the first plastic-free shop to be awarded!” say Pell and Wong.

“Winning the award has given us real acknowledgement in the food retail industry, as Slow Food is an international organization. We believe this will open more doors and opportunities for us to grow our network and awareness to reduce plastic. We will continue to work with Slow Foods to improve rural-urban links and to expand our range. This will ensure that the people of Birmingham have access to plastic-free produce from local suppliers and that our local suppliers get fair price.”

The couple explain that they were ‘over the moon’ to win the FedEx 2018 small business grant too and told NPN what the cash means to them. “The £20,000 will enable us to reduce plastic pollution at a much greater level; our short-term plan is an e-commerce platform which will allow customers to order online and get products delivered – either on bike within the local area, or by courier further afield. This platform will enable customers to purchase food (packaged in paper bags) or non-food items like toiletries and zero-waste lifestyle items.

We want to offer our knowledge on environmental issues and plastic-free shopping in the world’s most polluted developing countries. With the FedEx grant we can have a greater impact to turn off the plastic pollution tap

“Our medium-term plan is to open a second shop within the West Midlands – the number of pieces of plastic saved is projected to at least double with a larger sized shop. A second shop would also help improve and refine our zero waste shop business model, and act as a stepping stone to potentially setting up overseas.

“The ability to replicate our shop gives us the foundations to help realize our long-term dream. We want to offer our knowledge on environmental issues and plastic-free shopping in the world’s most polluted developing countries. With the FedEx grant we can have a greater impact to turn off the plastic pollution tap.”

 

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About the Author

Jane Wolfe

Deputy Editor
Natural Products News deputy editor Jane Wolfe re-joined NPN in 2013 having previously worked for the magazine as a sub and freelance journalist from its Steyning beginnings.

Articles by Jane Wolfe
Jane Wolfe
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