LATEST Archives - Liberation Nuts
Truly owned by farmers:  already a majority shareholder, the INC have recently purchased even more of Liberation!

Truly owned by farmers: already a majority shareholder, the INC have recently purchased even more of Liberation!

Juan Bravo, President of the INC.   Formed in 2007, Liberation Foods CIC has been, from the outset, a community interest company, with a mission to solely trade directly with smallholder farmers and ensure they have a prominent voice in the direction and decision-making of the company. Since then, we have been on an interesting journey of development, discovery and relationship building with numerous farming cooperatives across the world.  The International Nut Cooperative (INC), also formed in 2007 by 5 smallholder farmer and gatherer Associations, has been a shareholder of Liberation from its beginnings and we have developed a profound  and enduring relationship with them, the strength and importance of which most recently withstood the test of the global pandemic last year. Tomy Mathews, INC member and valued colleague said of the alliance “if there had been more relationships like the one between FTAK (Fairtrade Alliance Kerala) and Liberation, farmers´ futures may have been saved”. And we, in turn, have benefited greatly from the skills, resilience, hard work and dedication of the INC members.  We are therefore very pleased to confirm, whilst in the midst of Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, that the International Nut Cooperative have recently bought further shares of Liberation, on top of the majority of shares they owned previously. Farmers will now have an even more powerful voice in shaping the company, their participation will be transformative for future initiatives and the work between producers, sellers and buyers will be even more collaborative. We will talk of ´us´ rather than ´them´. And we continue to edge closer to a vision of true equality and the mission with...
Pioneering Fairtrade Nut Company Seeks Food Technologist

Pioneering Fairtrade Nut Company Seeks Food Technologist

Liberation Foods CIC has been pioneering the market for Fair Trade nuts since 2007. We supply most Fairtrade nuts in the UK – branded, own label and bulk. Our mission as a social enterprise is to secure profitable, sustainable markets for nuts grown by our majority shareholder producer cooperatives around the world. As Food Technologist you will be a custodian of the integrity of the Liberation brand as well as our clients’ private label products through effective product and supplier approval and management. You will work within our Operations team to foster continuous improvement of our supply base. You will deliver the Technical strategy for the business, raising the bar of quality, sustainability and responsible sourcing and food safety culture through the supplier base. In this exciting role you will draw on your creative skills by leading new and extended product development from concept ideas through to product launch. Benefits: 25 days annual leave per year + bank holidays and Christmas closure, Pension scheme contribution, cycle to work scheme, opportunity to travel to producer countries. Employment type: Permanent – Full time Salary: £30,000 – £40,000 DOE Location: Old Street, London office/home/field based How to apply: See Job Description and Person Specification Deadline for applications: 9am on Monday 22 March 2021 The first round of virtual interviews start week commencing 8 March...
What can a nut do? – The health benefits of going plant-based.

What can a nut do? – The health benefits of going plant-based.

Veganuary 2021 recently finished and had a record 582,538 people sign up to take part. This is fantastic news! Whether you signed-up or not, completed the challenge or not, considered taking part, or not, it is hard to ignore the mounting list of proven benefits in moving to a plant-based diet, from helping the planet, to helping your heart.  A recent article in The Guardian outlined the urgency in cutting out, or at least drastically reducing, the consumption of meat and dairy products in order to save the world´s wildlife and it has been widely publicised that a vegan diet is one of the most effective things you, as an individual, can do to reduce your carbon footprint.  But we will come back to that topic another day. For now, we want to talk about our health, and as you may have guessed, it has a nutty focus!  If you are thinking about moving to a plant-based diet, whilst there are a huge range of very realistic ´fake meat´ products to calm those cravings (The Grocer offers a comprehensive guide to the best substitute products and producers out there). What is best for people (and planet) is choosing and using unprocessed, ethically-sourced plant-based ingredients. We at Liberation are obviously big advocates of the nut genre and luckily for us, this category of food is not only diverse, delicious and versatile but also has a huge range of health benefits too!  Here are just a handful of them and why they are SO good for us.   Peanuts They may not be the first to spring to mind as particularly healthy,...
COVID-19: the impact on gatherer communities in Bolivia 

COVID-19: the impact on gatherer communities in Bolivia 

In the spring of last year, as Covid-19 began to reach every corner of the world, in Bolivia the government reacted relatively quickly, implementing tight restrictions including halting educational activities and closing borders in a bid to contain the spread. But even before the pandemic arrived, the country was facing an economic and political crisis after a recent failed election.    Liberation works closely with two Associations in Bolivia for the supply of Brazil nuts: La Asociación Indígena de Recolectores de la Amazonía (AIRA) and Aire Muije.On top of the potential delay to the shipment of produce that our team was dealing in the UK, there was some much more serious news from the Latin American side. We were informed by the Associations´ Presidents that the virus had reached some of their most rural communities and many members had become infected. In fact, there were reported estimates of around 90% of people getting sick and estimates of over 500 people in these gatherer communities losing their lives due to the virus. The Brazil nut tree can only be found naturally in the Amazon rainforest and is proven to be very difficult to cultivate domestically. The global market relies heavily on crops harvested by gatherer communities and both Associations work directly with some of these Indigenous groups. Many of these families live on the outskirts of the Bolivian Amazon and during the harvest season in December often travel deep into the jungle to collect fallen Brazil nut pods from the rainforest floor to eventually be shipped across the world.Their skills, knowledge and understanding of the Amazon ecosystem and its geography...
A Year of Crisis, Protest and Resilience: India in 2020  – an overview with Tomy Mathews, Managing Director of Elements and FTAK cooperative member

A Year of Crisis, Protest and Resilience: India in 2020 – an overview with Tomy Mathews, Managing Director of Elements and FTAK cooperative member

Last year was a turbulent year for all. Almost everyone faced challenges, disruptions and loss in one form or another. For Liberation, a smallholder farmer-owned company, we were not only concerned with the goings-on within the UK but also across continents with our friends and colleagues in the cooperatives and producer countries we work closely with.  India, one of the said countries, undoubtedly faced some incredibly tough moments. Not only did it have the second highest Covid-19 death rate in the world (after the U.S.A.) and a harsh and rapid lockdown that resulted in many facing desolation through the loss of earnings, but also there was the implementation of three farm acts (also described as ´anti-farmer´acts) which, according to many, would leave farmers “at the mercy of corporates” and resulted in mass protests across the country.  Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK), in the southwestern part of India, is a collective of over 4,500 farmers who, amongst many other things, supply us with cashews. At the end of last year, we spoke to Tomy Mathews, Managing Director of Elements (exporter of FTAK cashews) and FTAK cooperative member, about the year that the coop and his country had endured.   According to Tomy, 2020 started like all others with hectic preparation for the annual seed festival which takes place on the 3rd week of January and is one of the biggest events for the FTAK. Cashew started with a good crop and Covid-19 was nothing but a strange news story.   But only a few months in, the virus reached India and by March the country went into a dramatic and hastily announced...
Looking back at 2020

Looking back at 2020

Dan started the year as the Technical Manager for Liberation and has ended it as the Director. Dan reflects on the year that will go down in history and what it has meant for the company, for the cooperatives and for him on a personal level.