Through participatory interviews, Waterloo hub researchers continue to engage with local SMEs to try and understand shifting transformational change within those SMEs and how they can be of benefit to communities and wider business eco-systems. To this end, one of the latest enterprises we have engaged with is 100km Food.
100km Food is a local food distributor in Toronto connecting restaurants and consumers with some of the freshest, high-quality ingredients Ontario has to offer. Acting as a conduit, they have 1000+ local food products available year-round, offering a vast selection of sustainable produce and through them, they directly help local farmers and producers gain access to large urban markets. Certified as a B Corporation they meet the standards for social and environmental responsibility. Similarly, they have won 5 “Best For the World” B Corps awards for recognition of being in the top 10% of global B Corps for Community Impact. Since its conception, 100km Food has implemented 5 core values that guide their decision making about what products they source, where they are sourced from and why they choose to work with the farmers and producers that comprise their amazing network. Their core values can be found here.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic 100km Foods was exclusively a wholesale food distributor serving 500+ of Southern Ontario’s top restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. Now they bring the same high-quality food to consumer homes! This flexibility and continuous innovation allow 100km Food maintain their sustainable business model, which also holds additional benefits for local communities. To this end, 100km Food partner with The Stop Food Community Centre in Toronto and Community Food Centres Canada to ensure food access is equitable. These holistic partnerships feed back into the brands sustainability ethos and solidify wider community involvement, thereby creating a more resilient network of consumers and suppliers.
As the name of the company suggests, 100km Food aims to supply food from supplier to consumer within a small radius. By building up those connections within a local area, food is more likely to be delivered on time, be more fresh and ultimately helps alleviate the offset of food traveling 1000km’s via airplane or shipping. The owners are under no illusion that transportation and agriculture sustainable initiatives are the be-all end-all solution. However this does have a significant impact on wider sustainability contributions. Likewise, by keeping distances to a minimum, company operations can be streamlined, leading to increased employee wellbeing. In all, 100km Food are fantastic example of small and medium sized enterprises opting for more sustainable business models and it was a pleasure working with them! Check out their Twitter account here to keep up to date!