Business in Focus: NADA

March 1, 2020 | Business In Focus

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According to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year.  In Canada, 58% of all food produced is wasted, according to a report by the food bank Second Harvest. Nada, Vancouver’s first zero-waste grocery store, was founded by Alison Carr and Brianne Miller.  As a marine biologist, Miller witnessed the mass of plastics swirling in the oceans, most of which was tied to food packaging. She realized the grocery store system was broken, and asked a simple question. What if food was just food again?

In 2015, Nada operated as pop-ups at Patagonia Vancouver and Farmers’ Markets while crowd-sourcing funds to open a permanent package-free grocery store in the Vancouver neighborhood of Mount Pleasant.  The store uses an original technology to weigh and label any type of container that customers bring in that they can fill with just what they need – from 3 eggs to a single sprig of cilantro – saving an average of $1,500 per family each year.

By bringing their own containers, shoppers buy only what they need, reducing food waste as well as packaging waste! 

All of the products in the store have a story. From the coconut probiotic yogurt made locally to wild-foraged teas, Nada knows who grows and produces each item. The store also features Vancouver’s first zero-waste in-store café as a way to use surplus or imperfect produce. Any food not used in the grocery store or café is composted and given to local community gardens.

Kudos to Nada for modeling the vision of an unpackaged future and supporting consumers, suppliers, and the planet.  To read more about Nada, click here.

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